Friday, June 13, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars

I used to buy Luna bars at the health food store and really enjoyed them, but I wanted something I could make at home, so I set out to find a recipe that would be healthy and yummy at the same time. After trying many recipes, I combined two different ones to get this delicious sugar free protein bar! Who know healthy could still be so good? :-)
Bar Ingredients: 
  6 cups rice cereal ( I buy this brand at my local health store, because it is sugar and gluten free)
  1 1/4 cup peanut butter (the kind that is just peanuts)
  1 cup honey
  1 tsp. sea salt
  4 tsp. vanilla
  6-7 Tab. hemp protein powder (I like to use this one)
Chocolate Frosting:
  1/2 cup coconut oil (I get this at Costco)
  1/2 cup honey
  2 tsp. vanilla
  1 1/4 cups unsweetened coco powder
Mix peanut butter and honey in a saucepan and heat just until it mixes together easily (you want to do it the least amount of time as possible so that you don't kill the enzymes in the honey). 

Stir in the vanilla, salt, and protein powder

Add the rice cereal and mix well
  Place in a food processor and pulse until some of the cereal is crushed. If you don't have a food processor, you can use the back of a spoon and keep crushing it as you stir it together. The goal is just to make sure that it pushed together well in the pan 

Press down VERY firm into an 8x8" pan (the one I use is 6x11" pan), you can use a smaller one it you would like your bars thicker, or a larger one if you like them more thin.

For the frosting...on VERY low heat, heat honey and coconut oil just until melted (again you don't want it to get too warm or it will kill the enzymes in the honey and take away some of the nutrients in the coconut oil)

The above picture is when I put it in the pan (you can see that some of the coconut oil is a little solid). The below photo is what it looks like after heating it for just a minute. Add the vanilla at this point.

 Next add the chocolate and stir well

 Spread chocolate over bars and place in freezer until firm

When firm, cut around the edge of the pan and pop the bars out

Cut into squares (I do 16, but you can do it whatever size you want)

Store in a air tight container, or put in small Ziploc bags, and store in the refrig or freezer. Because these bars are all natural you have to keep them cold or the chocolate will melt. I make these for my brothers to take to work and they just know to keep them in their cooler until they are ready to eat them at lunch. I store them in the freeze in small snack bars so they are all ready to go when they grab their lunch before leaving for work!


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