These Pecan Pie Protein Bars are chewy, filling, and taste like pecan pie – only five ingredients needed! These collagen-packed protein bars require no baking and they’re gluten-free, Paleo, and Whole30-approved. This post is sponsored by Vital Proteins.
So this past weekend, I drove up to Anaheim for the Natural Products Expo. It was my first time going, but I had heart lots about it – how it’s huge, overwhelming, and packed with every natural food, beauty, and health company.
But no description could have prepared me for it. With almost 3,000 exhibitors, there really was every single natural product you could think of. I arrived on Friday and wandered into the madness aimlessly. I was there by myself, and for the first half hour, I felt like a lost lamb, wide-eyed and wandering through the crowds.
After the initial shock at how crowded and overwhelming it was, I got my bearings and wandered the many show floors, tasting products and meeting the brilliant entrepreneurs who created them.
It seems like every natural brand, big and small, was there. I tasted SO MANY THINGS and got SO MANY samples (if you say my Instagram story…you know I’m not kidding about the insane amount of samples). After a few hours of wandering, I realized I had barely seen any of the show…and realized why people say you reaaallly need to go for more than one day.
Thankfully, I was staying for two days, and spend allll day Saturday exploring the booths too. I think I tried just about every gluten-free pizza on the market, gorged myself on so much chocolate, tasted sooo many delicious nut milks, and drank a whole bunch of kombucha, tea, and coffee.
I also met a few other bloggers, which is always so much fun! One of my favorite parts though, was connecting with the people behind the brands I love and promote…and tasting all their new products.
Vital Proteins, whom I collaborated with to make these Paleo Gummy Bears, had a few different spots in the Expo. I loved meeting the amazing people behind the brand, and tasting some of the amazing new products they have coming out – like some seriously yummy flavored collagen waters. Hopefully once they hit the market, I’ll be able to share some of them with you.
Today though, I’m sharing one of my more recent faves for one of their staple products – their grass-fed collagen! I mix this collagen into all the smoothies and smoothie bowls I make, and stir it into my tea most days too. It makes your hair shinier, your nails stronger, and gives you more youthful skin – what more can you ask for?!
And since it’s packed with protein, it brings the “protein” part to these pecan pie protein bars! With only five ingredients, these protein bars are way cleaner than most of the protein bars you’d see at the store.
They also come together really quickly and easily, thanks in part to the fact that there’s no baking necessary. They have a date base, which helps them stick together and provides the sweetness. The dates are blended into a smooth paste with some cinnamon and the collagen powder, and then the pecans and almonds are added in and pulsed into bits.
Then, press the dough into a pan or just press it into a rectangular shape on some parchment paper, cut into bars, and enjoy. That’s all. Easy peasy, right?! You could even just roll the dough into protein balls if that sounds easier.
The dates provide a natural sweetness and chewiness, while the nuts provide a bit of crunch. The pecans, dates, and cinnamon combine to replicate the flavors we all love about pecan pie pretty wonderfully, without all the sugar and unhealthiness that normally comes along with it.
You’ve got to keep a batch of these on hand for when hunger hits! They’re perfect for breakfast on-the-go, or as a pre- or post-workout snack. Enjoy!
Remember to #bakerita if you try the recipe!
Pecan Pie Protein Bars (No-Bake, Gluten-Free + Paleo)
Before starting, soak the dates in hot water for about 10 minutes.
Add the dates to a food processor or high-powered blender (I used my Vitamix) and blend until they’re broken up. Add the cinnamon and collagen and blend to incorporate.
All the almonds and pecans and pulse until combined - there should be small bits of nuts remaining, but not too big. Be careful not to over-process so it doesn’t get too sticky or greasy.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a high powered blender or are scared of your motor burning out (it’s a super thick mixture), you can pulse the nuts into small bits first, pour them into a bowl, then blend the dates. Then add the date paste to the nuts and knead the nuts in with your hands.
Press the dough into a small pan lined with parchment paper, or just place the date dough on the parchment paper and press into a square/rectangular shape, then use a rolling pin or glass bottle to flatten the top. Cut into squares or bars - I made 8 bars.
Store in a sealed bag or small lidded container in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for longer term storage.
This post is sponsored by Vital Proteins. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that support Bakerita. As always, all opinions are my own.