{Clean} Protein Power Bars

Soooooooooo, last night was a pretty exciting night for me. I wanted to make something that would taste good, act as a “protein” source, fill my tummy, taste good for hubby and would be “clean” It was a tall order, I’ll admit. I want to be healthy, but I just can’t convince myself that something is delicious when it’s not. If it tastes like dirt, I don’t care how healthy it is, I won’t be able to eat it.

So, I took a regular granola bar recipe that I found online and “cleaned it up” (see what I did there!!) I replaced the butter with mashed banana, the brown sugar with maple syrup and peanut butter (**Note: You can make them nut free as well if you omit the Peanut Butter**) & the almonds with Chia Seeds. At the end, they became a protein packed, no-bake, gluten free, dairy free power bar! It’s something that tastes good and will fill you up until your next meal!

So what makes this a power protein bar? There are SO many GOOD things in them that will nourish your body and keep you full with things like toasted oats, banana, dark chocolate, natural peanut butter and my personal fave – chia seeds. Chia Seeds are FAB. Not only are they an excellent source of fiber (which helps keep you full) they’re also packed with protein & omega-3 fatty acids! Check out all the benefit here if you’re still not convinced!

Anywho, I’m VERY proud of this recipe. These bars are SO good for you & they really do taste amazing. I hope you give these a go, they’re perfect for on the go snacking, a quick breakfast or even a sweet treat after dinner! If you try it out, let me know what you think!

NOTE: Natural peanut butter is oily and much more fluid then normal peanut butter. I may or may not have spilled it all over myself and ruined a favourite sweater *sigh* Just a word of warning if you’ve never used it in baking before!

“Clean” Protein Power Bars
loosely adapted from Inspired Taste
Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups of large flake oats
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup honey
2 small, ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp natural peanut butter, optional
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips 
Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spread out the oats and chia seeds evenly. When your oven is heated, place the mixture in for 5 mins. Take out and toss the oats and seeds together and put back in the oven for another 3-4 mins. Transfer to a large bowl when done.

While oats & seeds are toasting, combine the honey, mashed banana, vanilla & maple syrup in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until everything is combined. The bananas won’t meltdown like butter, so really you just want everything to be heated up and the honey to have combined with the maple syrup. 

When ready (will take about 3-4 mins) pour the saucepan mixture a little bit at a time into the bowl with the oats and combine with a rubber spatula. Pour mixture until all the oats are coated & sticky. You might have a little of the saucepan mixture left over which is ok! If you are including, add the natural peanut butter here and combine with the mixture. 
Let the mixture cool for about 2 minutes then add in the 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips. They will melt into the mixture which is perfect – they will act as the glue to hold everything together. Mix together until everything is completely combined and the chocolate has melted into the mixture. 
Spray an 8×8 baking pan (I sprayed mine with olive oil, but use whatever you have on hand) and press the mixture into the pan. Make sure you press down multiple times so that the mixture is spread evenly. This also ensures that everything will stick together when done. I used my rubber spatula to do this but you can also use your hands. Either way, you want everything to be really packed down. 
Finally, sprinkle the 2 tbsps of remaining chocolate chips overtop and press them down into the mixture with your spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 1 hour. Remove from the freezer and cut into bars! 
Store in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 5 days. 

Enjoy!

P.S. You can now PRINT my recipes easily by click the button below! If there in any unwanted text that you don’t want to print simply click it to delete it!
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