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"Extra Mile" Protein Bars

When I set out to come up with a recipe for protein bars, I wanted something that wasn't too sweet and had lots of "stuff" in them to satisfy a sudden hunger attack. These chewy bars are also convenient to carry with you hunting, hiking or for that snack you crack into as you pull out of the driveway on a road trip! My husband came up with the "Extra Mile" name but to tell you the truth, I would be happy if I could even tackle the first mile...maybe these bars will give me bionic energy...or they might just fill the hunger gap!

This is the "stuff" you will need to make these bionic protein bars.

I add kasha (toasted buckwheat, which I find at the Bulk Barn),

millet...a grain that you may recognize as a main ingredient in bird seed but it is a good source of magnesium (also found at the Bulk the human food section lol! ) I grind these two grains in a makes these bars much more palatable and don't resemble a suet cake that you would stick in a backyard feeder...grind about a 1/4 cup of each grain together and keep any leftover in a small bag for another batch of bars.

In a large bowl, add 1 cup of quick oats,

1 1/2 cups of Rice Krispies or brown rice cereal,

a 1/4 cup of your ground millet and buckwheat mixture,

1/4 cup of flax seeds,

1/2 cup of chopped, dry roasted (unsalted) almonds...

1/3 cup of chopped dark chocolate...I used semi-sweet chocolate chips because that's what I had on hand but dark chocolate would be healthier...and you're thinking that since my previous post was for iced mochas loaded with cream, what would I know about healthy eating?!...lots, I lead a very balanced life...I counteract my mochas with protein bars and think about excercising!

Toss all of these ingredients together and set aside...

Next, chop 1 cup of dates,

and toss them into a saucepan with 1/3 cup of water...

...and simmer on medium heat until the dates have softened and absorbed most of the will need to mash the dates a bit with your spatula.

Turn the heat down to low and add about 1/4 cup of liquid honey,

...and 1/3 cup of all natural peanut butter ( you may need to stir the oil into the peanut butter if it has separated in the jar).

Stir mixture together until fairly will be quite thick.

Remove from heat and scrape peanut butter/date mixture into your dry ingredients.

Keep stirring until all is completely may need to use your hands for this step but a spatula or wooden spoon should do the trick!

Next, line an 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper, using a slightly bigger piece to allow the paper to hang over sides of pan (you will use the overhang as handles to pull the bars out of the pan when you are ready to cut them)....then, pour the mixture into your prepared pan, pressing evenly into all corners with your fingers.

Cover the top with plastic wrap and set aside until set and ready to cut into bars....about an hour should do it!

Remove from pan (using your parchment paper "handles") and cut into bars.

Store in an airtight container...these are also great as a "fly out the door, late for work" quick bite with your morning coffee!

Extra Mile Protein Bars

1 cup quick oats

1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies

1/4 cup of ground grains (kasha/millet)

1/4 cup flax seeds

1/2 cup chopped, dry roasted almonds (unsalted)

1/3 cup chopped, dark chocolate

1 cup chopped dates

1/3 cup water

1/4 honey

1/3 cup all natural peanut butter

In a large bowl combine the first 7 ingredients and set aside. Chop the dates and add to the 1/3 cup water in a saucepan...cook on medium heat until dates have softened and most of the water has been absorbed. Turn the heat down to low and add the honey and peanut butter..stir until fairly smooth. Remove from heat and pour into the dry ingredients...Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until fully combined. Turn out into an 8x8 inch, parchment paper lined baking pan and spread out evenly to all corners. Cover with plastic wrap until set and ready to cut (this should take about an hour)...cut into bars and store in an airtight container.

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