The perfect pre- or post-workout Paleo-friendly snack, packed with pecans, dates for sweetness and protein powder

I’ve been reading all these recipes using protein powder for ages, but have stubbornly refused to try any of them.  Or buy any protein powder.  Because I didn’t think I needed it.  I mean, I eat enough meat and get lots of plant-based protein … right?  But then I did the Whole30 (twice) and realized that my exercise was much more effective, more personal bests, if I had a pre and post workout snacks.  And their recommendations were based on protein.  There’s only so much tuna, chicken breast, and deli sliced meat that this girl can handle in a day … who’s with me?

A few weeks ago I volunteered at the Everything Food Conference and ran into some representatives from Vital Protein.  They caught my interest as I remembered that this protein powder was actually approved by the experts at Whole30.  I thought to myself, if I was ever going to try some of this protein powder, I should go with one that’s Whole30 approved.  When I chatted a bit with them and mentioned that I’d never tried protein powder before, they offered to send me some samples.  Which they did, out of sheer generosity!  And I’ve been experimenting with them, in smoothies, and in baking. 

Which is where these bars came in.  Kind of adapted from a recipe on their website, but instead of making truffles, I made them into bars, and topped with my chocolate avocado frosting recipe.  And it was so yummy, I just have to share the recipe with you all.  Grant really loved it too … they didn’t stay around long in our house, even in the freezer!


Pecan pie protein bars

Prep Time 10 minutes


  • 1 cup pecans 120g
  • 1/3 cup collagen peptides
  • 12 medjool dates pitted
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Place pecans, collgen peptides, dates and vanilla in a food processor and process until the mixture starts to resemble coarse sand.
  2. If mixture is too dry, add water. If mixture is too sticky, add a few more pecans and process again.
  3. Place the mixture in a lined 8 x 4" loaf pan and press to ensure as compact as possible.
  4. Chill in the freezer for 1-2 hours prior to cutting into 12 bars.

Recipe Notes

If you don't want to use any protein powder, just use 1-2 fewer dates

Adapted from