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Nuts & Dates Protein Bars

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Well first off, I have to tell you these bars are absolutely "to die for" and you have to make some asap - and they follow Dr. Paul's Healthy Eating recommendations!!  Although there are some good quality protein bars out there, like our Protein Fusion Bars by Metagenics, none can compare with this homemade recipe.   It has no hydrogenated oils, soy, corn, corn syrup, wheat, petrochemicals, or artificial sweeteners.  These Protein Bars are different - just a few simple ingredients such as - dried fruit, nuts and whey isolate protein powder.

Being high in protein, these bars will carry you through your afternoon slump at snack time (we like ours with a cup of herbal tulsi tea) without any hunger pangs before you get home and have your supper.  They are VERY healthy, rich in good fats and proteins.  They fit the Paleo Diet - and are sooooooo easy to make - no cooking.  You do however require a food processor or a really good blender.

I would recommend that you use only pure organic ingredients, as traditional grocery stores usually carry dried fruit that is treated with sulfites and nuts that are usually roasted and/or salted/oiled.  You can purchase your supplies from The Big Carrot or your local health food store in their bulk section.    

These Protein Bars are perfect to take with you wherever you go.  They are a dense high energy no-cook food suitable for backpacking, camping, at the gym, to school or work - everywhere.  Make a batch on the weekend and you and your family are ready to go for the week since the recipe makes 16 squares.  

Nuts & Dates Protein Bars can be made with infinite variations - so feel free to experiment and find your favorite combination from the list below.

Recipe:

1 cup pitted Medjool dates
1 - 1 ½ cups raw unsalted nuts or seeds (I used 1 cup raw almonds & ½ cup raw walnuts)
½ cup to 1 cup protein powder (either a good whey product or No-Soy vegetable protein - see note below) {I used 1 cup of unsweetened natural whey protein isolate powder as I prefer my bars to be less sweet - to get as much protein per serving as possible}

Optional:

1/2 cup dried unsweetened apples, blueberries, or cherries, or 1/4 cup unsweetened cranberries (I like to use ½ cup blueberries and ½ cherries - sometimes with ¼ cup unsweetened cranberries)
1/4 cup unsweetened raw cocoa nibs, (if you are a total chocoholic you can use dark organic cocoa powder as well)
1/2 tsp or to taste or Himalayan Pink Salt (I like them without any added salt)
1/2 - 1 tsp or to taste - cinnamon, ginger, fennel seeds, or other spices (I have not experimented with any of these spices yet)

To Make:

Process all ingredients together in food processor.  If needed, add water 1 tsp at a time while processing to get it just moist enough to hold together when pressed (I use 4 tsp distilled water).  Either roll into balls, press into bars (I use an 8 X 8 pan and cut into bars) or loaf, or to make them of uniform size, press into lever release ice cream scoop, melon or meatballer. Dust with protein powder or roll in dried unsulfured coconut if desired.

One bar of this mix is a filling snack or a meal for light appetite. Two is a meal for a hearty appetite.

Notes:

For nuts/seeds - Raw walnuts are the first choice for these bars because of their high omega 3 content.  You can also use raw almonds, raw hulled pumpkin seeds or raw sunflower seeds. Dr. Paul does not recommend using raw or roasted peanuts as they are legumes and are not as healthy.

For protein powder, use either a good whey protein powder like Quantum Nutrition Probiotics Natural Unsweetened Whey Protein (available for sale here) - their Swiss Chocolate and French Vanilla are also fine but will make your bars slightly sweeter with the small amount of stevia it has, but not enough to sweeten it too much.  Protein content can be adjusted from medium content (1/2 cup) to high content (1 cup).  Using more will require a couple extra teaspoons of water in the mix.

Amount of water needed varies widely depending on the content you chose for your bars.  Add it a bit at a time until you get the right consistency that will stick together when you pinch it between your fingers.  Freshly squeezed lemon juice can be used instead of - or mixed with - water to make lemon flavored bars.

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