Are you a fan of beef jerky? If so, then you’re really in for a treat with the recipe I’ll be sharing today. These homemade beef jerky and dried cherry protein bars are unbelievably good. I’ve always loved snacking on beef jerky, so finding a recipe that lets me make my own from scratch – with cherries included – with all-natural ingredients was a game changer for me. The best part of all is how incredibly easy it is to make – you’re just going to need a few simple ingredients, a food processor, and about 10 minutes of prep time to get these protein bars ready for cooking. It will take about two hours to cook them, and then you’ll be all set to enjoy your own homemade protein bars that offer a delightful blend of flavors – beef, cherries, and coconut all rolled into one healthy treat!
An Unbelievable Combination of Flavors
You’re going to want to get your beef prepared first when making this recipe. Place your meat cubes (make sure you’ve trimmed off all the fat!) on a parchment paper-lined cutting board and freeze for 20 minutes. Next, add the frozen meat into your food processor and pulse until it makes a coarsely ground texture. It’s really that simple to get your own homemade beef jerky ready for cooking. However, in order to take your beef jerky and make it into protein bars, you’ll first need to add a few other tasty ingredients.
Once your beef is coarsely ground, you can begin to add in the rest of the ingredients, starting with ¾ cup of dried cherries, ¼ cup of soy sauce, and a bit of salt to taste. The soy sauce helps to give your protein bars a delightfully salty flavor, especially when paired with just a pinch of salt. Adding the dried cherries helps to give the protein bars a naturally sweet flavor with every bite that helps to balance out the saltiness. Not only that, but cherries are also rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory polyphenols and vitamin C, making them an excellent choice to help reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases like cancer or heart disease. (1)
The recipe also calls for ¼ cup of unsweetened finely shredded coconut as well. I’m a huge fan of the taste of coconut, making this ingredient a welcome addition to this recipe indeed. Coconut in general is one of my favorite foods to cook with, as it provides a ton of great benefits thanks to its medium chain triglyceride fatty acid content. Even just shredded coconut flakes have been shown to reduce the bad kind of LDL cholesterol in individuals with moderately high levels. (2)
Last but not least, you’ll also need to add in three tablespoons of sesame seeds. As with nearly all other types of plant seeds, sesame seeds are incredibly nutrient-dense and they offer a ton of great health benefits. They’re a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, copper, and manganese. Sesame seeds also provide a ton of both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, dietary fiber, and a moderate amount of protein in their own right. On top of all that, sesame seeds also provide antioxidant activity that helps to protect against disease causing oxidative stress. (3)
After adding in the rest of the ingredients with your beef, pulse until it’s all well combined and then follow the directions listed in the recipe below for cooking your protein bars. These bars just might be the yummiest protein bar recipe we’ve shared yet – but I might be just a little bit biased because of how much I love beef jerky.
More Homemade Protein Bar Recipes:
Homemade Beef Jerky and Dried Cherry Protein Bars (YUM!)
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
10 oz round steak, trimmed from any fat and cut into 1 inch cubes
¾ cup dried cherries
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
3 tbsp sesame seeds
salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 225°F.
- Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Place the meat cubes on a parchment paper-lined cutting board and freeze for 20 minutes.
- Add the frozen meat in a food processor and pulse until the meat is coarsely grind.
- Add the dried cherries, shredded coconut, sesame seeds, soy sauce and salt to taste and pulse to combine.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.
- Press the mixture down firmly to make an even layer.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and pour off any cooking juices.
- Bake for another 70-80 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan.
- Cut into 12 bars.
- Keep the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to week.