Eats | Peanut Protein and Energy Bars

These delicious and nutritious bars are packed with plant-based protein, good fats, and whole-food carbs – an ideal pre or post-workout snack. Designed for the plant-based athletes I work with, this recipe offers concentrated energy from the fiber-rich dried fruits, and protein from the nuts and seeds. This combination of macronutrients provides a boost of energy without spiking your blood sugar level, and allows for steady energy release. Unlike store-bought packaged bars, these have zero added sugars, oils, or preservatives – making it a much healthier option. These bars can also be enjoyed as a dessert, a healthy and tasty treat for the whole family!

Ingredients:

– 2 cups peanuts Sudanese peanuts (remove the skins by rubbing peanuts in a clean dish cloth – it’s ok if some of the nutrient-dense skins get in, as it all gets ground together in the end.)
– 1/2 cup walnuts
– 2 cups pitted dates for 15-20 min (soaked in Chai tea or another tea of choice or simply warm water)
– 1/2 cup dried apricots for 15-20 min  (soaked in tea/hot water)
– 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds (dry toasted in skillet)
– 1 tbsp cinnamon
– 2 tsp cacao
– 2 tsp ground coffee

Instructions:

  1. In a food processor, blend the nuts, cinnamon, cacao, and coffee into a crumble. Set aside.
  2. Add the rehydrated dates & apricots (minus tea) to the food processor and blend into a paste.
  3. Add the nut mixture back into the food processor, and pulse to combine. Note: Depending on the size of your food processor, you may have to do this in 2 stages.
  4. Press the mixture evenly into a lined baking pan. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds, and push them into the mix with your hands to ensure they stick.
  5. Set in the freezer for at least 1 hour to harden, before cutting into squares. Note: Store these bars in the freezer, in a plastic or glass tupperware container – they will last a few months (but these bars are so delicious they’ll likely be gone in a week!)

Nutrition Tips:

– Peanuts and Sesame seeds are packed with iron, calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin E, B Vitamins, plant-based protein, healthy unsaturated fats and fiber.

– Walnuts are rich in omega 3 fats (anti-inflammatory), B Vitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, protein, and fiber,

– Dried dates are a natural sweetener and source of potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, and fiber. Given their inherent concentrated sweetness and ability to bind these bars together, there is no need for added refined/processed sugars – which are added to commercial bars (see below).

Note: These unhealthy ingredients are added as a preservative, so that the bars can sit on store shelves for longer. That said, because my recipe is composed of only whole food, they must be kept in the fridge or freezer.

– Dried apricots area another natural sweetener, and provide iron, calcium, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin A, B vitamins, and fiber.

-Cinnamon helps the body regular sugars, which means the simple carbs from the dried fruit will be more evenly released. It also supports digestion and is a source of iron, calcium, antioxidants, and fiber.

To learn more about whole-food plant-based nutrition contact Danielle Levy, R.H.N, N.C:  d@daniellelevynutrition.com | 514-773-6247
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RUNNERS: We want to see your DIY bars! Post a pic of your final bar to Instagram and tag @cieleathletics & @daniellelevynutrition & #cieleeats for us to follow your plant powered food!