Gluten-Free Protein Bars, #MichaelSymon, #5in5

Holiday flurries bring happiness, hope....And recipes guaranteed to bring on a sugar rush and blues! The sparkly stuff sure is tempting. But, Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 has come to the rescue!!! Thanks to Blogging for Books, I received the 5 in 5 cookbook by the co-host of The Chew. (Michael Symon - as you may know - is also an Iron Chef.)

Heart Happy Holiday Treats: Gluten-Free Protein Bars

The stellar food photography and simple instructions in 5 in 5 mirror Chef Symon’s straightforward presentations on The Chew. I want to try every single recipe in the cookbook. For starters though I chose Michael Symon’s Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars. I call them gluten-free protein bars. As a fan of peanut butter and almond butters, I increased the dosage suggested in Chef Symon's recipe. So with the nut butters and ground almonds, the bars are packed with protein. Semantics aside, the bars are deeeelicious! (I made two batches!.) Note:  For the holidays (and personal taste) I substituted craisins for raisins.  

Deliciousness in 15 Minutes: Thank you Michael Symon!

Based on the number of hugs at the end of class, my protein bars (aka Michael Symon’s Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars) brought holiday cheer to my fellow acting students. I’ve never been a mother. But, my maternal instincts bloom around my younger cohorts. It felt good to bring treats that are healthy for them...Confession: To make the treat time complete, I brewed the Spicy Hot Chocolate from 5 in 5 to accompany the protein bars. The balance of bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened cocoa, chile powder and yes, sugar is exquisite. 5 in 5 reminds me that every Michael Symon recipe I’ve ever made always reveals rich flavors, textures and tastes.  Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 is a perfect gift for the busy foodie in your life. 


Gluten-Free Protein Bars

#glutenfree #proteinbars #MichaelSymon #TheChew

8 ingredients, 8 easy steps result in heart healthy gluten-free protein bars. Thank you Michael Symon! (Yes, the Michael Symon from The Chew and Iron Chef.) This recipe is adapted from Michael Symon's 5 in 5 cookbook. 

  • 1 generous cup of pitted dates
  • 1 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1¼ cups old-fashioned style uncooked oats
  • ¼ cup craisins
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 generous cup of peanut butter or almond butter
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Nestle wax paper into an 8 inch square pan.
  2. Pulse the dates in a food processor until a ball forms. (The dried fruits help to glue and bind the other ingredients.) Remove the dates from the processor and into a large bowl.
  3. Pour the nuts into the food processor and pulse. Or chop the almonds by hand.
  4. Add the nuts, the oats, craisins and salt to the dates. Mix well.
  5. Microwave the peanut or almond butter with the honey for 45 seconds on high power. Stir. If still not completely melted, microwave for another 15 seconds. Stir again.
  6. Whisk in the vanilla. Drizzle over the dates/oats mixture. Combine well with a sturdy spoon or your clean hands.
  7. Press the mixture firmly into the pan. Freeze for 10 minutes. Cut into squares.
  8. Yields 18 bars. Keeps best in the freezer. Take out the bars about 2 hours before serving.

Spicy Hot Chocolate

#chocolate #spicy #MichaelSymon #TheChew

Bittersweet chocolate, cocoa and spices blend into a hot drink with a kick! This grownup cocoa comes courtesy of the recipe in 5 for 5 by Iron Chef and co-host of The Chew, Michael Symon.

  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • Heaping 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 pinches of salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate

Over a medium flame, heat the milk with the cocoa, sugar, spices and salt. Stir in the chopped chocolate until completely melted. 

Wishing you a holiday season packed with great health and happiness.

The Ninja Baker

© ™ Watkinson 2012

The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.



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