Friday, April 11, 2014

runnin' on empty?

If you follow me on Instagram (@cobbs_hill) you know that I hinted at what these bars are. Now that the weather is finally warming up, the daunting "bathing suit season" is looming and it has motivated me to get back into my workout routine. Also, the Boston Marathon is the day after Easter and every time I watch the marathon I feel like a real slacker for not exercising my measly 25 minutes vs. running 26.1 miles!
As many of you may remember, last year the Boston Marathon took on a new meaning with the bombing at the finish line. I did attend the race last year, with some of my family, and thankfully we were at the halfway marker. I know this year will be so emotional for all those involved; many of the injured will be included in the race, as well as all the runners who didn't get a chance to finish it last year. Boston Strong paraphernalia came out as a result of the bombing, but we didn't need a bombing to know we were strong. Look at our sports teams. Look at our universities. Look at the way people drive around here. Boston has always been a tough, strong city and I'm glad that I'll be at the halfway marker again this year, with maybe one of these energy bars in hand.

Even if you don't exercise, I don't know a single person that couldn't use more energy in their day-to-day activities. Instead of drinking one of those heavily caffeinated energy drinks, these bars are a much healthier way to get a boost during the day. And if you do work out? You can eat one either before or after your workout. 

Chocolate Protein Energy Bars

Slightly adapted from here
Makes 10-12 bars

1 Cup Oats
½ Cup protein powder
¼ Cup cocoa powder
½ Cup shredded unsweetened coconut
pinch of salt
2/3 Cup dates, pitted
1/3 Cup walnuts or pecans
6 Tbs. honey or agave nectar
1 tsp. Vanilla extract

1. In a food processor, grind up the oats until they are as fine as flour. Add the protein and cocoa powders, walnuts, coconut and salt- combine well.
2. Add the dates, honey and vanilla. Mix until all the ingredients are combined, scraping down the sides as needed. The mixture should be tacky, but not too sticky. If it’s too dry and won’t come together, add 1 tsp. of water at a time.
3. Scrape the mixture into a lightly greased 8x8” pan. Lightly grease the back of a flat spatula and press the mixture into the pan, trying to achieve an even thickness.
4. Place bars in the refrigerator and allow to harden before cutting into equal pieces. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or wrap individually and store in the freezer for up to a month.


  1. Wow! These look yummy!

  2. These look great! I can't wait to make them!

    1. Thank you Tracy! Let me know how they turn out!

  3. I love this post and these bars look great. Will have to try them out.

  4. Replies
    1. Well Heather, looks like you'll have to make these to fend off those hunger pains ;)

  5. Do you recommend a protein powder brand?

    1. Hi Jenny, I know GNC or Vitamin World could offer you a ton of varieties but I bought my vanilla whey protein powder at my local grocery store (it was in the Vitamin section). Look for one in a flavor that you'd like (usually chocolate or vanilla) and preferably something low-fat/low-calorie.

  6. Oooo, I'll have to make these. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks Amy, let me know how they turn out!