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A Mediterranean Diet Energy Bar Recipe With Healthy Fats & Collagen Protein

Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
By Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
Image by Martina Slajerova
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March 9, 2021

Protein bars can be a great on-the-go meal or snack, and we're always keeping our eyes peeled for unique recipes to try at home. After all, making them yourself offers more control over what goes into the mix, to fit both your diet and your taste.

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This recipe for satisfying, crunchy bars from The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook, is one we immediately wanted to try. "These clean protein bars aren't like anything you can buy on supermarket shelves," writes author Martina Slajerova. "Their macros are perfectly proportioned, with 76% fat, 20% protein, and only 4% carbs." The recipes in the book are designed to fit a blend of the super-popular Mediterranean diet with the ketogenic diet—low in carbs and packed with healthy fats.

Topped with toasted coconut and cacao nibs for texture, these bars also feature chia seeds, macadamia nuts, and almond flour. In addition to those nutritious ingredients, the main protein source is collagen powder, which can also help support our skin's natural elasticity and hydration.

Perfect for a quick morning bite or a post-workout recharge, a batch of these is the perfect way to fuel even the busiest week.

Crunchy Vanilla Protein Bars

Makes 8

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Ingredients

For the topping

  • ½ cup flaked coconut
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
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For the bars

  • 1½ cups almond flour
  • 1 cup collagen powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground or whole chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1 tablespoon unsweetened vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup virgin coconut oil
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1½ teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • ⅓ cup macadamia nuts, halved
  • Optional: low-carb sweetener, to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. To make the topping: Place the coconut flakes on a baking tray and bake for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly golden. Set aside to cool.
  3. To make the bars: In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the bars. Line a small baking tray with parchment paper or use a silicone baking tray. A square 8-by-8-inch or a rectangular tray of similar size will work best.
  4. Press the dough into the pan and sprinkle with the cacao nibs, pressing them into the bars with your fingers. Add the toasted coconut and lightly press the flakes into the dough.
  5. Refrigerate until set, for about 1 hour. Slice to serve. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Excerpted with permission from The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook © 2021 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. Text © 2021 Martina Slajerova. Photography © 2021 Martina Slajerova.
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Eliza Sullivan
Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer

Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine, TheTaste.ie, and SUITCASE magazine.