Last weekend, I was overjoyed and honored to be a part of the wedding between one of my best girlfriends, Brianna, and her new hubby. As her personal attendant, I knew I’d have my hands full making sure she looked and felt flawless on her big day.
From reapplying lip gloss between photos to assisting the photographer with the sun shield to diligent shoe duty—which meant bar-hopping in the rain to make sure she could change out of her heels and into her comfy flats before the reception—it’s safe to say that both the bride and I were on-the-go from morning ‘til night.
When I initially asked Brianna what she wanted most from me on her wedding day, she replied without hesitation, “Make sure I eat!” That got me thinking: What better way to help both the bride and her entire wedding party than to make a batch of protein bars to prevent grumbly tummies from interrupting the ceremony?
I tweaked a few recipes and came up with my own—an energizing mix of dried fruit, nuts, nut butter, and oats—and the result was not only delicious, but also extremely satisfying. Although these superfood bars are best served cold (I keep mine in the freezer), they will keep all day in an airtight container. Great for breakfast or an afternoon pick-me-up, and all your daily adventures: trips, hikes, and—you guessed it—weddings!
Brianna's Wedding Bell Bliss Bars
1½ cups pure, rolled oats (the non-instant kind)
1 cup whole, raw almonds
¾ cup unsweetened dried fruit—I like blueberries, cranberries, and mangoes
½ cup pistachios (unshelled)
⅓ cup chia powder
⅓ cup chia seeds
¼ cup flaxseed
⅓ cup honey
¼ cup applesauce (unsweetened)
1 cup raw nut butter—I like almond butter
Line a 13x9-inch baking pan with wax paper so that the paper hangs over the edges. Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the honey and applesauce and mix to combine. Add the nut butter and mix until combined. Place mixture in baking pan and press down firmly with hands to flatten and distribute the batter as evenly as possible. Freeze bars for at least 1 hour. After you remove the pan from the freezer, lift the single slab from the pan using the edges of the wax paper. Peel away all paper, then slice the slab into bars (approximately 16). Store in the freezer in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Erica Tasto is an editor for Natural Solutions and Alternative Medicine and the author of "The Natural Suite" blog. Follow her on Twitter @editorerica.