PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- As the kids head back to school, many parents are looking for easy nutritious snacks and meals.

All week, our Good Morning Arizona crew has been sharing some of their favorite recipes.

On Thursday, Gina Maravilla shared her recipe for "No Bake Protein Bars."

"When my kids get home from school, they often have little time before they are off to a sports practice," Gina says. "This homemade bar gives them a ton of nutrients they need to get through a practice."
The ingredients in the bar are all natural.
The bars are naturally sweetened to satisfy a sweet tooth, but there is no processed sugar or preservatives.  
Also, the benefit for mom:  It's fast and easy to make - no baking required!
"I will often make these on a Sunday afternoon so the kids can grab them to snack on throughout the week<" Gina says.
This recipe is from a website full of great, nutritious recipes:
8 dates, pitted
2 cups almonds (try subbing sliced tigernuts for AIP/nut free)
1 cup coconut chips 
1/3 cup coconut butter, melted
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp maple syrup.
1/4 cup dried blueberries
2 tbsp dairy free chocolate chips (omit for AIP)
4 tbsp collagen (I use vital proteins)
1 tsp cinnamon
1. Line an 8×8″ baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
If the dates are hard, soften in warm water for 10 minutes.
2. Using a food processor, process the dates for 10-15 seconds.
3. Add in the almonds and coconut chips and process for another 10 seconds. It’s fine to still have some big chunks here.
4. Spoon the mixture out into a large mixing bowl, and stir in the remainder of the ingredients. Mix well to fully combine.
5. Pour the granola bar mixture into the baking pan and flatten with your hands.
6. Place in the fridge to fully harden for at least 3 hours.
7. Remove from the fridge and allow to sit for 5 minutes before removing from the baking pan. Place on a cutting board and carefully slice with a knife into 9 bars.
Serve chilled and enjoy as a snack!
*These bars need to be chilled to stay solidified. Keep them in the fridge or use an ice pack when traveling with them.
*All nutrition facts are estimations and will vary.
Gina Maravilla appears every weekday on Good Morning Arizona keeping you up-to-date on your morning commute.  

Join Gina and the rest of the Good Morning Arizona family weekdays starting at 4:30 a.m.


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