Pistachio-Cherry Energy Bars

I want a protein/energy bar that meets the following criteria:

  • Tastes delicious
  • Does not cost as much as a dozen eggs
  • Does not contain caloric, processed sweeteners
  • Does not contain artificial ingredients
  • Contains only REAL, whole ingredients
  • Has exactly what I love inside it

The ingredients for NINE squares cost $4.50. I love money-math. I divided the total cost of an ingredient (ex: sunflower seed butter) by the portion I used of it. That’s 50 cents per bar, friends. WIN!

Most bars get a grade of “C” from me, and I’m not settling for mediocrity when it comes to food. Or anything else, really. While there are a couple brands of protein bars I recommend (Think Thin and Quest), I decided to make my own. My first experiment was adapted from No Meat Athlete, and they give a very helpful formula for make-your-own bars. I highly recommend checking it out.

Before I give you the recipe, I will clarify these are what I call an “Energy” bar and not a “Protein bar” because they are not low-carb. However, they’re full of fiber-rich carbs and those are the ideal kinds of carbs.

NOTE: While making the bars, I decided to omit the flaxseed that is in this photo.

Cut into 9 squares. Each square provides 150 calories, 7.5 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber.

Ingredients:

1.5 c. of garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

1 c. oats

1/4 c. sunflower seed butter (available at Trader Joe’s)

1/4 c. pistachios

1/2 c. dried cherries, chopped

2 large dates, chopped

1 scoop unsweetened vanilla whey protein (equal to 18 grams of protein)

1/4 c. water

1 T. Stevia

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of sea salt

NOTE: You can make substitutions. For example, use almond butter rather than sunflower seed butter, or use a mashed banana instead of dates.

Directions:

  • Place beans, sunflower seed butter, chopped dates, Stevia, cinnamon, sea salt and water in the food processor. Blend very well. Add more water if it is too thick.
  • Add oats, protein, pistachios and dried cherries and blend again. ¬†If you only have a small food processor, you can combine the first and second batches of ingredients together with a large spoon in a mixing bowl.
  • Spread in a lightly greased or sprayed small, square baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Cut into 9 squares.
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