Sunday, September 22, 2013

Protein Brownie Bars

Protein bars are good- convenient for a pre-workout pick me up, or post-workout refuel.  Or even to just keep in the car for a quick snack when your day doesn't quite go as planned.  However, store-bought bars can often be loaded with preservatives, lots of added sugar or artificial sweeteners, and other ingredients that just don't offer you any nutritional goodness!  Lucky for us, homemade bars are even more delicious than something you unwrap from the store.  Try this new recipe for protein brownie bars- tested out on Sonny, and approved ;)

Protein Brownie Bars
Makes 12 bars

1 cup rolled oats
3 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/3 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup pure cocoa
1/2 cup chopped prunes
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup dried unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 Tb local honey
3 Tb unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Process first four ingredients (oats, protein powder, chia seeds and cocoa) in a food processor.  Oats should look roughly chopped, and the rest of the ingredients well combined.  Pour the dry ingredients out into a bowl and set aside.

 Next, add your fruit, coconut, almond butter, pecans and honey to the food processor.  Blend until fruit is chopped into small pieces. 

 You will alternate between adding back the dry ingredients (one third at a time) and your almond milk (1Tb at a time).  Pulse your mixture in the processor between each addition.  Your mixture should come together, and hold shape, when squeezed between your fingers. 

Lightly coat a 9x9 baking dish with non-stick spray.  Pour your mixture into the pan and pat with your fingers until evenly spread.  Place the baking dish in the freezer for 30 minutes.  Remove and cut into 12 even pieces.  Store your bars in the refrigerator to best keep the desired taste and texture.  Feel free to play with the recipe- try different fruit and nuts to suit your taste preferences!

Nutrition information per serving- 175 calories, 8gm fat, 2gm saturated fat, 43mg sodium, 19gm carbohydrate, 4gm fiber, 7gm sugar, 10gm protein

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