Unprocessed Protein Bars (VEGAN OPTION)
You ever just want a protein bar that works for you? None of this KETO, LOW CARB, HIGH FAT nonsense. Just an energy bar, that tastes like REAL food? One that isn't super complicated with a set of nuclear launch codes to remember how to make it (you get my point yet)? I got just the thing! It's a bar that has a little bit of a story to it, I won't bore you with for too long so here's the short version. I worked at a long-term care/palliative care facility in Toronto in the final year of my undergraduate degree, and my job was to find a way to increase the intake of both insoluble and soluble fiber of 3 residents. This meant finding a way to *trick* them into consuming tasty, but fibrous foods (bonus if they had protein- that was lower with these guys as well), because Metamucil wasn't cutting it and let's just say they weren't too keen on eating fruits and vegetables. The most important, critical detail is I needed to make sure that a support worker with little to NO cooking skill/culinary experience could prepare for the residents as soon as I left. The first batch I ever created for them, I made without any knowledge on how it would turn out, lacking confidence entirely, I found a recipe that I liked, added the ingredients that I needed, and BOOM. Here we have the new and improved energy bar that's high in protein, fiber, and tastes (kind of ) like a chocolate bar (a bit of a stretch but I promise, they're amazing!
1/4 cup water
1 cup nut butter of your choice
1/4 cup milk
2 cups of rolled oats
1/2-3/4 cup protein powder (I used whey)
1/3 cup chia seeds, (up to 2/3 cup of any other seeds you'd like to add)
1/4 cup cocoa
1/3 cup (or more) chocolate chips
In a Microwave safe bowl, combine the dates and water
Microwave on high for one minute. Mash with a fork to soften/create a paste.
(Optional) Microwave on high for another minute. Mash with a fork until paste forms. Return to microwave if more softening is needed.
Stir in the nut butter and milk of your choice
In a large bowl, mix oats, protein, chia seeds, cocoa, and chocolate chips. Stir until combined.
Pour in the "wet" mixture. Stir until well combined. When you think it's well combined, keep stirring for another minute. It should be a forearm workout. The more you mix, the fewer ingredients stay in the bowl, and the more nutrients gets made into bars!
Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper
Press the mixture firmly into the pan.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut into 12 bars
Wrap each bar separately and store it in the fridge (I cut the parchment paper that I lined the pan with, and separate every bar with parchment paper so I don't have them sticking together).
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