The other day I went right to the grocery store from the gym and forgot to pack a snack (I’m like Chrissy in Now and Then – I need to eat every two hours). I saw that the Luna Protein bars were a dollar a pop and honestly I think I tore the wrapper ope and devoured it before I got my daughter situated in the front of the cart. I was crazed. But they’re so good! They’re like candy! Challenge – I shopped for the ingredients I didn’t have on hand and made the bars that afternoon.
One reason homemade bars tend to be higher calorie than store-bought is those puffy soy or rice crisps. As I perused the organic cereal aisle I saw a box of “healthy” Cocoa Krispies for sale. I put two cups into my bars (and ate the rest over the course of 24 hours because even if they’re sprouted rice and organic cocoa, it’s been years since I’ve had anything akin to Cocoa Krispies).
It came together quickly and I was happy with the look of the ingredients – all pronounceable and easily recognizable! Happy to feed them to my daughter on the run (or for breakfast) and to be perfectly honest I’m having to put a mental block over their existence in my fridge – they’re so delicious! Because the batch makes 20, I wrapped ten individually in plastic and froze them. If you can’t find those healthy cocoa krispies you could use any puffed cereal. These clock in under 200 calories and will supply you with enough protein and fiber to get you through till the next meal.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bar
1 c. peanut butter
1 c. pitted dates, pureed or finely chopped
2/3 c. honey
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 c. old fashioned oats
1/2 c. ground flaxseed
1/2 c. shredded coconut (ideally unsweetened)
1/3 c. chocolate protein powder
1 c. dried cranberries or cherries
2 c. puffed chocolate rice cereal
1/3 c. bittersweet chocolate chips
1. In a small saucepan over medium low heat, cook peanut butter, dates, honey, and salt, whisking frequently, until smooth and melted.
2. In a second bowl, combine oats, flaxseed, coconut, protein powder, and dried cranberries. Add peanut butter mixture and stir to combine. Add chocolate cereal and stir to coat.
3. Spray a 9×13 baking dish lightly with nonstick spray and dump mixture inside. With dampened fingers or a spatula, press mixture flat into the pan and smooth.
4. Next, microwave chocolate chips in a small glass bowl, 30 seconds. Stir and microwave again for 15 seconds. Stir again and repeat if necessary.
5. Scrape melted chocolate into a small plastic sandwich bag and press into one corner of bag. Snip the corner and drizzle chocolate over bars in zigzag pattern.
6. Refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, at least 1 hour or until thoroughly chilled. Cut into 20 bars and store, refrigerated, in between sheets of waxed paper or foil. Bars may be frozen, wrapped individually in plastic wrap.