Power bars.

With my grandma here the past few days, it's been both extremely productive in some ways, and not so much in others.  Anything involving the computer has been close to zero (yes, I do like/need to be unplugged every now & again, but today- to make up for the extended absence- I'm granting myself lots of extra url time... before & after our tax appointment of course).  Working out has been pretty light this week.  Spring cleaning, laundry, organization- on the other hand... huge, huge progress.  

On Monday, my mom, my grandma, & I were all set to spend a day of shopping.  That morning, I looked around at all of the to-do projects & piles, at the mound of laundry that didn't get done over the weekend, at the huge bag of "organization supplies" purchased a month ago at the Container Store, Ikea, Target... and I decided I did not/could not bring anything else into this house until I resolved the currant state of affairs.  

So, instead of birthday shopping, my present came in the form of HELP... We spent the entire day getting things done.

I'm talkin' the "getting-on-your-hands-&-knees-&-dusting-under-the-bed type cleaning"... and I am incredibly, incredibly grateful for their gift.  Their gift of time, of assistance, of love... because it takes a LOT of love to dig through another's "dirt"... & boy, their love for me is to the moon {& back :)}.

So, maybe a bit off-balanced in all other areas- temporarily, but it's necessary to keep moving forward... to keep the 'wheels from getting stuck'.

But, all that pinning over the weekend was surely not in vein.  It was the determining factor in Sunday's dinner, & was the source of inspiration for these "power bars" that my grandma & I tossed together before her departure yesterday.  The 'food category' is also pretty off-kilter this week... a few [indulgent] meals in store- beginning with this evening- & continuing throughout the weekend.  Not to mention, anytime I take a "road trip", my appetite seems to increase tenfold the second I set foot in the car.  So, aside from the fact that these are excellent 'recovery snacks' (pre & post workout), this week- & this weekend- they are simply necessary.

power bars
*adapted from the little red house

makes a quarter sheet pan's worth of bars

{this is a very, very loose recipe, so adjust/adapt ingredients accordingly!}

1lb pitted dates or figs (*see note below)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of cinnamon
cup of almonds, roughly chopped
a few handfuls of rolled oats & rolled wheat (didn't have rolled wheat- used wheat germ)
large handful of sunflower seeds
large handful of raw pumpkin seeds (I used salted/roasted seeds, since I had them on hand)
[either of the above 2 should be salted to add a salty/sweet flavor to the bars]
small handful of flax seeds
handful of dark chocolate chips

Puree the dates in a food processor until a paste starts to form (this is your "glue" to hold your bar together).  Add vanilla and cinnamon.  Continue to puree until it forms a "date-paste ball" inside of your machine.

Add the date-paste and all of the other ingredients into a large bowl and mix it together.  Add more seeds if the dates will hold more.

Press the mixture into a quarter sheet pan and place it in the freezer for an hour.  Turn over onto a cutting board and slice into squares.  Store in the freezer, if desired (for a longer shelf life), and thaw for a few minutes...

...when you're ready for a protein packed 'recovery snack'.

  • My handfuls must have been a little too big, because the date-paste was not really holding all of the nuts/seeds together.  I had dried figs on hand, so I created a fig-paste and added it to the entire mixture.  Next time, my "large handfuls" will not be quite as large.
  • Next time, I'll line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper (with extra parchment extended over the sides) so I can easily pull the bars out before cutting.
  • My favorite store-bought 'power bar'... the label speaks for itself!

Happy Wednesday everyone... I'm sure I'll see ya in one social-media venue or another- later today... after the {hopefully FRUITFUL} Tax Appointment. 


  1. These sound great! Wish I had one right now in fact!!!

  2. I need to make these! Sound like a good post-workout snack.

  3. I love how you're so close to your mum and grandma - and you see so much of them. Dates are one of my favourite things and I don't think they get used enough in things. Mum has a sticky date toffee pudding and you don't even realise you're eating dates, its a smooth lovely thing...

  4. How strange. I seriously have just been looking up power bar recipes. I will try to do this gluten free. I am one of those people that gets sidetracked cleaning out one drawer and misses wiping the counter. It is so nice to have help to keep you moving.


  5. That sounds like a truly wonderful gift. Happy Birthday! You'll be in my neck of the woods soon, right? Have SO much fun!!

  6. umm, i just tweeted that dinner has me stumped so thank you for mentioning your sunday dinner post. love that your mother and grandmother came over to help you organize - three generations of ideas for the home - perfect!

  7. That's awesome! My mama's coming over to get me organized this weekend. Thank goodness she's better at it than I am. Ha!

  8. Brilliant recipe, Torrie. These sound delicious and I love that your birthday gift came in the form of hands on help. I've often wished for this from friends but never had the courage to ask. My garage overwhelms me and sometimes I think I could actually tackle it with some moral and physical support. You've planted a seed for sure with me.


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