Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Sticky Date Protein Bars

OK here goes, my first 'crossover' post...  Crossover in terms of it being something driven by my work in the gym world but calling on my baking skills.  I was asked by a good friend last week if I had a recipe for a homemade protein bar that didn't involve peanut butter (most of them do).
Sure, I replied knowing I had at least one or two tucked away.  However when I pulled them out they both involved bananas.  Now for our non-Australian readers the reason this is a problem for us here is that we don't import bananas into the country as we grow our own.  However with recent natural disasters our banana crops and trees were devastated meaning local banana pricing is over $13/kilo making a single banana over $2 to buy.

I have taken a recipe today and adapted it for use with something easy to come by, packed full of fiber and other goodies and naturally sweet - thus eliminating the need for sugar or artificial sweeteners.  Dates!   These make a beautiful baked bar perfect for a quick brekky on the run, after workout snack, or any time of day treat.  I hope you like them.  Make sure you can tolerate all the ingredients in your own brand of Protein Powder and if you don't like powders - leave this one to the gym junkies.

200g Pitted Dates roughly chopped
100g Pitted Prunes roughly chopped
60g Protein Powder (I use Protein FX Low Carb Chocolate)
180g GF Oats (not Quick Oats)
100ml Reduced Fat Milk
1 teaspoon Carob
3 Large Egg Whites
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil (You could use Flaxseed Oil)

  1. Heat Oven to 160 Celsius
  2. Place chopped dates and prunes into a large bowl and just about cover with boiling water.  Place in Microwave and heat on High for approx 2-3 minutes or until fruit has softened.  Alternatively place in small saucepan and bring to gentle boil for approx 5 minutes or until soft.  
  3. Gently mash fruit to a pulp it should not be too runny nor thick - about the consistency of mashed ripe bananas.
  4. In a large bowl combine all ingredients with the pulped dried fruit.
  5. Line a Slice Pan with baking paper then pour in the mixture.  Don't worry if it looks 'runny' or about the consistency of cake mixture.
  6. If you want you can sprinkle the top with sesame seeds or I dotted mine with Pecan Nuts - this is not counted in the overall nutritional values below though.
  7. Bake for approx 20 minutes or until firm.  Allow to cool in pan then lift onto chopping board and cut into 12-16 bars.
Here is the Nutritional Info for the mix as I made it - minus the Pecan Nuts used to decorate.  The figures are for one bar when the slice is divided into a total of 12 serves.

736 kj / 176 Calories
7g Protein
0.7g Saturated Fat
25g Carbohydrate
34mg Sodium


  1. Calorie wise this is about the same as a reduced fat or 'Light' Yoghurt (not DIET) but more dense. You will feel satisfied after one serve. If you dislike carob substitute cocoa. Alternatively you could make more of a focus on the dates by using a Vanilla Powder and omitting the Carob/Cocoa.

  2. Oh and while I'm at it - If you find it a bit dense or too choccy. Ditch the oil and carob/cocoa and omit 20g oats and ADD zest and juice of one orange + 50g crushed pineapple in own juice. More moist and fruity and bring the calorie count to 160 per bar. Muck around with your dried fruits too - today I added some dried cranberries (Craisins)...yummy