Gluten Free Cranbery Almond Energy Bars // Food

I'm probably more excited to share this recipe with you than I have ever been before! The reasons are twofold. First of all, I love these bars, especially because they are homemade and good for you. They have a ton of protein and other good stuff, and maybe even a little chocolate. Secondly, I made the recipe up myself! I consulted some other recipes to get good ideas for proportions, but this is my own creation, made out of ingredients I love.

Since I've started running, I eat a lot more than I used to. I always have to have a midmorning snack, which is usually some kind of protein bar. These are good, but so many have a ton of added sugar, a lot of saturated fat, and many leave me hungry after an hour or two. I needed something healthier and more filling, without a bunch of sugar. Thus, this recipe was born.

The ONLY downside to these bars is that they aren't as sturdy as store bought bars, but as long as you're careful, it's not a big deal at all. Trust me, it's worth it.

Ok, last thing before the recipe - I joined Pinterest! You can find me here. Also, if you scroll to the bottom of my blog post, there's a Share button. Click on it - you can share my post on Facebook, and you can now pin it to any of your boards as well. Let me know what ideas you have - I'd love to try out any recipes you're curious about!

Without further ado, your protein bars...............

Gluten Free Cranberry Almond Energy Bars
Makes 12 bars

2 cups raw almonds (no salt added)
1 1/3 cups dried cranberries
3-4 Tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional...but really...)

1. Soak almonds in boiling water for 15 minutes. You could probably omit this step, but it helped everything stick together a little better.
2. Blend almonds in food processor for about 10 seconds. Add cranberries and peanut butter, and blend for about 15 more seconds, until chunky but combined.
3. Add the salt, vanilla, and chocolate chips and pulse 6-7 times, until everything comes together. At this point, I usually add a little water while I'm pulsing so it come together a little better, but it depends on your preference.
4. Line a 13x9 pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap so it hangs over the edges a little. Press the mixture with the back of a spoon into the pan, then freeze for about 45 minutes.
5. Remove from freezer and remove the bars from the pan, using the parchment paper or plastic wrap. Cut into bars and individually wrap with plastic wrap or foil. Store in freezer until ready to eat. Enjoy!

Maria Grace Photography

My name is Maria, and I am a wedding and family photographer based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, but I am always excited about traveling. I love families who truly enjoy spending time with each other and living life together. I love couples that are looking forward to their wedding day because they are so excited to finally be married to.