Chocolate Pistachio Protein Bars w/ Mini Marshmallows


Protein bars are the new lattes... or so I've heard.

Health conscious foodies are trading in their frappuccinos and morning coffee for a slightly healthier energy boost. But if you're a bar lover you've come across a few dilemmas most of us have. Not only are they ridiculously expensive, 4 bucks plus tax PER bar, but carry preservatives and plenty of calories to make up for the flavor. I've realized something big about weight loss, anything that's good for you is always much more expensive. Giving us the excuse to take the easy way out since it's a much cheaper alternative. Well I don't know about you, but I'm tired of spending so much to feel my best, while STILL taking in so many calories from ONE protein bar, which at times reach almost 500 calories, not including the carbs, sugar and grams of fat. 



So I ground up some pistachios, peanuts, oats, cooked some quinoa, added some unsweetened cocoa powder (only 15 calories per tablespoon). Instead of using brown sugar I opted for agave, it is much more natural and since it's so sweet, a little goes a long way. Not to mention the whey protein powder provides some much needed sweetness. I tried to add as little calories as possible while still achieving a naturally sweet and chocolatey taste. And folks I am happy to report, it can be done! The recipe doesn't take long at all and the results are a MILLION times better than the store bought stuff. Why didn't I think of trying this sooner? Although the marshmallows will melt in the oven, which is why I added a few extra for photo purposes, but the melted toasty marshmallow flavor is definitely there. Feel free to add coconut flakes, cashews, almonds, cherries, raisins; whatever your heart desires.



Don't forget to enter the More Than Words Can Say book giveaway! =]  Contest now closed. 

Chocolate Pistachio Protein Bars w/ Mini Marshmallows 

Nutrition Facts (Per serving makes 6 bars)
271 calories
9.7 grams of fat
39 grams of carbs
4.3 grams of fiber
10.2 grams of protein
53.4% Riboflavin  
38.3% Phosphorus  
16.7% Calcium
15.6% Magnesium
15.3% Iron
15.2% Vitamin B-6
12.3% Copper
7.2% Vitamin B-12
  • 1/2 cup of Steel cut oats (processed to almost a powdery consistency)
  • 1/2 cup of processed pistachios 
  • 1/4 cup of processed peanuts
  • 3/4 cup of vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons of agave nectar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup of mini marshmallows
  1. Preheat oven to 270 degrees. 
  2. Combine all of the ingredients (except marshmallows) into a bowl until the mixture has come together completely. Then fold in marshmallows. 
  3. Spread mixture evenly onto a 9x9 non-stick sheet pan (you will have room on one side to remove the bars when ready) You may add extra ground pistachios or peanuts to your liking. 
  4. Place in oven for about 20 minutes, they will be chewy, cook for longer if you would like them more crisp, make sure to check every five minutes so that it does not burn.
  5. When removed from oven, let cool cut into 6 pieces, store in air tight container, or cover with saran wrap. Store in a cool dry place. 

42 comments:

  1. These look healthy and tasty! Love cooking with quinoa...great recipe!

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    1. Thank you! I too love using quinoa, it was interesting using it in baking when I'm so used to using it for savory dishes. Have a great weekend! =]

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  2. This does have a lot of healthy ingredients in them. I usually do not eat protein bars, but after seeing this I feel like I have been missing out. The touch of chocolate and marshmallows is just enough so you can get over the craving for sweets. Great post. Also, congrats on top nine today!

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    1. Thank you so much Tina! I miss sweets and protein bars are my rare item to replace if I don't have access to making a protein shake but it's so expensive and most taste funny. It was fun to experiment since the results were yummy. Hope you enjoy your weekend! =]

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  3. Holy cow! Chocolate and pistachio, and it's good for you? I might just have to eternally adore the ground you walk on ;)

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    1. Oh Kiri you're too funny! It was an experiment gone wonderfully right. I have mine wrapped up and ready to go when I need them. Have a great weekend =]

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  4. I have a whole box of Zone bars in my desk, and they do not look anywhere near as good as this does! Protein bars are insane--whenever I buy them, I stand in the aisle forever looking at the fat and calorie counts. This looks fabulous--will have to try them!

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    1. Oh wow I'm so flattered! I've never tried Zone bars but have tried others so I know what you mean about the calories and fat content being so high, it's scary. But at least these taste better lol Hope you enjoy them as much as I do =]

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  5. You have made the plain old usual protein bar into something at a whole new level - LOVE the nuts, choccie and marshmallow inclusion (anyone else reminded of s'mores?)
    Yummy - thank you :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: 3 Layer Brownie Cheesecake

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    1. It does remind me of s'mores! Rocky road comes to mind as well. Thanks for commenting love! Enjoy your weekend =]

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  6. You have certainly made a new and improved protein bar!! Well done!! :) Congrats on Top 9 today for the fruit roll-ups.. another new and improved dish! Have a great weekend! ~ Ramona :)

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    1. Thank you sooo much Ramona! You are too sweet! I'll have to do a write up on the blog awards soon. I can't thank you enough! Have a fabulous weekend love <3

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  7. Sounds good... Healthy and has two of my favorite ingredients - peanuts and marshmallows! Yummy! Thanks for sharing this one, Ky!

