Protein Energy Bars

Speaking again as someone in recovery from anorexia, for me there are few worse bodily sensations than that of low blood sugar. If I haven’t eaten anything for a couple of hours, it’ll hit me out of nowhere: suddenly I’m shaking and lightheaded and famished. Naturally, my regular bouts of hypoglycemia were concerning not just to me, but to my dietitian as well. Since I eat off of a meal plan (it’s flexible and I choose what I eat, but the meal plan dictates how much of what macronutrients I need to consume throughout the day), my dietitian changed it to be protein heavy in order to stave off the hunger and blood sugar crashes.

Ever since starting my recovery, I’ve been a big fan of energy bars. Luna Bars, Clif Bars, Mojo Bars, you name it, I’ve eaten it and probably enjoyed it. I had experimented with making my own in the past, but without success, so since then I have leaned on the bar-making professionals for my high protein snacking needs. My dietitian, however, changed the game when she gave me this recipe.

These bars (also good eaten rolled up into balls) are sweet like a dessert but filled with ingredients that are effective at stabilizing one’s energy levels and blood sugar. I eat these both as a treat and as a tool for keeping my body feeling good throughout the day. While it should be obvious that they aren’t a diet food, I’d hope that the ingredients list makes it equally as obvious they are absolutely a health food, and should be enjoyed as such.

Raw Energy Bars
Yields 9 bars

Ingredients
1 cup rolled oatmeal
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon dried cranberries
1 teaspoon raisins
2 teaspoons raw almonds, coarsely chopped

Instructions
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Line a cookie sheet or baking pan with parchment paper, and tightly press mixture into a block on paper or form into balls. Refridgerate until set, then cut into desired shapes if making bars. The finished product can be placed in a bag to keep fresh, or they can be frozen.

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