Epic Gluten Free Protein Bars

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Epic Gluten Free Protein Bars Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Durigon

Let’s talk chocolate bars.  I know, not a good way to start a healthy looking post, is it?  But who doesn’t like chocolate bars?  Well, chocolate bars are pretty much what you’re getting when you eat a harmless-looking, commercially made granola bar.  Usually (but not always), there is a ridiculous amount of sugar and lots of crazy, unpronounceable ingredients. So, give these a try. It’s kinda like making Rice Crispie squares…but a whole lot healthier! Note:  After I make these, I usually wrap them in plastic wrap and leave them in a basket on the counter for everyone to grab.  You could also just keep them in a covered container or you could  freeze them and grab them from the freezer as you leave for school or work!
1/2 c sunflower seeds *
1/4 c sesame seeds *
1/2 c pumpkin seeds *
1/2 c flax seeds  (if they are whole, grind in a coffee grinder to break the husk and get all the goodness out of the seeds)
1/2 c wheat germ (for gluten free, use quinoa flakes) *
1/2 c chocolate chips (or sub in same amount chopped dates or other dried fruit)
1/2 c grated coconut (optional)
1 c rolled oats
7 cups cereal (use healthy stuff…I usually use whole grain Rice Crispies, but today I used Vector)
1 1/2 c honey (or agave nectar)
2 c natural peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1 c skim milk powder or soya powder for vegan (in increase the protein)
1/2 c protein powder (Biosteel is my favourite!)
1 tsp vanilla
* make sure you have just over 2 cups of seeds so you can mix these up to suit your preference or use up what you have in your kitchen!

1.  In a large bowl, mix the seeds, chocolate chips coconut (if using), oats and cereal (first nine ingredients); mix together and set aside.
2. In another bowl, combine honey, peanut butter, skim milk powder and protein powder. Mix together with a spatula and microwave for about 1 minute to warm the wet ingredients and make mixture easier to stir.
3. Mix warmed mixture again until all the powder is incorporated.
4. Dump the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well (the easiest way to get it all combined is to use your hands and really combine until there are no dry pieces…this will take a few minutes).
5. Line a baking sheet with parchment and press the mixture into the sheet. Press the mixture firmly with the back of a spatula or flat utensil (use the pressure from the palm of your hand to really compact the mixture); then cut into “granola-shaped pieces” (I usually get 12×3 out of the pan).
Then you can wrap them individually and put them in your pantry.
People will thank you for a “good-for-you” alternative to chocolate chip cookies!!