Peanut Butter and Cranberry Protein Bars

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Legumes, including peanuts and peanut butter are a great source of plant based protein and fiber. They’re also rich in vitamins A and C and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Perhaps one of their best benefits is that of resveratrol, an antioxidant known for its disease preventing characteristics.

Yield: 8 (2- by 4-inch) bars.

Ingredients

3/4 cup walnut pieces (or other type of nut)
1 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
1 cup dried cranberries or other dried fruit (or a combination)
1/2 cup vegan semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp vegan butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan.
2. Place the walnuts in a dry skillet and toast over medium heat until light brown and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes, shaking often. Transfer them to a food processor.
3. Add the oats, dried fruit, chocolate chips, maple syrup, peanut butter, vegan butter and vanilla to the food processor, and pulse until crumbly. Continue to process until the mixture is well combined. Add a little water, a tablespoon at a time, if the mixture is too crumbly to stick together. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
4. Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool, then refrigerate until completely cold. Cut into 2- by 4-inch bars. Wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap for easy transport.

This recipe is featured in Kathy Freston’s new book The Book of Veganish with over 120 easy, vegan recipes to fill you up.