When we went grocery shopping at our local Costco last month, we purchased a rather large box of Kind bars, because they are so tasty. I thought that the whole box was dark chocolate and sea salt, wrongo. I grabbed one the other morning on my way to a meeting. It was one of those dreary, rainy, cold New Orleans mornings where your breakfast is the only comfort that you have for this terrible weather. When I stopped at the red light, I unwrapped it. I took a sip of my warm coffee and thought, “Best combination ever-the dark chocolate, almonds, and coffee.” Then I lifted the kind bar to my mouth, took a bite, and ………..
It was like a slap in the face. I was betrayed by my own breakfast. What was this thing in my mouth? Where is the chocolate? Where are the chunks of sea salt bouncing off of the sweet honey and raw almonds? Yuck. I quickly turned that little wrapper over and there it was staring back at me, as if to say, “Read the box next time sunshine.” The label read Madagascar Vanilla Almond. I don’t care how fancy you make it sound, this protein bar was like having happy hour with your Tax Accountant….boring and unpleasant.
Needless to say, my tummy was growling during this meeting, because their was no way on God’s green earth that this thing was making a second run at my mouth. No way. Hello circular file. I will be donating the rest of these to my church, because they love to put out snacks on Sunday. Hopefully someone there does not have my discerning protein bar palette :-).
Anywho, onto the homemade protein bar journey. I did what any red blooded American with Pinterest would do, I created my own and took pictures. I originally made them for my husband and I, but while I was cutting one for him to take and try as breakfast, the kids asked to try. They freaked out! They each wanted their own. I knew that I had to share this immediately, because if you can get children to voluntarily eat, this is Breaking News! Here is the text from my hubby after he ate it while driving to work.
Yup, my protein bars bring all the boys to the yard, because mine are better than yours. 🙂 Sorry, I got a little out of control there for a second. I am sure your protein bars are delicious too.
So here is the recipe;
Step 1: Grab a 5 x 9 cooking dish and spray with cooking spray.
Step 2: Mix all of these dry ingredients together.
-1/2 cup Oat Flour (I just took oatmeal and put it in the blender for a few seconds-voila oat powder)
-1/2 cup Quick Oats (not the regular kind, but the kind in the little packets or anything that cooks up super fast)
-1/2 cup Rice Krispies (I just used a box of chocolate rice krispies that the kids voted off the island last month. Haha, I win. I got them to eat it anyway. I am so sneaky 🙂 )
-1/2 cup Vanilla Protein Powder ( I personally have an obsession with BSN Vanilla Ice Cream protein powder, but anything works. If you want to use the same protein that I did, you can grab it here: http://amzn.to/1IiobhB)
**Optional, but I added:
-1/4 cup Pistachios (shells removed, unless you are trying to break your teeth)
-1/4 cup crushed Raw Almonds (take almonds, add to ziplock bag, think of someone who frustrates you, attack bag violently with hammer, rolling pin, your fists, whatever. Don’t judge me.)
Stir all of this together and set aside.
Step 3: In a small pot, gently melt;
-1/3 cup Raw Honey
-1/3 Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
-1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Step 4: Gently fold the honey, peanut butter, vanilla mixture into the dry ingredients.
Step 5: Press into the bottom of the pan. I mean really press it down, because this is how you guarantee that you are going to get that thick, dense, protein bar consistency.
*Step 6: Optional, but I did it. Melt dark chocolate squares in the microwave, roughly 1/3 cup, for 30 seconds at a time until it is smooth and creamy. Drizzle over bars, smooth with spoon, sprinkle with sea salt.
Step 7: Cover dish with wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Step 8: Using a pizza cutter, cut flattened protein cake into 8 bars.
Step 9: Bag individually and stick in the fridge. If you want the little bags that I used, get them here: http://amzn.to/1yw0Mcu. Dirt cheap 1000 bags for $16 with Amazon Prime.
Step 10: Grab on your way out the door in the morning, and know that you are freakin’ awesome! Seriously, you are awesome because you totally made your own breakfast bar, and there will be NO more surprises at the next traffic light when it hits your mouth.
I honestly can not express to you how delicious these are. You can mix up the ingredients and add anything that you want; cranberries, flax seed, anything you want. It’s your breakfast, so go crazy!
Thanks for spending a few minutes with me. I would love to see your creations or hear what you think of this recipe when you try it. Enjoy!