**These are also Gluten-free!
I eat protein bars on the daily basis, and sometimes I get bored with the ones I purchase at the store, so I decided to make my own! (Plus, these are not bars you would find in any store, as the combination of ingredients is a bit unique!)
These bars contain some key ingredients that could be used for pre or post workout, and the combination of the specific ingredients are excellent for combating any muscle fatigue or strain during a work out, as well as those who may suffer from arthritis. These are very high in protein, fiber, vitamins & minerals, and antioxidants. Even if you are not working out, these are a great snack on those days when you may not have time to eat, and need a quick "pick me up". They are chewy, have a great "crunch" from the bits of banana chips mixed in throughout, and thanks to the punch of cinnamon flavor, they really do taste like banana bread!
Here is a list of some the main ingredients and their individual benefits:
Honey is the key ingredient that binds everything together. Honey is considered "liquid gold", as it contains a powerhouse of medicinal and nutritional qualities. Including it's anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal benefits. Actually aids in combating allergies, illness, and asthma.
Oats obviously are excellent for their fiber content, cardiovascular health, lowering bad cholesterol, satisfying hunger, boosting immune system, controlling blood pressure, and much more!
Gogi Berries are an excellent energy booster, excellent for eye health, contains more protein than whole wheat, very high in antioxidants, great for boosting the immune system, high in Vitamin C, E, & A, and is called the "happy berry"- as it promotes a sense of optimism and well-being.
Banana chips although not as healthy as a fresh banana, still an excellent source of potassium, fiber, and iron.
Almonds are excellent for cardiovascular health and protection against Diabetes. Also aids in gall stone prevention, boosting energy, and more!
Cinnamon Bark essential oil has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying agents. This oil is excellent for digestive health, hypoglycemic, antidepressant, and great for boosting the immune system.
Copaiba essential oil is known to magnify the properties of any oil it is combined with. Out of all of the essential oils, it is potentially the highest anti-inflammatory substance known!! The physical benefits of this oil are truly too numerous to list here!
I've recently discovered the world of essential oils, and I'm loving every minute of it! I think most people would assume that essential oils are used strictly for massage, homeopathic uses, etc., but you'd be surprised just how incredibly beneficial many oils are for dietary purposes, and overall health!
If you are big into fitness, then you may already have most of these ingredients on hand, and if not, they should be pretty easy to find. If you don't happen to have the essential oils included in the ingredients, it's no problem at all! The Cinnamon Bark oil can easily be substituted for ground cinnamon, and the Copaiba can just be left out all together. Also, if Gogi berries are hard to find, (or too expensive), simply substitute with dried cranberries, cherries, or even blueberries. These are so good, and so easy to make, you may find yourself making these quite frequently!
Yield: 12 bars
Prep time: About 15-20min.
1 cup banana chips
3 cup of oats
3/4 cup almond meal
2 T. ground flax
2 t. chia seeds
1 scoop (1/3 cup) of protein powder ***I used "Vanilla Creme Muscle Milk"
1 cup of Gogi berries (dried)
1/2 cup of natural honey
3 drops of Cinnamon Bark EO (or, can sub. with 1 t.+ of ground cinnamon)
3-4 drops of Copaiba EO
1) Place the banana chips and oats in a food processor, and "pulse" until the mixture is fine in texture. (You don't want it completely pulverized- just broken down.) Remove from the processor, and place in a medium mixing bowl.
2) Add the rest of the dry ingredients to the bowl, and stir to combine. In a glass measuring cup, measure out the honey, and add the oils to it. Pour the honey over the dry ingredients, and using a spoon, stir until the mixture comes together. If it's too sticky, then you'll need to add some extra almond meal or flax to compensate.
3) In an 8x8 pan, simply cover the bottom with a long piece of plastic wrap- that will come out over the sides. Take the mixture, and place in the pan. Using another piece of plastic wrap to cover the top, press the mixture very firmly and evenly into the pan. (This will get the bar mixture to bond more tightly together, and make it easier to flip out, and cut.) Allow the bars to set for about 30min. in a cool/ dry place prior to cutting.
4) Using a clean surface or cutting board, remove the top layer of plastic wrap, and invert the pan onto the cutting board. Remove the bottom layer of plastic wrap, and cut the bars into 12 equal portions. Wrap individually in snack size ziploc bags, treat bags, or plastic wrap. If stored in a cool/ dry place, and wrapped well, they should last 2-4 weeks.
Note: For those taking prescription medications, (such as blood thinners), please consult your physician first before consuming Gogi berries.
These bars are not recommended for children under the age of 1 year, as honey can contain Botulism.
***For information on how to find the essential oils in this recipe, simply visit the "About/Contact" page, and fill out the form with your contact info. at the bottom of the page. Thank you!