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Keeping it Real

Posted Mar 12 2010 12:00am
Food, REAL WHOLESOME food. I've been trying to focus a majority of our grocery list on package free items. Meaning, lots of organic fresh produce and fish/meat/eggs; buying nuts, dried fruit, oats/quinoa, nutter butters, etc., from the bulk section at our local grocer, and keeping our dairy natural (the only dairy we really eat these days is 4% daisy cottage cheese. Our milk and cheese are made from an Almond source). Anyway, this is helping me buy less "bars" (I am a bar junkie!) and fancy new "enhanced" cereals. I am not against them, just trying to make our own and save some money. So today I decided to take all the ingredients I've been buying and make some natural protein bars. Good thing I found this awesome recipe on MARKS site. I tweaked it a bit and now we have some yummy primal protein bars in the fridge ready for snacks, munchies, etc.
3/4 to 1 cup pecans or nut of your choice
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup almond butter (I used CASHEW butter)
1/4 cup coconut oil (I used melted coconut Butter)
1/4 cup almond meal (simply pulse approximately 1/4 cup of almonds until it creates a coarse flour)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of raw honey
1/2 cup unsweetened whey protein powder (or 60g)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries or blueberries ( I used dried cherries)
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut to sprinkle on top
2 tsp cinnamon

On a cookie sheet, toast nuts and shredded coconut until golden brown. In order for them to cook evenly, you need to shake up the tray at least once during cooking.
Once toasted, pour mixture into a food processor and pulse until nuts are chopped and the mixture becomes coarsely ground (sort of the consistency of bread crumbs).

In a mixing bowl, melt coconut oil and almond butter (about 30 seconds). Remove from microwave and stir until smooth.
Add vanilla extract, honey and sea salt. Mix thoroughly.
Fold in nut mixture, cinnamon, almond meal and protein powder until mixed thoroughly.
Add whole egg and mix thoroughly.
Fold in dried Cherries
Press mixture into an 8 by 8 loaf pan

Cook in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, sprinkle a ¼ cup of shredded coconut on top and place under broiler until top begins to brown.
Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Cut into 12 pieces/bars and store in an airtight container.

These things taste like dessert yet I only used 1/2 tbsp of honey! Amazing. Next time I want to use carob chips. Here are my nutritional stats.  Hope youre not afraid of some good fat! :)

Calories 162.1  Total Fat 13.5 g Saturated Fat 5.0 g (mainly form all that good coconut) Polyunsaturated Fat 2.4 g Monounsaturated Fat 5.4 g Carbohydrate 5.1 g  Dietary Fiber 1.3 g  Sugars 1.2 g  Protein 6.7 g

Keeping in line with buying fresh and in bulk. I grabbed some organic chicken, sprouts, and purple taters to whip up a fast and healthy dinner. April , the cashew butter on the purple potatoes are for YOU! Now if only I can start making my own almond milk and kefir.......definitely going to try soon!

 Have a great weekend. We're off to my niece 4th bday party tomorrow so lots of fun to be had, phew!
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