**Please don’t steal my photos or recipes, it’s not nice. If you want to use them on your site, please do so but give credit and link back here, it’s just good etiquette.**
I’m tired of all the nasty protein bars we find in the grocers natural section. Natural, Yeah… right. I can’t pronounce half the ingredients, which tells me we shouldn’t be eating them. That said, my husband likes them… he’s a “believer”. Today, I relaunched my mission to come up with a healthier alternative and I started with the world wide web.
My web search came up with Alton Brown’s protein bar recipe (AB happens to be one of our favorite chefs), however, it’s full of stuff we aren’t using in our house… like tofu and soy protein powder (soy is GMO and phytoestrogen, yuck). Plus we aren’t in the mood (we, meaning me) for a bunch of dried fruit.
So, I continued my mission to come up with my own high protein, healthy alternative to those bars Hubs loves without the help of a recipe. My attempt today turned out quite passable (and I don’t care for the taste of protein bars, so that’s saying a lot coming from me).
I made these double chocolate peanut butter, because that’s a fun flavor in our house… however, by omitting the cocoa and adding any combination of dried fruit, seeds, coconut, or nuts you can make a variety of flavors. The combination of “flours” in this recipe is vital because almond, coconut and oat are all high protein. Coconut and almond flours are grain free… you could omit the oat flour and increase the coconut, but if you do that, also add an extra 1/3 cup of liquid as coconut flour sucks up a lot of moisture!
Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars (if you cut into 16 bars, each will have about 12 grams of protein)
1 cup blanched almond flour (Honeyville)
1 cup coconut flour (Tropical Traditions)
1/3 cup gf oat flour (Legacy Valley)
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
6 extra large eggs
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt
1 ripe banana mashed
1 cup unsweetened applesauce (or pumpkin puree)
about 1 1/2 cup liquid (I used water. Coconut milk or water would be great as well.)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips/chunks
1/2 cup peanut butter or dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup firm natural peanut butter (I keep mine in the fridge)
Preheat oven to 350F
In a large bowl, combine your flours (coconut, almond, oat) with the cocoa powder and rapadura/sucanat. In a separate bowl (I use my 4 cup pyrex measuring cup), mash the banana, add the applesauce and eggs. Mix well. Add the water (or other liquid). Now add the liquid ingredients into the dry and mix well. You should end up with a wet, cake like batter. If it’s too dry, add a bit more water. Now add in your extras (in this case, the white chocolate and pb chips). Oil a 9×13 cake pan with liquid coconut oil, line with parchment paper and oil again. Pour batter into pan and spread evenly. Drop small chunks of your peanut butter over the top. Bake at 350F for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Don’t overcook or it’ll be dry. Remove from oven, spread the peanut butter around while still warm. Allow to cool, then lift out of pan by parchment paper and cut with pizza cutter. I make 16 pieces, each will have about 12 grams of high quality protein.
*If you MUST do a protein powder, remove the oat flour (or just add it in addition and increase the liquid a bit) and replace it with Goat Milk Protein. Or with a good quality, raw hemp protein.
**The eggs are really important in this recipe because they are high in protein (an extra large egg has about 7 grams of protein, adding 42 grams of high quality protein to this recipe) and it helps bind these together. If you can’t do chicken eggs, try duck. If you can’t do any eggs, experiment with substitutes, my guess would be that a mixture of gelled flax and chia seeds might give you a good result. You may want to add some of that protein powder to get you closer to the egg protein.
***No, those are not affiliate links. I have nothing to gain if you click and order, I just like these products. That said, I like them so much, I’d happily accept an affiliate from them.