Sooo I’m not going to rant any more about the benefits of eating good, clean protein…I think you folks have gotten the point. Suffice it to say that you need the stuff, and need for…well, everything. I think that you’ve all figured out by now that in order to continue to function properly at a high output for a long time, you need to take in protein.
This week, I’m going to move back toward the “energy bar” end of the spectrum (it’s raining smashed cats outside and it’s freezing, so I think I’ve let go of my “end-of-summer kick). The recipe I’m going to feature is my new favorite snack, and I’m currently trying to figure out how to stock up on the gluten-free oats it requires without remortgaging the house. Because let me tell you what, sisters: it is good.
A few notes about this week’s treat: As I’ve already mentioned, it calls for gluten-free oats…depending on how important this is to you, you can sub regular oats. Just be sure they are the old-fashioned kind, not quick oats or steel-cut. It also states almond butter in the recipe, which is what I used, but if you’d like to use sunflower seed butter to make it nut-free, then that’s an option also. In addition, if you’re used to using flavored protein powders that are whey- or soy-based, I would encourage you to try the unsweetened, vegetable-based, vegan protein powder called for in the recipe. I found few a single-serving packets of the stuff just to try it out, and was really happy with the results…there was no unpleasant, “protein-y” taste to these bars.
The other thing I’d like to mention, for all of you kitchen-phobes out there, that this baby is quick. Prep time–including freezing it solid enough to at least munch on–is about 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes…to a tasty, healthy snack that you can throw in a baggie and take to practice or work or the gym with you. They don’t need to be refrigerated during the day if you are out and about, but keeping them in the freezer or refrigerator helps to keep them a little more solid while you’re waiting to consume them.
Lastly, the yield I got out of this was about 8-10 mid-sized bars. Of course, I had to use a round cake layer pan because I didn’t have an 8×8 square pan…but I think you will find that these are a little rich and you won’t need a huge portion.
Good luck! I think you will love these!
Easy No-Bake Protein Bars
1.5 cups gluten-free rolled oats, blended into a flour
1/2 cup unsweetened/unflavored vegan protein powder (such as Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Natural)
1/2 cup rice crisp cereal
1/4-1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, to taste
1/2 cup natural peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of choice)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons mini dark chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
–Line an 8-inch square pan with a piece of parchment paper. Mix the oat flour, protein powder, rice crisp, and salt together in a large bowl.
–Add in the nut/seed butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir well to combine. If the mixture is a bit dry, add a splash of non-dairy milk and mix again.
–Press into pan and roll out with a pastry roller until smooth. Pop into the freezer.
–Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together in a small pot over low heat. When half of the chips have melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth.
–After freezing the bars for about 5-10 minutes, remove from freezer and slice into bars. –Drizzle with melted chocolate and freeze again until set. Store in the freezer for a week or longer in an air-tight freezer bag or container.
*Recipe courtesy of http://www.ohsheglows.com
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