Around here, snacks are in high demand, and often in short supply. I pretty much never buy packaged crackers, cookies, bars, etc., because even the stuff at Whole Foods is full of sugar, refined flour and excess salt. We make what we eat, for the most part, which brings us back to square one: Aside from fruit and nuts, there are rarely formalized “snacks” in the house. Oops.
Yesterday, I set out on a mission to make a good nibble–something with protein to get me from 4 o’clock growl to 7 o’clock dinner. I got inspiration from the granola portion of this Cooking Light recipe for a breakfast parfait. After tinkering a bit, I adapted the basics to become a chewy square, not entirely unlike that Quaker Oatmeal to Go business, or a Cliff Bar.
BUT our squares are high in protein and low in sugar. They pack healthy fats and whole grains. I ran the numbers, and if you cut the pan into 9 portions, you can expect 210 calories, 9 grams of good fat and 10 grams of protein. Take that, Cliff Bar!
Chewy Protein Squares
1/2 cup buckwheat
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup vanilla rice protein powder
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1/4 unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup salted pepita seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons almond butter
3 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients. (buckwheat through salt)
In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients. (almond butter through vanilla)
Add the dry ingredient to the wet and stir well, until a thick batter forms.
Cover an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper. Add the batter and work it around to evenly cover the base of the pan. Push down hard! You don’t want your squares to fall apart.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
Lift the parchment paper (and hence the bars) out of the pan. Allow them cool, then cut into 9 bars. Store in the fridge.