Our Paleo Family

Cranberry Orange Protein Bars

To be completely honest, I made these for me. But bonus! My kids love them too.

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I really miss cereal. It’s not that I ever ate cereal all that often, but some mornings I just don’t feel like eating a big breakfast. Sometimes it’s because I’m doing a morning workout. Sometimes it’s just that I’m not in the mood to cook up meat and veggies. That’s when I really crave a bowl of Cheerios.

This is my substitute. These bars are packed with protein and energy. A small bar satisfies my hunger enough to get through a workout and most importantly, I don’t have to read any labels. I know exactly what’s in there.

We took a long road trip last summer that involved staying in lots of hotels. My family ate the hotel breakfast each morning, but I knew that I had to be picky about what I ate. So I brought along a batch of these bars. They do best if kept refrigerated, so we kept a cooler with us and used the mini fridge in our hotel room. I’d pull one of these out for breakfast and grab a piece of fruit, sometimes some meat, from the breakfast buffet, and I had a safe and hearty breakfast each morning.

For my kids, who are perpetually hungry, these bars are a wonderful snack. They’re just sweet enough and very filling. They don’t care that they’re also good for them. I put some mini chocolate chips in their’s so they really feel like a treat.

Another bonus: this recipe is super quick to put together, especially if you have a food processor.

Make a batch of these bars and feel good about your snacks!

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Cranberry Orange Protein Bars
Print Recipe
Nuts, dried fruit and collagen powder combine to make a protein packed, super tasty snack!
Servings Prep Time
32 servings 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
32 servings 15 minutes
Cranberry Orange Protein Bars
Print Recipe
Nuts, dried fruit and collagen powder combine to make a protein packed, super tasty snack!
Servings Prep Time
32 servings 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
32 servings 15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Dig out your food processor and put in the standard chopping/mixing blade. Add nuts. Process until finely chopped.
  2. Add dates and process until you can hardly see any date pieces.
  3. Add remaining ingredients (except chocolate chips, if using) and pulse until well combined. You can also leave out the cranberries to add at the end if you want them whole. I prefer them chopped up.
  4. If adding chocolate chips, transfer mixture to a bowl and mix those in by hand so they don't get pulverized.
  5. Line a 9x13 or 11x7 baking dish with parchment paper. Press mixture into pan. Use your (clean) hands and really press hard to compact the mixture. (my batch here is half with chocolate chips, half without)
  6. Refrigerate until solid, at least two hours.
  7. Use parchment paper to lift bars out of pan and place on cutting board. Cut into desired pieces and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Alternatively, wrap individually in plastic wrap or parchment for easy grab and go snacks. This is what I typically do.
Recipe Notes

Ideally, you should purchase raw nuts, soak them and roast them to remove the anti-nutrients. What are anti-nutrients? Very simply, they are compounds found in nuts and seeds that help the plant, but potentially harm humans. They act to bind certain nutrients in our bodies, keeping us from absorbing them and potentially leading to nutrition deficiencies.

Add your raw nuts to a large bowl, sprinkle on about one tablespoon of sea salt and cover with warm water. Allow nuts to sit overnight. In the morning, drain and rinse well. Spread nuts on a large, rimmed cookie sheet and bake at the lowest temperature your oven will allow until nuts are dried out. My oven's lowest setting is 175 degrees and this process takes about 5-6 hours. Bag your nuts into portions appropriate for your use and store in the freezer. They keep well for 3-4 months before starting to get that "freezer" taste.

*See the resources page for my recommended brands.

You can certainly change up the flavors in these bars to whatever you desire. If you don't like cranberry orange, leave out the orange juice and zest and substitute water, lemon juice, apple juice or other unsweetened juice of your choice.

For the cranberries, you can substitute any dried fruit you choose (I often just use what I have on hand): raisins, golden raisins, cherries, blueberries, apricots, etc. etc.

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3 thoughts on “Cranberry Orange Protein Bars

    1. Elizabeth Post author

      Hi Genice! The collagen I’m referring to in this recipe is a source of purified protein that can be added to foods or beverages. It can serve as a binder in recipes without eggs and gluten. Lots of people use collagen as a supplement to help with joint pain, skin, hair, or nail health. Or, as in the case of the protein bars, it’s a source of added protein. You can buy Great Lakes Gelatin from Amazon or Thrive Market. See the resources page linked at the top of my website for direct links.

  1. Genice Nix

    Thanks so much, Elizabeth! I look forward to your posts and delicious recipe ideas. I am glad your mom told me about this

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