I may have to admit, these have been my FAVORITE thing I’ve created so far. So delicious and can really be tailored to get a ton of healthy fats, fiber and minerals in them!
I’ll admit, I am not a huge fan of just eating raw nuts. Never have been! So I load these up with all the nuts that I normally wouldn’t eat by themselves so I have no excuse not to eat them.
These can really be a design-your-own kind of bar…you can add whatever nuts you’d like and throw in any other thing that sounds good..they’re perfect to experiment with!
One thing that I want to point out..Just because these have many great nutritious ingredients, or healthy fats doesn’t mean they’re ‘keto’ or ‘low carb.’ I hate labeling food. These bars will have a higher fat/carb content, so keep that in mind when incorporating them into your meals! If you want to add more protein powder to these, do it! These can be tailored to YOU. They would be a great snack if you know you are going an extended time without being able to grab a meal. They would be a great after dinner dessert to hold you over until the next morning. Knowing how certain macronutrients work for you and what they can provide can be a great tool when composing meals. Fats are a great tool to use for a longer lasting energy source as opposed to a quick absorbing carbohydrate.
A few notes about the ingredients:
I tend to stray away from peanuts and cashews for these bars and in general…They can be inflammatory for some people, and peanuts tend to be a super over produced and modified food…so I prefer to find other nuts that I don’t normally eat that have much more nutrients and minerals! I encourage you to try some new nuts that you may not have tried and throw them in this recipe. I like to pick 5 different nuts and add 1 cup of each.
Maca Root actually a cruciferous vegetable also known as Peruvian ginseng. It is known to have a supportive role in relation to hormone balance, libido and overall energy. It’s an amazing source of vitamin C, Iron and copper..all important to the body! If you suffer from any thyroid problems, it’s usually recommended to avoid maca because it contains goitrogens. But it is completely safe and a great added supplement. Some take it before working out as a natural energy boost! It’s one supplement I always keep around the house and throw in my smoothies.
Protein Powder: I use an organic, plant based protein powder, because I avoid dairy for the most part nowadays. If you don’t have any issues consuming dairy, I recommend finding an organic, grass-fed derived protein powder. There are TONS of protein powders out there and a lot of them are garbage. Look for natural ingredients, not a long list of fake sounding foods. Also do your research and buy from a reputable source! Some health food stores may have some better quality proteins than your average supplement store, but always look the ingredients regardless!
Goji berries are similar to a dried cranberry in my opinion.They’re loaded with antioxidants, can help support healthy blood sugar levels, support immunity health, and have been proven to fight free radicals and inflammation. They originate from China, and have been used in Chinese medicine for a very long time. I would say they are a great addition to your staple foods and a great swap out for raisins or any other dried berries in any recipe!
I noted that honey was optional..these bars will be plenty sweet without it but the stickiness of the honey does add a nice chewy factor to the bars. Not a make or break deal though, they are delicious either way.
Yields: 1-9.5×13.5 pan
- 5 cups of raw nuts [Brazil nuts, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, macadamias, hazelnuts are all great options!]
- 1/2 cup organic chia seeds/flax seeds/hemp seeds- you choose!
- 3/4 cup goji berries
- 1/2 cup almond butter or any other preferred nut butter
- 3.5-4 cups pitted organic dates
- 1 cup melted organic coconut oil
- 1/4 cup protein powder of your choice
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
- 1/4 cup raw honey (optional)
- 1/4 cup maca root powder (optional)
Mix all nuts, seeds, goji berries and coconut flakes in a bowl until all evenly combined. Using a food processor, briefly pulse the mix so that the ingredients are broken up slightly. They do not need to be ground to a powder. Set aside in large bowl.
Using same food processor, combine nut butter, honey, dates, protein powder and maca powder. Blend on high for several minutes. The dates will take a few minutes to completely blend up. While it is mixing, pour in melted coconut oil through top of food processor. Continue to let blend until mixture begins to ball up in food processor. You will know the dates are completely mixed when it begins to ball up inside the food processor.
Scrape date mixture into nut mixture. With your hands, mix everything until entirely incorporated. If you’re having trouble mixing the nuts into the dates, you may need a few more dates. They will hold the bar together. Simply blend up some more dates and add to mixture if needed. There should be little to no nut crumbs left.
Line a 9.5×13.5 pan with parchment paper completely. The bar will be molded within the parchment paper for an easier clean up. Spread out mixture evenly in pan. Press firmly with your hands for an even surface. You can cover top with parchment paper and use a glass or ladle as a rolling pin to level out the bars.
MY SECRET TIP: to make a really nicely packed and formed bar, take another 9.5×13.5 pan and put it on top of the first one after covering the top with parchment. Now you can apply pressure more evenly and have a more compact bar. Sometimes I even take my shoes off and step into the pan to really apply some extra pressure.
Let sit for 2-3 hours before eating. I usually take them out and portion the pan into 12 decent sized bars. You may divide them however you’d like. These store perfectly well in the fridge or even in the freezer! Simply let thaw in fridge the night before you want them.