Power Protein Bars
Finding a quality protein bar in the grocery store can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a hay stack. There are a few brands that I really love, but a lot of them are filled with sugars, preservatives, artificial flavors, or inadequate protein sources. After talking to one of my friends, who goes out of her way every week to find protein energy balls/bars, I decided to take a stab at making my own. I'm so glad I did because I discovered how easy it is to make nutritious, protein-packed, energy bars that don't have any of the fillers and crap that I'm always trying to avoid. (I sent my friend home with a hefty to-go container to get her though the week!)
These Power Protein Bars are loaded with plant-proteins, omega-3 fats, fiber, and other amazing nutrients. No added sugar. No gluten. No dairy. No soy. Filled with fruits, nuts, seeds, and ALOHA plant-based vanilla protein powder, these bars sure pack a nutritious punch and will supply you with the energy you need to take on any day! What I love about this protein powder is that it is 100% plant-based and USDA organic. I feel like some protein powders can add a distinct taste that can be overpowering (I have never been a huge fan of dairy sourced protein powders, like whey) but ALOHA has almost a nutty flavor since it is made out of pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, pea protein, etc.
½ cup almonds (or nut of choice)
¼ cup chia seeds
½ cup hemp hearts
1 cup ALOHA vanilla protein powder (about 6 scoops)
2 tbsp cacoa nibs
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup cocoa powder
20 pitted dates
5 tbsp coconut oil, melted
½ cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
Add almonds and chia seeds into high-speed blender and coarsely grind into a fine mixture. Pour into a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the dry ingredients. Set aside. Combine all wet ingredients, adding the water first, in a high-speed blender. The mixture is very sticky and thick, so it may take time to blend completely. Pour wet ingredients into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Using your hands, fold the ingredients together (like you’re kneading bread) until everything is together in a large ball. Place the ball on an 8x8 inch parchment line pan, pressing and spreading the mixture evenly onto the pan. Let chill in refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Cut into 12-18 bars. Store in the fridge in an air tight containter and enjoy throughout the week.