Tuesday, October 25, 2016

No-Bake Pumpkin Spice Protein Bars


Ever since I discovered that it is possible to make ridiculously delicious treats at home without traditional flour, butter and refined sugar, I have become an unstoppable treat making (and eating) machine! I take so much pleasure in trying new recipes and discovering healthier alternatives to traditional ingredients. Knowing that indulging isn't wrecking my health, weighing on my conscious (or my hips), makes the process so much sweeter!

On the flip side, however, I am now a total 'nutrition fact snob'. I can't put anything into my shopping cart without dissecting the ingredient label first, which means I am no longer buying a lot of my old favorites. One favorite purchase in particular were protein and energy bars. After discovering the copious amounts of sugar and other iffy ingredients in my favorite bars, I decided I would try to look for a homemade alternative. I found a great recipe from one of my faves Oh She Glows, with a simple list of ingredients that I could feel good about. I switched up a few of the ingredients, because I can be a bit of a rebel (ha!), and because I wanted to make my first Pumpkin Spice treat of the season!


No-Bake Pumpkin Spice Protein Bars
Adapted from Oh She Glows

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups oats, blended into a flour
1/2 cup unflavored vegan protein powder (I used Vega Protein Natural)
1/2 cup rice crisp cereal
Sprinkle of fine grain sea salt, to taste
2 tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 cup natural almond butter (I used Justin's Honey Almond Butter)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup, honey or agave
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk
3 tablespoons mini dark chocolate chips
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

Directions:

Line an 8x8 square baking dish with parchment paper. In a standing mixer, mix together oat flour, protein powder, rice cereal, pumpkin spice and sea salt. Add in almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla and almond milk. Whisk together until a slightly sticky and crumbly dough is formed. Transfer into your baking dish and spread evenly. Use your hands or a small glass to press the mixture firmly into the pan until it is smooth and even. Freeze for 10-15 minutes while you make your chocolate drizzle. In a small pot, heat coconut oil and chocolate chips on low until the chips are soft and melty. Remove from heat and stir until the chips and oil are combined and melted smooth. Remove your bars from the freezer and lift out of the pan by the parchment paper. Use a knife to cut evenly into bars. I cut 12 bars. Arrange on the parchment paper so that none of the bars are touching. Use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the top any way you would like. Using a cookie sheet, gently slide the parchment paper and bars onto the cookie sheet. Place back in the freezer until the chocolate has firmed. Store in zip bags in the freezer. 


  These are so yummy! The chocolate and spice goes so well together. Delicious straight from the freezer after a workout, with a big glass of almond milk!

xoxo

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