Guess what time it is??? It’s snack time! As a self-professed snack-oholic, I love to try lots of different kinds of snacks. I stumbled across the Evolve Almond Cherry Protein Bars at my local grocery store and decided to give it a try. I was actually really impressed with how good these protein bars tasted. The texture was soft and chewy, and the flavor was lightly sweet and nutty. The dried cherries really brought this protein bar to the next level…and I don’t even like dried cherries! That’s when you know it’s good! The combination of the crunchy almond and the chewy cherries really got me hooked. I had to make a version of this protein bar at home.
The great thing about making protein bars at home is that you can control the quality and number of ingredients that you add. Often times, protein bars that you can buy in stores contain lots of hidden sugar, salt, dyes or other artificial ingredients. I really like to play with the flavors of homemade protein bars too! It’s the perfect opportunity to make a personalized flavor combo that you love!
To make these protein bars at home, you only need 4 ingredients: dates, almond, cherries and protein powder. For healthy sweet treats like these, I like to use pitted Medjool dates. They are much larger and softer than other kinds of dates which makes them easier to blend. If your dates are firmer, feel free to soak them in warm water for about 10 mins then drain before blending. Dates are high in fiber and diets high in fiber have been shown to lower bad cholesterol i.e. LDL. Dates have also been studied in their effect on lowering triglycerides.
Almonds are not only high in protein, but they also contain high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids and and antioxidants to help heart health. The L-carnitine and riboflavin in almonds have also been shown to help prevent cognitive decline. One study showed that daily consumption of almonds cause people to generally have lower Body Mass Index, or BMI, and lower rates of obesity over time.
Cherries are high in potassium, antioxidants and help to reduce inflammation. Most of the studies done on cherries use tart cherry powder. While this may not be the exact same type of cherry used in this recipe, I do think that you gain some nutritional benefit from dried cherries. I would try to find dried cherries that do not contain a lot or any sugar, if you can, especially if you are concerned about limiting your sugar intake.
This recipe is the perfect use for your favorite protein powder! I love using Vega Vanilla Protein and Greens powder. I really like knowing that I am boosting the nutritional value of my recipes when the protein powder also contains so many vegetables.
These protein bars are super easy to make. You just need a high speed blender or food processor to blitz up all the ingredients, then press it out into a pan, chill and cut into bars. Couldn’t be easier!
I hope you give these protein bars a try! You could also adjust the flavors to whatever are your favorite flavors. You could use a chocolate protein powder for a decadent twist, or swap out the almonds for peanuts. You could even leave out the cherries, or change it for another type of fruit. One thing that I want to try is drizzling over a little stevia-sweetened chocolate or dipping the bottom half of the protein bars in chocolates. Now, that’s a healthy indulgence right there!
A homemade version of a new favorite protein bar flavor combo: almond and cherries.
- 1 cup Raw Almonds
- 1 cup Raw Medjool dates
- 3 tbsp Vanilla Protein Powder
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
In a food processor or high speed blender, add in the almond and process till roughly chopped. Almond pieces should be pea size or smaller. Pour out into a bowl.
Add the dates into the food processor or high speed blender. Blend the dates until a ball or paste forms.
Add the chopped almonds and the protein powder into the food processor or high speed blender. Blend until the mixture is well combined, scraping down the sides as needed. You may need to pour the mixture into a separate bowl and then knead in the protein powder into it.
Add the cherries to the mixture knead to combine.
Line a small rectangular pan with parchment paper. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top to make it level.
Chill the protein bars in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Cut into pieces as big or as small as you want!
Store the protein bars in the fridge for up to 1 week.