Our son, Austin, is almost 2. His food preferences are changing from liking softer textured fruits and veggies to him preferring crunchier fruits and veggies and more protein, like raw nuts and meat. I tell you, just when a mom gets her food prep down to a pattern, it switches on her! I had grown accustom to preparing hard boiled eggs, a little salmon, fresh fruit and blanched veggies for Austin week in and week out. Now he’s asking for MORE food for his little growing body! And I can see he’s able to handle more complex flavors and textures. I am one excited foodie mama! Finally a full fledged toddler to “test” recipes out on. :)
To satiate Austin’s appetite between meals, I’ve started bringing protein bars with us. Today’s recipe came from the want to add variety in taste and texture to our normal routine. Plus, my mom always bought us those Quaker brand chewy chocolate chip granola bars when I was a kid. It was time to attempt a whole food version of those bars, sans HFCS or sugar, so my son could enjoy the same experience.
Our other usual go-to protein bar recipes that we carry around are the Nut & Seed Bars, Loaded Chocolate Protein Bars, Cocoa-Nut Bites, and Homemade Bumble Bars. He loves all of these, and has been enjoying these new healthy version of chewy chocolate chip granola bars!
- 4 cups organic rolled oats
- 1 cup raw nut butter or coconut butter
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 6 scoops vanilla protein powder
- 2 Tbsp fresh ground flax seed
- 1 cup filtered water
- 3/4 cup 73+% dark chocolate chips
- Cocoa powder
- Coconut flakes
- Dried fruit
- Freeze dried fruit
- Raw nuts/seeds
- Raw maple syrup or honey
- Stevia (to taste)
- 1. Line a 9" x 13" pan with unbleached parchment paper.
- 2. Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl of your stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix together on Medium speed until combined thoroughly.
- 3. Spread the mix into prepared dish, using a spatula to smooth out the surface. Lay another piece of unbleached parchment paper over top and press out any lumps. You can also press another 9" x 13" pan on top to create a perfectly flat top.
- 4. Freeze for 30 minutes. Cut into 12 large bars. Serve immediately or refrigerate the rest.
- You can also kneed together with your hands if you do not have a stand mixer.
- If using a stiff nut butter like coconut or almond, you may want to warm it slightly on the stove first. Not liquidy, just warmed.