Friday, September 27

Chocolate Chip Coconut Protein Bars

To me, protein bars are quite overwhelming. I picture myself standing in the market in front of a wall of colorful boxes with words like 'spirulina' and 'supergreen' and 'macro' all vying for my attention. Which ones are actually good for me? Will I be hungry 20 minutes after I eat one? Why must it cost $4.95 for a beefed up granola bar? All of these questions led me to conclude that I should just make my own. As usual.
In this bowl is a plethora of yummy, healthy ingredients that will soon be pressed into one giant delicious bar. Nuts, oats, coconut and of course cinnamon (because its never a bad idea) are the base for this recipe. 
Coconut Oil gets melted down, although if it's summertime in your neighborhood, it may already be liquified in your pantry.
That melted oil gets mixed with Almond butter, honey and greek yogurt - Yes! yogurt. There's calcium too!
The liquids get mixed in with the dry ingredients, tossed with a good sized handful of dark chocolate chips and a sprinkle of vanilla protein powder, preferably plant based.
Next, press the mixture, rice krispy style, into a baking dish lined with parchment paper. And into the oven they go for the first bake.
Next, the whole thing gets carefully sliced (they do like to be crumbly) into rectangular bars. You could also do squares, or triangles if you feel fancy. The bars get baked a second time to crisp up the outsides and create a more bar-like texture. 

Store them in the fridge in an airtight container with sheets of waxed paper between any layers. You can freeze them as well and just set one out a few hours before you plan to eat it. Maybe they don't have any of those big health words, but they sure do taste good and will satisfy your snack craving and sweet tooth!


Chocolate Chip Coconut Protein Bars
Adapted from Healthy Green Kitchen

3 C whole oats
1/2 C sunflower seeds, shelled
1/2 C slivered almonds
1/2 C unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 C brown sugar (optional - you could add just a tad bit more honey)
1 C plain greek yogurt
1/4 C + 2 T honey
1 C natural creamy or crunchy peanut butter or almond butter or a combination of both
1/4 C coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C dark chocolate chips
1/2 a single packet of vanilla flavored plant based protein powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl through the brown sugar, set aside. In a smaller bowl, combine the wet ingredients and mix together thoroughly. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well to combine and coat all of the dry ingredients. Using plastic wrap, press the mixture into a baking dish lined with parchment paper. 
Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool until okay to handle. Lift the whole thing out (using the parchment paper) onto a cutting board. Slice into whatever shape bars you'd like, then place onto a baking sheet also lined with parchment. Bake again for another 15 minutes, watching closely in the last 5 minutes to prevent burning on the edges.
Cool and store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to eat.

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