Peanut Butter Protein Bars

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It’s peanut butter jelly time, peanut butter jelly time! Peanut butta, jellllay! I don’t know why this song comes into my head whenever I think about peanut butter (which is more often than you might want to know..hehe), but it is pretty catchy. I only have one question, what the heck is peanut butter jelly with a baseball bat? I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, but if you need a little refresher, watch the video again. Try not to get the song stuck in your head!

This comes from the era of other great web videos like this one. Watch out for that snake! Remember when such simple things like these were the joys of the internet? I remember waiting for my computer to dial up to the internet so I could watch this gem of a video in 1999. And then my mom would pick up the phone to make a call, and the internet would disconnect. Those were the days! Remember when you had to monitor your internet minutes to not go over the limit? And waiting an hour for one song to download on Napster? These are the stories I will tell my children one day…hahaha.

IMG_0694Anyways, if you know me or not, you must know that I am addicted to peanut butter. In the past I have been capable of eating a 1kg jar of peanut butter in one week. This habit got so out of control that I had to cut back. I will eat peanut butter with almost anything.

I think it all started when I was younger and I would whine to my mom about wanting dessert, and she would give me a spoon of peanut butter.

One time in my first year of university, I accidentally left the lid off my jar of peanut butter while I went to class, and when I came back, the whole room smelled like peanut butter! I don’t know if my roommate remembers this, but she was kind of disgusted. Hehehe…sorrrrry!

This recipe comes from one of my favourite blogs, Peanut Butter Fingers. I always like to find recipes for ‘healthy’ treats that I can pass off as dessert, but not feel like I’ve overindulged.  These also work as a great post or pre workout snack! A little protein to fuel you up! Even better is that this is no bake!IMG_0688 These are SO delicious. I had one for a snack at work, and all I could think about the rest of the day was coming home to have another one. Even my non peanut butter loving, dessert hater boyfriend thought these were amazing. Trust me, they are AMAZING! and HEALTHY!

I love the combo of peanut butter and dried cranberries. It’s like peanut butter and jelly! I get my dried cranberries from a natural food shop in Ottawa, and they are sweetened with applesauce, which means no sugar added, which I love!

This recipe can be adapted with as many add ins as you like! You could add raisins, other dried fruits, chocolate chips, nuts…the possibilities are endless.

I added chia seeds for an extra healthy punch. Have you heard of chia seeds? They are a great superfood packed with lots of health benefits! I get mine at the bulk barn. The original recipe also included brown sugar which I cut out. The honey made it sweet enough in my opinion! I used 1 cup of natural peanut butter, and 1/2 cup of crunchy regular peanut butter, but you can easily substitute all regular pb.

They are really delicious, and the peanut butter-honey combo reminds me of the peanut butter and honey sandwiches I used to eat when I was younger!

IMG_0697Peanut Butter Protein Bars

Adapted from Peanut Butter Fingers

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 5 cups bran flakes
  • 1/3 cup ground flaxseeds
  • 1 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Melt honey and peanut butter in microwave until smooth and slightly runny ( Since my natural peanut butter was really runny, I only microwaved for 30 seconds, but you just want the peanut butter mixture to be thin enough to be able to incorporate with and coat the bran flakes. Add cinnamon and stir until dissolved.

Stir into bran flakes, flaxseed, chia seeds and dried cranberries.

Press into an 8×8 pan, lined with tinfoil overlapping the ends. Refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight before cutting into squares. The overlaying tinfoil makes it really simple to lift  the whole thing out of the pan to slice!

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