I like having healthy bars on hand for those days when lunch happens late, or I need a quick breakfast option. Or on days like today when all I wanted to do was snack. But I am trying to cut down on packaging where I can, and packaging for individual serving sizes always makes me feel wasteful.
So to avoid unnecessary packaging and to get a healthier product for less money, I have experimented a lot over the last couple of years with bars. I have made a few faux larabars and granola bars, but I wanted to make a bar that was higher protein and lower added sugar. I made these for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and I think that variations of these are going to be around our apartment a lot.
As you see, Vienna has given them her approval, and I will be sharing a recipe for a cookie dough ice cream that uses this in the place of the cookie dough soon. So make these now so you are ready!
Cashew Protein Bar
Prep Time: 24 hours (including soaking and roasting time for the cashews)
Servings: 20 bars
2-1/2 cups cashews
1-1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup coconut oil
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
6-8 deglet dates or 3-4 medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup grassfed gelatin or collagen (optional)
If you are soaking your cashews, soak them in water the night before you plan to make this recipe.
After 12-18 hours, drain the water from the cashews, and pat dry the cashews with a towel. Place them on a baking sheet and put them into an oven at 325 degrees for 30-45 minutes, stirring and checking on them every ten minutes. When they are completely dry and a little toasted, take them out of the oven.
Place them into the food processor with the shredded coconut and coconut oil. Let the food processor run for 5 minutes, turning the cashews and coconut into a nut butter-like texture. Add the cinnamon, gelatin, and the pitted dates at this time.
When it is done, you should be able to press the mixture together into a ball.
Cover a pan with parchment paper and press the mixture onto the parchment paper about a 1/2-inch thick as a rectangle or square (the more uniform the shape, the more uniform the bars).
Place into the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Take from the refrigerator and cut into 20-ish squares.
Store in a container in the refrigerator. They have not survived more than 4 or 5 days around here, but I assume they should last for a couple of weeks in your fridge.
Note: These are great on their own as a quick snack or breakfast on the go, or I have even cut them into 1/4-inch squares and eaten them with mixed fresh fruit and covered with raw milk in the mornings.