Nutritious & Delicious: Protein Granola Bar by @littlebitsof_realfood

Our good friend and UCLA Water Polo alum Kelsey Preciado creates delicious and nutritious eats on her blog "Little Bits Of: Real Food & Real Talk".  
This protein packed bar is perfect both pre/post workout!  Click here to check out more FUELING FOODS by Kels and Little Bits Of
And now... the nitty gritty:
by Kelsey Preciado (@littlebitsof_realfood)
Everyone has their own way of prepping for a workout.  Some people don’t eat at all before and some need tons of fuel to get them through.  I firmly believe that no matter what anyone tells you about what to eat before a workout, you should eat whatever feels good to you! For me, that is protein & carbs!  A little bit of both of those and you are on your way to an energy packed workout that is sure to boost muscle gain.  When looking through options of granola bar recipes before going on a family girls road trip a couple weeks ago, I found it hard to find one that wasn’t packed with sugar, fell apart when you held it, or was sticky to the touch.  So I played around with more dates, a little honey and some gluten free rice add ins to make a perfectly held together, not too sweet, protein packed granola bar!
If you know a little about me, you know that I spent a good 10 years of my life playing water polo!  Back then we really milked that ‘carbs give you fuel’ bit with what we called a “two bagel diet” before our games.  But now a pre-workout meal has to be a little bit cleaner!  These bars are completely refined sugar free and gluten free to give you tons of energy. OH and it doesn’t hurt that they are SUPER tasty!!! 

1 cup crispy rice cereal
3/4 cup oats
½ cup slivered almonds
1 scoop protein powder (~30g)
1/2 cup creamy nut butter
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
¾ cup dates


Line an 8x8 inch pyrex pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine crispy rice, oats, almonds & protein powder and set aside. In a food processor combine nut butter, coconut oil, honey & dates and pulse on high until smooth and well combined. Then transfer the date mixture to a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds or until warmed. Pour the date mixture over the dry ingredients and knead together until completely combined. Press mixture into one even layer in the pan and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to set. Slice into 8 bars and enjoy!

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