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Weekly Locavore Post: DIY Protein Bars

When I need a snack after yoga class or portable calories for a long-distance run, a quick option is the “trusty” protein bar. But it can be challenging to sift through the mountain of protein bars currently on the market.

Here's an idea: Make your own. This simple recipe offers a tasty treat. Plus, it has protein. A huge bonus!


  • 1 ¼ cups packed, pitted, soft whole dates

  • ½ cup raw almonds

  • ½ cup raw cashews

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (preferably organic)

  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt

The best way to purchase dried fruits and nuts is in the bulk section. Most health food stores have them, and it is a great way to buy a large amount cheaply. My health food store of choice is The Garden in Greenpoint, on the corner of Manhattan Avenue and Kent Street. I visit the bountiful section every week, sometimes twice!


  1. In a food processor, blend all the nuts until finely chopped. Do not go so far as to turn them into paste. Just a nice fine chop.

  2. Now add the rest of the ingredients. Continue to blend until the mixture turns to a sticky ball. Feel free to stop and scrape the sides and blend some more until the magic happens. It can take a few minutes. Be patient.

  3. On a sheet of parchment paper, roll out the ball and flatten to an even square to your liking of thickness.

  4. Transfer this parchment onto a plate and put in freezer for about 20 minutes. Then cut into bars and pack into baggies. Keep in freezer until ready to use.

Jackie Batruch is the Brooklyn-based founder of Roots Of Balance. In 2010, she and her husband vowed to go meat- and alcohol-free, a decision that led to weight loss, reduced inflammation, and greater joy. This November, they will both run the Brooklyn Marathon. To learn more about Batruch and her adventures with sports and food, follow her on Instagram and Twitter @rootsofbalance.

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