No-Bake Protein Date Bars

No-Bake Protein Date Bars1
Sniff, sniff.
No, I’m not crying. I’m getting sick! Scratch that, I AM sick. Ugh. After waking up with a swollen and sore throat, I have gradually been getting worse all day. You never appreciate how wonderful normal breathing is until you find yourself sniffing every other second, trying to keep snot from running out of your nose. TMI? Sorry. I speak da truth!
It’s like that song, “Let Her Go” by Passenger, you know it right?
“Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missin’ home
Only know you lover her when you let her go…”
No-Bake Protein Date Bars4
Now that I’ve got you singing and thinking about runny noses, let’s just be thankful we can’t spread illness through the interwebs! So stick around for a few minutes longer, won’t you?
These bars. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh these bars. If I could summarize in one word: Addicting. 
No-Bake Protein Date Bars3
These bars were the first thing I have ever made with dates and I couldn’t have been more satisfied. They are the epitome of salty and sweet. The sweet, chewy date filling sits between a salty and crunchy almond oat crust. It’s a true party in your mouth, I promise you that. So. Much. TEXTURE!
This is one of those treats where you start with “just a bite,” then move on to “okay, maybe just half of the bar,” to “well, I might as well finish it now.”
…and maybe just one more. 
No-Bake Protein Date Bars2
Side note – Do you know how difficult it is to search for recipes using dates online? No, Google. I do not want recipes for my date. I want to make something with this box of dates. See the difference? It’s easy to search “pumpkin recipes” or “side dish recipes,” but when you search “date recipes” all that comes up are ideas for food to make for a date night. 

No-Bake Protein Date Bars5

Stay warm and healthy my friends. And eat date bars. Lots of date bars.

No-Bake Protein Date Bars
(Adapted from Oh She Glows)

Makes ~10 bars

Ingredients:
1 cup oats
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
~20 dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup water

Directions:
1. In a food processor, add oats, almonds, protein powder and salt. Pulse on high until a crumbly mixture forms. Add five of the dates and process again until crumbly.
2. Melt the coconut oil in the microwave and pour into food processor. Blend with the other ingredients until entire mixture is just barely moist. Add about 3/4 of this mixture to a medium loaf pan. Press down with spatula or your fingers. Set the rest of the mixture aside.
3. Add the remaining 15 chopped dates to your food processor with the shredded coconut and water. Blend until a paste forms, scraping down the sides as needed. Spread this mixture on top of the crust in the loaf pan. Top with the crust you had reserved earlier. Gently press down on top. Place in refrigerator to chill for at least one hour. Cut into bars and enjoy!

*Store in refrigerator for up to one week

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