You guys are probably thinking I’m obsessed with cookie dough at this point but……….wait, who are we kidding, I totally am!
Yes, give me a planet where berries are abundant, the rivers are chocolate, and cookie dough grows on trees and I’d be all set. Anybody wanna move there with me? Oh, wait I forgot peanut butter! Yes, peanut butter’s gotta be included in there somewhere.
So, it’s getting very close to marking a year since I came back to the States from Chile and it’s really hard to believe. This year has been so full of good, a little bad, and mostly unexpected things. One of the things I’ve been asked so many times is how living there was different from living here in the States.
I’ve yet to come up with the perfect condensed answer, but a small little thing is that the variety of ingredients for cooking and baking is pretty drastic. Also, I feel like I’ve been spoiled to so many options of grab-and-go options by growing up where we’ve always had so many.
Protein bars, for example, are something that I rarely (if ever) saw down in Patagonia and I’m really into having them sometimes. Depending on your familiarity with fitness and nutrition, you may not think too much about getting in enough protein, but if you then you’ve probably heard recommendations to be getting enough.
Hey, but even if you couldn’t care less about any of that, this is health-ified cookie dough we’re talking about and who could resist that?????
What I love about this recipe is that it’s pretty adaptable and it’s so simple. The oat flour can even be made by blending up some oat before starting on the rest, and if you like things extra sweet fell free to add in a little maple syrup or agave. I actually enjoy these as they are and the dates give them so much natural sweetness. As for the protein powder, if you prefer to use whey or another type those can easily be substituted and the bars should still be delicious!
These healthy homemade protein bars are here to make all your cookie dough dreams come true. They're quick, easy, gluten free, and vegan too!
- 1/2 cup (about 12) pitted dates
- 4 scoops (112g) vanilla protein powder (plant-based if needed)
- 1/4 cup (64g) almond butter
- 2/3 cup (100g) oat flour
- 5 tablespoons almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet dark chocolate chips or chunks (dairy-free if needed)
- Grease an 8x8 inch pan or line it with parchment paper. Add the protein powder and dates to a blender or food processor and pulse until the dates are mostly ground. Add the almond butter, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, oat flour, and almond milk and pulse until completely combined.
- Use a spatula to fold in the chocolate, then press the mixture into the pan.
- Let cool in fridge for at least 25 minutes and then cut into bars or squares.