I’m sharing another recipe with you today, as part of my not-too-sweet treats series. (You can find the full list of recipes here. The recipe series began as a response to my post, Why I’m Glad Natural Sweeteners are Expensive.)
This recipe is adapted from Katie Kimball’s Protein Bars, from the e-book Healthy Snacks to Go. I’ve made them a bunch of times, and everyone in the family loves them.
Katie says you can substitute any nut for the pecans, but I suspect the pecans contribute quite a bit of their natural sweetness to this tasty snack, which is why they need so little additional sweetener. Her recipe also includes 1/4 cup optional chocolate chips, but I don’t find them necessary. Your family might, if you’re used to sweeter treats.
Another bonus with this recipe is that it contains molasses, which is high in vitamin B6 (something my body tends to need), iron, potassium, and calcium. All important nutrients. It doesn’t taste very strong, though — the peanut butter seems to mask the flavour. You might want to start out with only two tablespoons and work your way up if you’re not fond of molasses. Personally, I find that after one taste of these bars, I start to crave more of the molasses flavour. Perhaps my body recognizes and appreciates the Vitamin B boost?
Pecan Peanut-Butter Protein Bars
- 2 cup pecans
- ½ cup walnuts
- 2 tsp cocoa powder
- ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2/3 cup natural creamy peanut butter
- 2-3 Tbsp blackstrap molasses (unsulphured)
- 2 Tbsp raw honey
- ¼ tsp vanilla
- Drizzle of maple syrup or honey, as needed
Preheat oven to 250.
Process nuts in a food processor until they become a coarse meal.
Pour nuts into a large bowl and mix in the remaining dry ingredients, followed by the peanut butter, molasses, honey, and vanilla.
Stir well, until it all sticks together. Add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup if it’s too dry.
Grease a glass 8-inch square pan. Pour in nut mixture and press flat (It may help to moisten your hands first, if it’s really sticky). Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until golden around the edges.
Allow to cool, and then cut into bars with a sharp knife.