No Added Sweeteners. Lots of nuts. And No-Bake! The perfect on-the-go snack!
Today is a day that is forever in my memory. A day that always stops me in my tracks when I realize the date. July 13th. My sweet grandma’s birthday.
She may not be here still. But memories of her constantly cross my mind on an almost-daily basis. In almost everything I do, I think about her. What she’d think of my accomplishments. What funny thing she’d have to say. And more than anything, her laugh.
Growing up, my brother and I spent a lot of time at my grandma’s house. She loved having us over to spend the night. Her generosity will forever be unmatched, even when it came to us spending the night. She wanted nothing more than to please her grandkids and her many many friends.
So after my mom would drop us off at grandma’s house, we’d get in her Oldsmobile (which later became my first car when I went off to college), and head to the grocery store. And this is where things got interesting.
We basically had free reign of the grocery store. Anything we wanted. All the sugar a kid could imagine. Dinner was always whatever frozen entrée we each wanted. My grandma was a great cook, but for some reason, when we stayed the night, she just wanted to please us both, so we chose what we wanted. I always chose a Stouffer’s lasagna and my brother picked Red Baron pizzas.
And that was just dinner. Let’s talk snacks. Fruit snacks. Cookies. A dozen donuts for just two kids in the morning? Ice cream bars and Drumsticks. My goodness, we went crazy! And don’t forget the ever-stocked grocery bag in the pantry back at her apartment that was always full of peanut butter cups, smarties or sweet-tates, rolos, kit kats, and probably so many more that I can’t remember.
Point is, all she wanted was to make her grandkids happy, and well, my brother and I had a sweet-tooth to say the least. Thankfully, the hours of jumping on her bed, running around outside catching fireflies, and playing catch evened out all the junk we ate on those weekends.
I am so very fortunate to have the memories of my grandma. She is the grandma I hope to be when the time comes. Not because of all the junk she fed us. But because of the lesson in generosity and selflessness she gave me. I will probably be feeding my grandkids homemade protein bars that will be equally delicious. Everything I make homemade for them will come from the heart just like her sugar-spoiling did.
One thing my grandma loved almost as much as spoiling her grandkids was rain. Rain hitting her cute little patio. Almost every July 13th since she’s passed 6 years ago, it has at least sprinkled a little bit. But unfortunately, I see nothing but blue skies in Utah’s forecast. So please, if it is rainy in your part of the world today, I’d love to know.
[Tweet “Nuts. Natural Sweeteners. No-Bake. All in one protein-packed bar!”]
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup peanuts, , lightly salted
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 5 dates + 5 dates, , pitted, separated
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the sides to be able to pull bars out. Set aside.
- In a blender, pulse together oats, raisins, peanuts, ground flax, protein powder, sunflower seeds, and 5 dates. Pulse only until dates have broken up into pieces, not to the point of making a paste or dough at this point. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, heat almond butter, agave, and 5 dates on low heat. Stir until the agave and almond butter has melted. The dates will stay whole, but they will be softened. Remove from heat.
- Pour the agave, almond butter, and dates into the blender or food processor with the dry mixture. Pulse ingredients together until they all come together in a dough-like substance. Pour "dough" into the prepared pan and press down very firmly and evenly into the bottom.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before cutting into.
- Remove from refrigerator and cut into 16 evenly-sized bars. Store in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a picture, upload it to Instagram and tag me (@happyfoodholly) and use the hashtag #inspiredbyholly
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