You guyyysssss! How many times have I said I failed at making bars?? If any of you actually read my pre-post nonsense…the answer is a lot lol. I tried doing whole-nuts like a “kind bar” without the syrup and corn puffs, but it ended up being granola instead…which was pretty awesome if I do say so myself. This time I just crushed the nuts up, and yay! A perfect protein packed, slightly sweet, yummy snack! I did NOT add protein powder to these, I wanted to, but I just didnt want to get into that yet. Especially since not everyone has Shakeology to put in it. However, I do have a really yummy Shakeology dessert coming, whether you have the product or not, only because they are really awesome…so keep your eyes open for that!
We have all heard the yes and no’s about nuts, right?! The thing is, you could find 100 articles about the benefits of a certain food, and right along with it are 100 articles bashing that same food. So, lets just go with the facts for now and see how that works out 🙂
I DO agree that nuts should not be eaten ALL the time. Even though most nuts are a good source of fat and protein, too much of anything can be harmful to your health, especially if you are trying to lose weight. So, if you make these bars, 1-2 bars is enough for the day. It is easy to exceed that, and its easy to snack on nuts all day long, but truth is, if you are trying to lose weight still enjoy them, but you don’t want to overload on them.
With that said, Almonds, and most nuts, are high in monounsaturated fats, which help lower LDL cholesterol and can even help prevent heart disease. They are also packed with vitamin E, potassium and Magnesium. They also have biotin, which help us have healthy hair, nails and skin! Just 1/4 cup of almonds has 5 grams of protein!
Pecans are probably the most fattening nut…but healthy fats of course. Nuts are right up there with olive oil and avocados. They are high in fiber, copper, manganese, iron and protein. They are best known to help heart heath just like almonds, and the fiber helps the digestive system. Since pecans are high in magnesium, they are also known to work as an anti-inflammatory. Only 1/4 cup of pecans has 2.5 grams of protein!
Sunflower Seeds have a ton of benefits I didn’t even know about until recently. First, they are high in selenium, which works in repairing blood cell damage and has been known as a cancer fighter. They also contain magnesium, copper, vitamin E and antioxidants, providing many of the same benefits as almonds and pecans! There are also over 7 grams of protein in just 1/4 cup!
If you are looking to pack a little more protein in your diet, and get your sweet treat in as well, give these yummy protein squares a shot! Remember to hashtag #FoodIMakeMySoldier on Instagram or tag me @FoodIMakeMySoldier on Instagram and Facebook if you make one of my recipes! I love to see your creations!
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut
- 1/2 cup almond butter (you can use homemade or store bought if you prefer)
- dash of himalayan pink salt
- 2 Tbsp raw honey
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 3 oz of 70% or higher dark chocolate
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp to 1/2 tbsp raw honey (depends on how sweet you want your chocolate, and what the chocolate percentage is but I used 1 tsp)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line a square baking dish with parchment paper.
- In your food processor, add in the almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds and coconut. Make sure the nuts are raw...not roasted and not salted.
- Run the mixture in your food processor for about 1 minute until everything is ground, then add in the almond butter, coconut oil, salt and honey, and run on high until everything is combined and starts to come together.
- After you line your baking dish with the parchment paper, spoon the mixture into the dish. Press down with your hands so the mixture is packed and wont crumble apart.
- Place in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the edges start to turn golden brown.
- Fill a small pot with 1 cup of water, and place a glass bowl over the pot to create a double boiler. Place your chocolate, coconut oil and honey in the glass bowl, and stir together until melted.
- Remove the bars from the oven, and pour your melted chocolate on top.
- Place the bars in the freezer to cool, about 30 minutes. You want the chocolate to be solid on top, not melted.
- Once cooled, remove the bars from the pan, they come out easily since you lined with the parchment, and slice into squares.
- Store in a Tupperware container in the fridge!
- I used an 8x8 square cake pan, and it made 25 small squares!
- Nutrition Facts per square:Calories 154, Fat 14, Carbs 7, Fiber 2, (Net Carbs: 5), Protein 4