Monday, January 21, 2013

Paleo ER Bars

Paleos don't snack, right? Not really. And that's exactly why these aren't snack bars. These are paleo ER bars. Why? For those moments when you're starting to drag and the mental energy is draining and there are simply no paleo/primal-approved options around. Or you're on the run, and you know that a quick bite will really tide you over until a better meal comes along. Sure, there's always IF (intermittent fasting, for those who are just getting started). But IF isn't always for everyone nor is it always for every time. Sometimes you just have to have something on standby. And usually for me, it's got to be something that's going to prevent me from making a bad decision.

Enter the Paleo ER Bars! A little bit of fruit for a touch of sweetness and energy and then add a whole lot of protein and some fat to keep you going and safely tide you over until later. Pretty simple to make and just keep on hand in the freezer.

Paleo ER Bars*
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 cup almond butter (bring to room temp if you store in the fridge)
4.5 oz prunes, chopped (feel free to sub other dried fruits here)
½ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
10 oz. roasted, unsalted almonds, roughly chopped (larger for more chunk factor)
4 tbsp coconut flour
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp honey, optional
Handful dark chocolate chips, optional
coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt 1-2 tbsp coconut oil and use to grease two 8x11" pans. In a large bowl, mix banana, eggs, 1 tbsp melted coconut oil, and almond butter (microwave briefly to soften if needed for better spreading and mixing). Add prunes, coconut flakes, almonds, flour, and salt (add honey here if using). Mix well to combine. If using chocolate chips, toss these in now and mix thoroughly or spread half the mixture into the first pan about 1 in. thick and mix a small handful of chocolate chips into the second pan batch only. Bake for about 15 min. The bars should rise slightly and will very lightly turn golden. The top will feel lightly crispy to touch. Let cool a few minutes. Loosen edges if necessary and cut bars into desired size and let finish cooling to room temp. Flip pan carefully to remove. I packaged mine by wrapping in wax paper like a candy bar and placing in a snack-sized baggy. Store in freezer. Pull out the day of to pack for ER situations and eat when needed (they defrost pretty quickly) or even enjoy frozen!

*Please ignore my fancy paper plate in the photo! I was in the middle of doing dishes. lol.