I was chatting with a friend of mine, Karri, this week about how she loves the protein dots you can buy at our local health food shop! I soon found out that these tasty little treats are $1 a ball! I couldn’t believe it! I love a good protein bar but I have found they are also quite expensive, especially the “cleaner” ones. I have tried lots of different protein bar recipes over the past year. This recipe is a slightly different take on the typical protein bar that I make which I adapted from http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/clean-eating-cinnamon-chocolate-chip-protein-bars/
You can find my protein bar recipe on the awesome food blog, Prune Talk! Mandy is a buddy of mine and an AMAZING cook!
These protein dots are packed with super food, nutrient dense ingredients but they fulfill my dessert cravings! They also have one of my favorite foods: almond butter. This ingredient totally makes the bar! Not only is almond butter tasty, but almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E (which is hard for athletes to get enough of naturally). They also contain magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. This means faster muscle recovery, strong bones, and a boost of energy to power through a workout.
But you know what? Almond butter is expensive too! That is why I make my own! To make homemade almond butter (or any nut butter) I roast 2 cups of nuts for every 1 cup of butter. I like to use raw unsalted almonds. I put the nuts on an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven (about 5 minutes each side). If you would like, you can add a little bit of sea salt! Then add the raw almonds to a food processor. Turn the food processor on low & allow it to run for about 10-20 minutes (make sure to stop periodically to scrape down the side). To speed up the process you can add a touch of your favorite oil but you don’t need to. The almond butter will be ready when the natural oils have released. I promise it will be smooth and creamy– it just takes more time than you’d expect, so be patient! If you make more than what the recipe calls for, transfer the almond butter to a sealed glass jar, and store in the fridge for best shelf life.
Once the butter has cooled completely, it will be ready for this recipe!!
- 2 cup oats – roasted in the oven without oil for 10-15 minutes (I prefer organic rolled but quick oats will make for a softer bar)
- 1 cup unsalted almond butter
- 1/2 cup raw local honey
- 1 cup apple sauce (unsweetened)
- 1/4 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks (could also sub dried fruit: raisins or dried cranberries)
- 1 cup vanilla protein powder (I prefer Plant Fusion vanilla bean but for this batch I did half Plant Fusion and half Raw Protein)
- 1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed (whole seed or ground - I prefer cold milled and organic)
- 2-4 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk to thin out dough a bit
- Optional: 1 tablespoon toasted wheat germ
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- On a cookie sheet, toast the oats in the oven without oil for 10-15 minutes. BE SURE your oats have cooled down completely from being roasted or they will totally melt your chocolate chips. Put in mixing bowl.
- Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper for dots or baking dish for bars. If you don't have parchment paper, grease the dish. (I like to use Spectrum coconut oil spray).
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl starting with the dry ingredients.
- Use your tablespoon to take a small ball of dough from mixing bowl. Roll the dough in your hands into a ball. You might have to wipe or wash your hands every few balls so it doesn't get too sticky!
- Bake dots at 350 for 10 minutes and bars for 15-20 minutes, or until the bars are a nice golden brown color.
- Allow to cool and then store in a covered container or Ziploc bag.
Additional Nutritional Information:
Protein: 4 grams a dot, 11 grams a bar
Carbs: 9 grams a dot, 23 grams a bar
Love protein bars? Check out some other great recipes I’ve tried and loved!