disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links.
Protein bars: my first experience with them were consuming these giant bars, filled with whey protein and interesting flavors, like Chocolate Mint. I will be honest, I didn’t completely love them. But at the time, I continued eating them because I had some vague notion they were good for exercising. And I knew I wanted to be exercising! But after my daughter was born, the intense workouts just weren’t making me happy. Instead, I felt achy, tired – anything but energized. In those days, I felt so limited. There were no protein bars for me! In fact, until these Cranberry Almond Protein Bars, I had never tried making them. But recently, I got a request to make some that weren’t loaded with sugar. And so these bars were born!
These did take some tinkering to make them right. The important thing about protein bars is their carb / sugar to protein ratio. Finding something that meets that requirement AND tastes good – especially when typical protein bar ingredients like egg, pea protein and whey protein powder are all out – is a challenge!
Thankfully, I’ve been able to introduce almonds to my AIP diet. That goes a long way to making these Cranberry Almond Protein Bars delicious.
But with that being said: you can totally make these with tigernuts instead! There are only two things you need to be aware of if using them. One is that the grams of protein and sugar content noted below will be different. Tigernuts have more carbs than almonds, so that is why. The other thing to keep in mind is that, in my opinion, soaking them 8 hours or overnight will yield the best texture! That is how I made the bars with tigernuts, by soaking them overnight first. I can’t vouch for how they’ll turn out if you use them straight from the bag (if you DO try, let us know how they turn out)!
I LOVE having these as an easy afternoon snack, for myself or my daughter. If you’re battling candida, as I have, you’ll also appreciate that these have only 6 grams of sugar per bar and nearly 13 grams of protein. Which means you’ll stay fuller longer, and avoid that sugar rush and crash.
Date syrup really makes these! Heard of it?! It’s fantastic for making baked goods and bars, and it has less sugar per Tablespoon than either honey or maple syrup. Double win!
Let’s look more closely at what makes up the protein in this recipe! Even though protein is the star, these bars are so delicious, you could easily consider them a special treat!
Collagen may be the most perfect form of protein. When it comes from the bones, skin and cartilage of healthy grassfed cows, it has numerous benefits, including healing leaky gut, boosting metabolism, and lowering inflammation overall. If you have an AI condition, healing the gut is front and center to healing overall. Collagen is the ideal way to achieve this! I try and get it most days of the week, whether it’s through bone broth, a smoothie, or these protein bars! I’ve used Vital Proteins for this recipe, but Great Lakes will also work great!
If you can tolerate almonds, you’ll enjoy their health benefits along with their protein. They have a wide range of nutrients, from their healthy monosaturated fats to their trace mineral content. Their Vitamin E improves skin and their fiber and healthy fat help reduce hunger and stabilize blood sugar. In short, they’re awesome!! They were one of the first foods I reintroduced because I had a feeling I would tolerate them well.
What You’ll Need to Make This Recipe:
- silicone mold. You can also use an 8 x 8 pan, as I did. But if you’re looking for a way to make them look more uniform and pretty, the mold is a great choice!
- unsweetened cranberries: You can certainly use sweetened – but as I am trying to not eat sugar, these are fantastic. I’ve used them in countless recipes, especially around the holidays. Love them!
- raw almonds OR tigernuts
- shredded coconut
- coconut flour
- Vital Proteins Collagen – I love and trust this brand.
- refined coconut oil
- date syrup – my new fave product
- coconut cream
- sea salt (Real Sea Salt is my go-to)
Enjoy these!! If you make them, don’t forget to #letscreatethesweetlife!
Cranberry Almond Protein Bars
These Paleo Cranberry Almond Protein Bars are the perfect snack or treat! Loaded with collagen, almonds and coconut, they have a creamy, smooth texture. Sweetened with date syrup, these are lower glycemic and a perfect way to get your daily dose of healthy!
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 3/4 + 1/4 cup almonds NOTE: If you are using tigernuts, you'll want to soak them overnight AND I would recommend using the whole 1 cup ground up in the bars as opposed to leaving 1/4 whole
- 4 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 3/4 cup collagen
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries I use unsweetened!
- 3 Tbsp date syrup
- 2 Tbsp coconut cream
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
If using tigernuts, place in a glass bowl, cover with filtered water, and let soak 8 hours or overnight.
Using a food processor, process shredded coconut, 3/4 cup almonds or tigernuts and coconut oil for about 4 minutes until they have begun to form a thick paste. NOTE: If using tigernuts, use the entire 1 cup here for what I find is the best texture. If using almonds, you can either reserve 1/4 cup to mix in whole at the end, or add now - up to you! I like the extra crunch of whole almonds, but not everyone does!
Add remaining ingredients (reserving the 1/4 cup almonds if desired) and process until fully combined.
Remove from food processor and place in bowl. Add 1/4 cup almonds if desired and mix together.
Press into either silicone mold or parchment paper-lined 8 x 8 glass pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, until firm. Store in refrigerator for best results!
Protein per bar = 12.75
Sugar per bar = 6