8 ingredients, 8 easy steps result in heart healthy gluten-free protein bars. Thank you Michael Symon! (Yes, the Michael Symon from The Chew and Iron Chef.) This recipe is adapted from Michael Symon's 5 in 5 cookbook.
1 generous cup of pitted dates
1 cup almonds, chopped
1¼ cups old-fashioned style uncooked oats
¼ cup craisins
Pinch of salt
1 generous cup of peanut butter or almond butter
½ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Nestle wax paper into an 8 inch square pan.
Pulse the dates in a food processor until a ball forms. (The dried fruits help to glue and bind the other ingredients.) Remove the dates from the processor and into a large bowl.
Pour the nuts into the food processor and pulse. Or chop the almonds by hand.
Add the nuts, the oats, craisins and salt to the dates. Mix well.
Microwave the peanut or almond butter with the honey for 45 seconds on high power. Stir. If still not completely melted, microwave for another 15 seconds. Stir again.
Whisk in the vanilla. Drizzle over the dates/oats mixture. Combine well with a sturdy spoon or your clean hands.
Press the mixture firmly into the pan. Freeze for 10 minutes. Cut into squares.
Yields 18 bars. Keeps best in the freezer. Take out the bars about 2 hours before serving.