There are few things as satisfying as making some snack bars. I mean, except for like a really, really good nap. And don’t get me started on perfectly poached eggs. Or shopping when you’re sad or hot showers when you’re cold or remembering to bring an umbrella when you need an umbrella or my dog’s snoring when he’s still half-awake.
There are many things as satisfying as making some snack bars. But none of those things have very much vegan protein and fiber. Probably. My dog is a curveball. Anyways, the nutrition breakdown is comparable to Gnu Fiber Bars but with half the net-carbs and 2g more protein. They’re not all out “protein bars” by any means but they do have an admirable amount of protein-powder free vegan protein so please let me have this moment. These are mostly snack bars with an added punch of protein and fiber. I’m only beating this dead not-a-protein-bar horse because I’d like to say I at least beat a dead animal before someone felt the need to point all this out. Animals, amiright??
I had fun over-analyzing that Super Bowl of Super Foods so I think I’m going to go that route again. On to my ramblings!
Where’s all that protein and fiber and healthy fats coming from?
Almonds + Sunflower Seeds + Peanut Butter
If you’ve ever gotten a scare tactic-y email blast from Women’s Health Magazine, you know almost everything there is to know about why an ounce of almonds is a lovely snack. If you’re never gotten one, how?!? You’re so strong! Anyways, almonds are the kale of the nut world, boasting healthy fats, a good amount of protein, and a surprising amount of fiber. They’re supposed to energize you, satisfy you, and keep your snack cravings to a minimum. Same goes for peanut butter. Sunflower seeds are also of the same ilk, providing an extremely similar nutritional breakdown with just a couple added carbs. Plus they add texture. People love texture.
Chia Seeds + Ground Flaxseed
These two things are downright nutritionally awesome. Equal parts carbs and fiber mean zero net-carbs (I can do all the maths!) and together they provide a gram of protein for each bar. Plus they’re both great binding agents. You could probably add a fair amount more of either or both of these ingredients but be aware your calorie total will take a jump with those extra grams of fat.
Protein and Fiber Crunch Cereal + Rolled Oats
If you’re going to make a good cereal based bar, you’re going to need to pick a good cereal. That’s how those words work. If you want to make a healthy good cereal bar, I think your best bet is either Kashi’s GoLean cereals or Whole Foods’ rip-off. It’s hard to find a cereal with as balanced nutrients as this one. It’s cereal so it’s going to have carbs but 23g net-carbs and 13g protein per serving is pretty unusual. Plus it’s crunchy and tasty. Oats are along the same path – everyone knows no one says bad things about oatmeal. So I’ll keep my mouth shut too. Both of these ingredients might need some sweetening so that’s how we get to…
Maple Syrup + Prunes
Here are sources of the majority of the sugar in each bar. Both are sticky and good at keeping everything together plus maple syrup makes me extremely happy. Oh and prunes are prunes and everyone knows about prunes.
Ok, these bars are literally a Women’s Health Magazine Email Blast wet dream.
MAPLE CRUNCH PROTEIN + FIBER BARS
makes 12 bars
- 2 ounces of whole almonds
- 1 ounce of unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
- 1 cup of fiber + protein cereal such as 365 Fiber + Protein Cereal or Kashi GoLean
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 3 tablespoons of maple syrup, divided
- 5 dried prunes
- ¼ cup of almond milk
- 2 tablespoons natural crunchy or creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup of ground flaxseed
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- salt to taste
- 4 squares of SweetRiot extra chocolate (equivalent to 12-15g)
I’m just saying be careful where you eat these…start at home…
Preheat your oven to 350. Line a jelly roll dish with parchment paper.
Toast your nuts. Heat a large frying pan or skillet or whatever over medium high heat. Plop in there in one even layer and sprinkle with a dash of salt and let them toast for 7-10 minutes, stirring them around frequently. You’re done when the nuts are a little more golden and your apartment smells like heaven. Remove from the heat and repeat this with the sunflower seeds. Keep your eye on the sunflower seeds and toast them for no more than 5 minutes or you may burn them and then yuck. Remove them from the heat.
Coarsely chop your toasted almonds in a food processor. Set aside. Put your prunes in a microwave safe bowl with 2 tablespoons of water. Microwave for 30 seconds. Toss the warm prunes, their water, and your ¼ cup of almond milk in a food processor. Chop away and puree that goodness. Add in the peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, chia seeds, ground flax, and a dash of salt and process til smooth. Get out a large bowl and mix your cereal and oats with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Fold your wet mixture into your maple doused cereal. Stir in your chopped almonds and sunflower seeds.
Press your mixture into a portion of your jelly roll dish. Smooth it all out with a spatula. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate on top and press the pieces down with the spatula. With a sharp knife, make cuts into the pressed mixture, separating it into 12 bars.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove, reinforce those cuts and put it back in the oven for another 5 – 10 minutes. Use your judgment. I like to think we operate on a certain level of trust.
Allow the bars to cool. Devour.
NUTRITION per bar: 136 calories // 14g carbs // 7g fat // 5g protein // 4g fiber // 5g sugar