When you talk, we listen. You loved the Primal Energy Bar recipe we featured in September, but the comment section lit up with suggestions about how to modify and improve the recipe.
Specifically, you guys wanted to up the protein ante, with commenter Paul recommending adding a few scoops of protein powder, and Anna offering some great suggestions for firming up what was originally a pretty fragile bar (because, lets face it, eating your protein bar with a spoon kind of defeats the purpose!)
So with that, we went to our unofficial Mark’s Daily Apple kitchen to put it to the test! There were a couple of missteps (and even one small toasting incident that could have constituted a fire!) but we think we’ve finally nailed it.
The following is the new and improved official Mark’s Daily Apple Primal Energy Bar:
Primal Energy Bar Recipe:
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup almond butter (although cashew, hazelnut, walnut and even pumpkin butters will work well too!)
1/4 cup coconut oil (check your local health food store)
1/4 cup almond meal (simply pulse approximately 1/4 cup of almonds until it creates a coarse flour)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of raw honey (although, this is really kind of optional because the egg will help hold the mixture together)
1/2 cup unsweetened whey protein powder (or 60g)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries or blueberries
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut to sprinkle on top
On a cookie sheet, toast nuts and shredded coconut until golden brown. In order for them to cook evenly, you need to shake up the tray at least once during cooking…trust us!
Once toasted, pour mixture into a food processor and pulse until nuts are chopped and the mixture becomes coarsely ground (sort of the consistency of bread crumbs).
In a mixing bowl, melt coconut oil and almond butter (about 30 seconds). Remove from microwave and stir until smooth.
Add vanilla extract, honey and sea salt. Mix thoroughly.
Fold in nut mixture, almond meal and protein powder until mixed thoroughly.
Add whole egg and mix thoroughly.
Fold in blueberries/cranberries.
Press mixture into an 8 by 8 loaf pan (a modification that we made to keep everything crisper and help the bars to hold together).
Cook in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, sprinkle a ¼ cup of shredded coconut on top and place under broiler until top begins to brown.
Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Cut into 12 pieces/bars.
Enjoy or stack on wax paper/parchment and store in an airtight container.
Note: You can also add dark chocolate chips instead of the cranberries/blueberries (available at Whole Foods or health food store). If you add the chips while the mixing bowl is warm (from the coconut oil/almond butter mixture), they will melt into the mixture and you will have yourself a chocolate primal bar. Alternatively, you can just let the mix cool, then add the chips, then refrigerate the pan to get chocolate chip primal bars. The bars stick together pretty well without being cooked.
Nutrition for 1/12 of the batch. Nutritional breakdown courtesy of FitDay.com:
Fat: 15.4 grams
Carbohydrates: 6.4 grams
Protein: 7.5 grams
And, for those of you who feared they would eat the whole pan… the total nutritional breakdown for the whole darn lot!
Fat: 184.3 grams
Carbohydrates: 77.2 grams
Protein: 90.1 grams
That’s 1659 calories from fat, 309 calories from carbs and 360 calories from protein. Or 72% fat, 14% carbs and 16% protein. A pretty decent Primal balance.
Give ’em a try and let everyone know what you think in the comment boards!