How To Make Protein Energy Bars

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Last January I received a 1 kg packaged of Medjool Dates from Tante Dian – she did her Islamic pilgrimage in Mecca and brought me some dates that she mailed me through Tante Wina. I like dates, considering its nutritional values and sweetness… But 1 kg?? What I supposed to do with that? Since I usually only use it as a topping in my cereals, it would take months to eat the whole package. For roughly two months I’ve abandoned the dates. As it’s get harder as the days goes by, I know that I need to do something with that, or maybe I should just give it to Masjid for Juma’ah prayer. But I keep the dates instead.

Last week, during my playdate with Ana, as usual our topics of conversation is about green and sustainable lifestyle *uhuk*,  she’s reallllyyy into that. And she told me that she likes to make her own energy bars or balls from dates and chickpeas with some seeds, grains and nuts. I’ve heard about that kind of thing, but never actually made it. Later that day, I look up online for some inspirations – there are a lot of varieties that we can make try like in this and this site.  Then I just realized that I have all the things that I need to make the jam-packed protein energy bars/ balls…! I have coconut oil, peanut butter, flax seeds, chia seeds, almonds, and dates. I sneak some chocolate chips too, just to make it more “fun” to eat…! Hehe.

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As a breastfeeding mom and mom of two, I always in a need of healthy and fulfilling snacks – and this is one of it. It’s homemade, rich in fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, and protein…! Not to tell you HOW EASY it is to make one.  The essential equipment to make this is: food processor. That’s it. No oven needed, as it’s a no-bake recipe. After you crush and mix the ingredients, just transfer it to a ziplock bag or food container, and put in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight. After that you can cut it (if it a bars), or make it into balls. These will stay long if you put in the freezer, and it won’t take much time to thaw it. More details of the recipes in below.

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This is the recipes – and this is very versatile, please feel free to adjust it for your own satisfaction🙂 I grab the recipe from here and modified it myself:

How to Make Choco Peanut Dates Energy Bars at Home

Makes 8 large bars or 16 small square-shaped bars

What You Need

Ingredients
1/4 cup nuts (I use Almonds) + 2T chia seeds or 2 T flax seeds + 1/3 cup peanut butter or  coconut oil + 1 cup (12-15 whole) dates, pitted + 1/3 c semi sweet chocolate chip

Equipment
Food processor + Plastic wrap or wax paper + Sharp knife

Instructions

  1. Roast the nuts (optional). Nuts can be used raw or roasted; roasting will add a toasty, nutty depth to the bars. If desired, roast the nuts at 350°F for 10-12 minutes, until fragrant and golden. Allow to cool before using.
  2. Combine the nuts, seeds, and dates in a food processor. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse a few times just to break them up. Separate the dates if they start to clump together.
  3. Process continuously for 30 seconds. By this point, the ingredients should all have broken down into crumb-sized pieces. Scrape the edges of the bowl and beneath the blade to make sure nothing is sticking.
  4. Process continuously until a ball is formed, 1-2 minutes. Continue processing for another 1-2 minutes, until the ingredients clump together and gather into a ball.
  5. Press into a thick square and chill. Lay a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper on your work surface and dump the power bar dough on top. Press the dough with your hands until it forms a thick square, roughly 8″ x 8″ in size. Wrap and chill for at least an hour or overnight. Or to cut the time, just freeze it for at least 30 minutes/ gets a little bit hard and easy to be chopped.
  6. Divide into bars. Unwrap the chilled power bar dough and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 8 large bars or 16 small squares, as desired. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap or wax paper.
  7. Store the bars. Store the bars in the fridge for several weeks or in the freezer for up to three months. The bars can be eaten straight from the fridge or freezer and will be firm, but chewy. Room-temperature bars are perfectly fine to eat and can be kept in a lunch bag or backpack all day, but will be more soft and paste-like

If you choose to make balls instead bars (which I prefer), no need to do step no.5 – after everything combined, you just formed some balls from the ‘dough’.

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Enjoy…!

 

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