Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sunbutter Chocolate Raisin Bars

As I promised last week, here is another delicious protein bar! These are a spin off of my favorite Nourishing Protein Bar recipe. I was in a rush to make them, felt like experimenting, wasn't in a "recipe mood," so I just started throwing some ingredients together. I never officially wrote down the recipe measurements since I decided to wing it, but here are some estimates. Most of my bar recipes are very forgiving and you can always adjust if the "dough" is too wet or too dry, by adding more oil or nuts. It's fun to experiment in the kitchen!

Raisins and chocolate = yum!

Sunbutter Chocolate Raisin Bars

    1/2 cup organic Sunbutter or any organic sunflower seed butter
    1/2 cup organic dates
    1/4 cup organic prunes
    2 large organic turkish figs
    1/2 cup organic brazil nuts
    1 cup organic coconut flakes
    1/4 cup 100% unsweetened cocoa baking chips
    1/2 cup organic cacao powder
    1/4 cup organic coconut cream concentrate
    2 Tbsp organic coconut flour
    2 Tbsp molasses
    2 Tbsp raw honey
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    pinch: sea salt, cinnamon
    2 Ghirardelli baking chocolate bars, for melting
    Raisins, for topping

To make your bars:
1.  Place all ingredients (except the last two) into the food processor and whiz. Pulse the first few times, and when most of the ingredients are the same size, whiz until it all comes together. Taste and adjust as needed :)
2.  Press down hard into a baking pan (I used a round cake pan). Sprinkle raisins on top and press in those too.
3.  Melt chocolate over a double boiler. Pour over pressed down bar mixture and spread evenly with a cake spatula. Freeze or refridgerate until chocolate is hard. Let bars warm to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Since I used a round pan, mine came out like wedges!

Have a happy healthy snack (and dessert)! I love these bars. They really satisfy my want for chocolate, healthy fats and a slightly sweet treat all in one bite!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Nourishing Protein Bars 1.1.

Remember these? They got great feedback when I posted them back in June 2010. This past year they've been nothing but the absolute best go-to recipe when I need to make something for friends, a gift, parties or events. No one I know has said anything less than, "those bars you made were so awesome." They truly are delicious! While most protein bar recipes out there seem to be loaded with sugar, grains, or other questionable ingredients, these bars have none of that. 

At one of my favorite stores, I recently found a square pan on sale. I bought it because I knew it would work PERFECTLY for making these protein bars, because I could just pop them out. And it did! There was no mess, and no cracking due to cutting like I encountered with the previous method. These bars look "professionally" uniform and totally better than store-bought.

Most recently, I have started my Spring semester at school. I made up two different batches of protein bars (second recipe to come next week!) and brought them both back with me to California. These are a perfect breakfast option for me since I am constantly on the go! They are easy to make up and freeze very well. For easy packaging, cut up into squares and place in snack baggies, or use a square pan and pop them into plastic wrap and then aluminum foil.

Look at all the goodness inside :)

This is a WARNING. These bars are quite tasty. It takes great amounts of self control to make these bars and not go over board sampling them!

Nourishing Protein Bars 1.1.
    adapted from Passionate homemaking

    2 cups  whole almonds
    1/4 cup  ground golden flaxseed
    1/2 cup  organic dates  (about 6 whole pitted dates)
    1/2 cup  organic unsweetened coconut flakes
    1/2 cup  organic raw almond butter
    1/2 tsp  unrefined sea salt
    1/2 cup  organic coconut oil, melted
    1-2 Tbsp  organic maple syrup
    2-3 tsp  vanilla
    1 handful 100% baking chips, or 3-4 unsweetened chocolate baking squares, melted
    6 drops  vanilla creme liquid stevia (optional)
    *Use more chocolate for a thicker coating

To make your protein bars:
  1.  Place almonds, flaxseed, dates, coconut, almond butter and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine.
  2.  In a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil using LOW heat. Remove from heat and add vanilla and maple syrup.
  3.  Add melted oil mixture to the food processor and pulse/grind ingredients until it forms a coarse paste.
  4.  Scoop out the mixture and press down hard into an square bar pan.
  5.  Melt chocolate in a double boiler, add stevia last when finally melted. Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the already pressed down bars. Smooth out and place into the fridge or freezer until chocolate has hardened. To serve, take bars out of fridge/freezer for at least 30 minutes. Work a knife around the edges gently and pop out bar onto pieces of plastic wrap. Wrap and freeze for later or munch right away :)

Yum - chocolate layer!

I suggest keeping this in the fridge or freezer until eating, or the chocolate will soften or melt (depending on the current temperature in your climate). You may need to hide these in the back of the fridge or freezer to keep everyone in the house from demolishing them all at once. They are just too good. Or you can be nice and share :)