Skip the store-bought kind and go for these from-scratch bars. They're easy to assemble and you can keep a big batch on hand for snacking on the go.
Cherry, Almond, and Oat Protein Bars
Gluten free, dairy free, vegan
1 package The Pure Pantry Whole Grain Oatmeal Spice Cookie Mix (gluten-free)
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, from 2 to 3 medium oranges
½ cup raw agave nectar, such as Nature’s Agave
1 Tbsp chia seeds whisked with 3 Tbsp hot water to make a gel
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 cup finely chopped raw almonds
¼ cup ground flax meal or ground almond meal
½ cup dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, blueberries, or raisins)
½ cup chocolate chips, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8-x-8-inch square baking pan.
2. Place cookie mix in large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Add orange juice, agave, chia gel, and oil and whisk until just combined. Stir in almonds, flax, dried fruit, and chocolate chips, if using.
3. Spread the batter evenly in the pan and bake until lightly browned, 30 minutes. Let cool, then invert onto a cutting board and cut into 12 bars.
Bars can be individually wrapped and stored in an airtight container for up to a week and/or frozen for up to three months.
Elizabeth Kaplan is the founder of The Pure Pantry, an allergen-free natural foods company that creates nutritious, great-tasting, and easy-to-use baking mixes. She is the author of Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen: Gluten-free & Allergy-free Recipes. When she was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2002, and subsequently her children were diagnosed with severe food allergies and gluten intolerance, she focused her passion for the culinary arts on gluten-free cuisine. Elizabeth teaches cooking classes that help others transition to a gluten-free lifestyle, lectures on topics related to gluten intolerance, and writes a lifestyle blog in which she shares recipes, nutrition tips, entertaining and travel ideas, and her first-hand knowledge about raising children with food allergies. Her husband and three children all enjoy being her official taste testers for the recipes and products she creates.