Cranberry-Orange & Chocolate Raw Protein Bars

I was really in the mood for that amazing combination of orange and chocolate, so as usual I head to the pantry to see what I can come up with to keep it as clean an natural as possible. I knew I had the necessary ingredients but before trying to reinvent the wheel and possibly wasting some pricey ingredients, I figured I’d take a peek on Pinterest to see if there was such an animal already in existence. Boom. I found just what I was looking for at scrummylane.  The ingredients are few and instructions easy enough.  I made just a few changes to the recipe, by adding in the protein powder, cranberries and chia seeds as well as converting the measurements. These bars taste absolutely amazing and are filled with natural glucose, protein and omega 3’s!

Have you ever had those Brach*s Royals caramel candies before? The tootsie roll sized ones with the brightly colored wrappers you find in the bulk candy section of your local grocer? I remember absolutely loving those as a kid, and because we did not get them very often, were a very special treat – I always picked the orange ones! Let me tell you, after tasting a bite from the first batch of these raw protein bars, those little candies popped right into my head! What an instant flashback to my childhood! Now I can eat these whilst enjoying the memories and know I’m making an excellent choice for my health!

Cranberry-Orange & Chocolate Raw Protein Bars
(the recipe below is doubled)

  • 2 C. Medjool dates – pitted
  • Juice and zest from 2 whole oranges in separate bowls
  • 1  1/2 C. raw cashews
  • 1. C. dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds
  • 2 scoops of protein powder of choice (I used vanilla Vega One)
  • 4 TBSP cocoa powder

Step 1. 

Pour half of the orange juice over the dates and set aside.

Step 2.
Put the cashews in the food processor with the other half of the orange juice and process until the mixture forms a ball.  It’ll take a few minutes and you should scrape down the bowl a few times to make sure it’s all incorporated well.  Once finished, turn that mixture in a bowl and set aside.

Step 3.
Put the date and orange juice mixture into the food processor along with the chia seeds, protein powder, orange zest and cocoa powder and process until incorporated.

Step 4.
Add in the cashew mixture and process until incorporated.

Step 5.
Add in the cranberries and pulse enough to incorporate yet still leave bits of fruit intact.

Step 6.
Turn mixture into a gallon sized storage ziplock bag. Lay flat on counter and press down until mixture fills the bag at all corners.  Be sure not to allow mixture to surpass the zipper. I gently used a rolling pin to get it even and flat.

Step 7.
Place the baggie mixture on a baking sheet and place in refrigerator or freezer to firm up. I accidentally left mine in the freezer overnight but they were still soft enough to cut in the morning. Once firm, remove from refrigerator or freezer, open zipper and carefully “peel down” or cut the top of the baggie away, flip over on a piece of parchment paper and cut into bars. I wrap each bar in a piece of parchment paper & store in tupperware or snack size baggies for an easy grab-and-go snack. Store in refrigerator.



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