No-Bake Protein Bars with a Mexican Molé Sauce Recipe

Don’t pay for protein bars when you can make your own at home, all without having to turn on the oven. Featuring Mexican Molé flavors like cocoa, cinnamon and chile, this no-bake breakfast treat pairs wonderfully with a glass of milk at home or on the go. 

Makes 8 bars

Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray
1/4 cup - whole raw almonds
1/4 cup - green pumpkin seeds (“pepitas”)
1 cup - dried figs or pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1 3/4 cup - quick oats
1/2 cup - toasted quinoa*
1/3 cup - almond butter (or other nut butter)
1/4 cup - honey
3 tablespoons - unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon - ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon - cayenne OR ancho chile powder
Pair each serving with: 8-ounce glass of milk

Directions

Coat an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Pulse the almonds in a food processor until coarsely chopped; transfer to a large bowl and stir in pumpkin seeds. Pulse the figs or dates in the food processor until finely chopped and add to the bowl with the nuts. Add the oats and toasted quinoa* and stir to blend.

In a small saucepan warm the almond butter, honey, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and cayenne over medium-low heat until butter melts and mixture is smooth (mixture will be thick). Pour over the fig mixture and, using your hands, carefully mix until well blended (be careful: mixture will be very warm.  Coat your hands periodically with nonstick spray as you mix to help prevent sticking).

Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least an hour before cutting into 8 bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Serve with 8-ounce glass of milk.

*Toast quinoa in a small dry skillet over medium heat, tossing frequently until lightly golden and fragrant.

Nutrition

380 calories; 13 g fat; 1.5 g saturated fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 18 g protein; 56 g carbohydrates; 7 g fiber; 115 mg sodium; 399 mg calcium. Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of fat free milk.