These raw brownie protein bars are good in every sense of the word. They’re plant based with no heavily processed ingredients, are able to be made completely waste free and are really damn tasty. We’ve been making a batch once a week for such a long time now that I can’t imagine life without them. Burton needs to eat nearly 4000 calories a day and that’s not easy to do when you have such high standards for your food and use almost no finished products when cooking, everything built from the ground up, so having these always available is life changing..not to sound dramatic but seriously…
Compared to the brownie flavored Cliff bars, these raw brownie protein bars contain 4 more grams of protein and 3 times less sugar (these are sweetened with just dates, whereas cliff bars contain dates and 4 other different types of refined sugars, in fact their main ingredient isn’t even oats.. it’s a syrup). These also cost 25 cents per bar instead of $1-2.
For obvious reasons, when getting sticky things (like dates) from bulk bins I definitely suggest using a container vs mesh bag. I weighed my containers, empty with the lids on, on my kitchen scale and wrote the weights on the bottom in permanent marker so that the cashier knows how much to tare. Every grocery store is different, the three surrounding me all use different units of measurements, so be sure to write down ounces, grams and pounds so you don’t have to do quick conversions in your head while in the checkout line. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, you can easily find the weight of your containers online (like here is the weights for all sizes of the most popular storage containers I know of).
The only thing used here that isn’t generally found in bulk is the vanilla extract, but luckily it’s ridiculously easy to make. Go to the bulk spice area of your grocery store, buy a few vanilla bean pods, cover with booze, let it sit for a month. You can even top them off with more booze to get a second batch when you’re done. It doesn’t get much better than two batches of higher quality vanilla than you can find in stores and no disposable plastic bottle for only 10 seconds of your time.
Ah, cocoa. There aren’t many things that are better for you than cocoa, nor are there many things more well loved. It contains tons of antioxidants (even more than green tea) that help protect your cells from damage as well as strengthen the heart, regulate blood sugar levels, provide relief from asthma, speeds up the healing of wounds, lower cholesterol and overall great for your circulatory system. Cocoa is used everywhere in my life, from baked goods, to chili, from face masks to the garden. Whenever I read about cocoa, I see the word ‘miracle’ thrown around a lot and, while usually implying that something is the work of a divine agency grinds my gears, when referring to cocoa it’s perfectly fitting.
Raw Brownie Protein Bars
2.5 cups oats
1/2 cup high quality cocoa powder
1 cup dates, pitted (I use deglet but medjool would work well too)
1.5 cup walnuts or almonds (raw)
1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
2-3 tbsp tahini (can sub with coconut oil)
2 tsp vanilla extract
~1/2 cup liquid (I’ve used water, almond milk or coffee)
1 tsp salt
optional toppings – shredded coconut, hemp seeds or chopped nuts
In a food processor, finely grind the oats. Add the cocoa powder, pulse until mixed. Add the dates then blend until well chopped. Add the nuts, coconut shreds and coconut oil, vanilla extract and salt. Processor until well combined. While pulsing, slowly add liquid until the mixture clumps together. In a baking sheet lined with wax paper (I’ve been able to reuse the same piece 15+ times now for this recipe, so don’t throw it away!), firmly press the mixture into a 1.5″ tall block, making sure it’s even. Add the optional toppings then refrigerate for a ~2 hours, then lift from the corners of the wax paper and cut into 20 equal sized squares. Stays good about 1 week in the fridge and freeze/thaw well if needed.