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Homemade Protein Bars with Almonds, Quinoa, and Cranberries

Lately, I have been reacting really poorly to whey protein. For the past month or so, I have been avoiding dairy altogether, and I think that not having any lactose in my body has accentuated a problem I did not know I had. It is pretty obvious to me, now, that I need to stay away from all forms of dairy in order to perform my best in the gym. I used to get stomach aches every day, so it is pretty nice to not feel sick daily. While I’ve really seen improvements in performance since taking dairy out of my diet, it has been difficult to get all of the protein recommended without things like Greek yogurt and milk. In order to fill that void, I have had to focus on the protein in more of the products I eat. One place I’ve found it is easy to get more protein is in my carbohydrate choices. Grains such as oatmeal and quinoa (which I know is actually a seed) add a good amount of protein to your diet, as well as healthy fats and fiber. These bars combine oatmeal, quinoa, and almonds with some dried fruit to sweeten the deal, and finally peanut butter to act as a binder. Feel free to play around with the nut butter, as any type will work fine. I chose peanut butter for these protein bars because it has more protein than other options, but if you are paleo feel free to go with cashew, almond, or even sunflower seed butter.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1 Cup Almonds, sliced
  • 1 Cup Peanut Butter, preferably fresh ground (I get this at Fresh Thyme and grind myself)
  • ¾ Cup Cooked Quinoa
  • ⅓ Cup Dried Cranberries, no sugar added
  • 8 T Honey (½ Cup)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Ground Clove
  • ¼ tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt

Steps:

  • Grease a 9 x 9 dish with nonstick spray, and then line with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine the honey and peanut butter, followed by all of the dry ingredients. Transfer the mixture to the 9 x 9 dish, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until just turning slightly golden brown.
  • Allow to cool entirely, and then cut into bars. Makes 10 protein bars.

Nutrition: Per Bar

 

  • Calories: 363
  • Carbohydrate: 39 grams
  • Protein: 11 grams
  • Fat: 20 grams

 

 

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