Pear Protein Bars
- 1 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cup pitted and coarsely chopped dates
- 1 ripe or slightly overripe USA Bartlett or Anjou Pear, chopped
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/4 cup honey or brown rice syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Combine the almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and quinoa on a large rimmed baking sheet and spread them in an even layer. Spread the oats in a separate baking pan in a thin layer. Place both in the oven until toasted and fragrant, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
Line a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang on all sides to use as handles for removing the finished bars.
Combine the toasted oats and dates in a food processor, and process until they are finely minced with no large pieces remaining and the mixture comes together in a ball. Break up the ball, add the chopped pear, and process to a relatively smooth paste. Add the almond butter, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt and process to combine.
Transfer the nut mixture to a large bowl and pour in the pear mixture. Use a rubber spatula to stir and mash it all together until fully and combined.
Transfer the mixture to the parchment-lined pan. Using the spatula, spread and pat the mixture into the edges of the pan in an even layer. Diligently smooth the surface to ensure even baking and consistency in the finished bars.
Bake until the edges are browned and the surface looks dry on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely, and then lift the bars from the pan using the parchment handles. Cut into 12 bars.
Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.