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    1. You're very welcome! I enjoy peanuts too, but there's nothing like the aroma of freshly ground pistachios, it's such a serene scent in my opinion =] Thanks for commenting! <3

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  8. Hey, I just came across your blog and it's really great! Good luck with your new lifestyle! I just started a whole new eating plan in addition to the exercise I was already doing and coincidentally I'm in Jersey as well. I'll definitely be coming back to your blog for recipes and inspiration. Keep up the good work! :-)

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    1. It's a HUGE pleasure to meet you Lydia, I'm thrilled you've discovered my blog. And I love that we're both in Jersey, I'm in Essex County, we might be neighbors lol. Good luck to you with your lifestyle as well. If you ever have any questions or would like to suggest a recipe that suits your new eating plan I would be more than happy to make a special recipe for you, nutrition facts included! I really hope you do come back, thank you so much for your support <3 I hope you're having a really fabulous weekend =]

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  9. Wow! That's an amazing recipe. If I could master this recipe, I would try to start a business selling these. They look so good.

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    1. Oh my goodness thank you so much! I'm delighted you're so excited by these, and you've given me a really great idea so thank you! And it would be impossible to master these, as I always leave out a little special detail or technique from my best recipes, not enough where it compromises the integrity of the dish, but it's what gives it that extra wow factor. What kind of an ex-line cook would I be if I gave away ALL of my culinary secrets? =] Hope I didn't disappoint you lol Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Thank you so much Christine! I'm really glad you like it! Mwahz <3

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  11. Okay so is this you trying to motivate me to stop baking such bad stuff? Cuz it's working. I am now craving this. You know I have a weakness for pistachios woman. How dare you make me crave healthy food. Next thing you know I'll be running. And no one will be chasing me even.

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    1. haha Kim you're so funny! This has to be my favorite comment, you've made my weekend woman! lol I am going to continue using pistachios in my healthy recipes JUST to lure you in <3 Hope you're having a fab weekend love =]

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  12. I totally hear you on this one - I had to stop buying them because there are five of us in my household. Even at a $1/bar - which is cheap - it's just too rich for my blood! Making them is a much better alternative.

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    1. Exactly! Making them is a much better alternative. =]

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  13. Wow! This treat looks delicious!!! We love your blog and hope you like ours. Check it out at www.stillservedwarm.com
    We'd love to hear your opinion!

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    1. Thank you so much! I stopped by your site and everything looks absolutely DELISH! Thanks for stopping by, I'll be sure to stop by your site again! =]

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  14. Another Top 9!!! Hooray...and these look so much better than what you could ever buy~

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    1. ThanK you Liz! Hope you're having a wonderful weekend! =]

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  15. Hahaha I agree with you! protein bars are definitely the new latte :) It's great to know that these bars are so healthy and they look so YUMMY too :D

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    1. Thank you so much Daisy! I'm really glad you think they look so yummy! <3

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  16. You're on fire with Top 9 this week! I have been wanting to try to make my own protein bars as well. They are so expensive to buy and the amount of carbs and sugar in most of them is just ridiculous! These look delish! I love pistachios!

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    1. Thanks Stephanie! To be honest I'm always surprised when I make Top 9, I'm my worst critic lol. Protein bars are RIDICULOUSLY expensive, I bought 4 once and paid almost 20 bucks, that receipt is what inspired me to finally make my own. I love pistachios too! =]

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  17. Gorgeous recipe darling! I love the color of the pistachios! Top 9 buzzin love for ya lady!

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  18. Awesome recipe. I'm over at http://feedingyourpig.blogspot.com and bars are a great way to save money. They keep you away from starbucks, they keep you out of a mcdonald's drive through, they can also be handed to someone asking for money or food. Had a lady say she packs two dozen a week so she always has something in the car no matter what she needs when, for her, a child or a stranger. Sharing this recipe!

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing my recipe! I'm so glad you like them, it does save money. That's sweet of your friend to give them away to people who need some. Thanks for that bit of inspiration. Hope you have a lovely day! =]

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  19. I love chocolate protein bars. Sometimes I make my own, but I've never thought to try with marshmallows -- I can't believe I never thought of that, what a great idea. Pistachios, too! I happen to have all the ingredients on-hand for this recipe; bookmarking this for sure. Congratulations on another Top 9!

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    1. Thanks Nicole! I LOVE chocolate protein bars too, a lot of the other flavors just don't sit right with me. I've had those marshmallows reserved for when I can have hot chocolate again, but this was a much better way to use them. Let me know what you think when you make them! =]

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  20. While looking for an ice cream recipe for my vitamix I came across your site, love it!!!!!! Bookmarked it right away! thanks for the great recipes.

    Sue

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    1. Thank you soooo much Sue! I'm thrilled to hear you enjoy my site, it warms my heart to hear someone likes my little blog =] I really do hope you come back, if you ever have any suggestions for a recipe you would like to see, I would be more than happy to make one up for you! Have a beautiful day Sue! <3

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  21. Great recipe. I love finding new recipes for protein bars. Thanks for sharing this one. I'm going to have to try it. Happy Valentines Day!

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  22. Oh my, you know me and pistachios. I am out of them since our trip and about to burst from cravings.

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Thanks for stopping by! Got a question, comment, recipe suggestion? I'd love to hear from you. =]