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Playing in the Kitchen – Protein Bar Experiments

by in Recipes August 25, 2013

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One of my favorite things to do is learn about and play with new recipes.  It’s an interesting phenomena, since most people think the way I and my family eat is rather “boring.”  It’s true….we do not follow the Standard American Diet (which is ‘code’ for CRAP…Carbonated Drinks, Refined Sugars, Artificial Fillers and Processed Foods).  Instead, we eat lots of lean protein with lots of green veggies.  That’s it.  We are not gourmet cooks, and we do enjoy actually tasting our foods so we don’t smother it in breading, sauces, or sandwich it all between bread.  We change things up frequently with good seasonings and flavors.

That said, I am still a sucker for recipes.  I have hundreds of recipes that I have started with as a ‘base’ and then fiddled with it to meet my living lean nutrition standards.  When I have a little extra time on the weekends, you would probably find me in the kitchen mixing, stirring, chopping, and cooking up something new, then trying it out on the family’s palate.

This weekend was that kind of weekend.  On the agenda was the development of some kind of yummy protein bars that are not too heavy in carbs or sugars (of course) that my son can take with him to school to eat as mini-meals between sports practice, lunch, and after school extracurricular activities. (On a side note, he has been working diligently all summer to ramp up his weight training and really watch his eating so he can uncover his eight-pack abs…so figuring out the best way to have appropriate meals within his school schedule requires us to think outside the box when it comes to packability and portability).

We worked with four protein bar recipes (Dark Chocolate, Morning Coffee, Apple Cinnamon and Banana Bread), and can say that we perfected two of them.  The other two are still works in progress – the flavor is excellent, but we still need to play around with cooking temperatures and times to make the texture consistent throughout.  Those recipes will have to be posted later, once perfected!

So – on to the two recipes that worked for us:  Dark Chocolate Protein Bars and Morning Coffee Protein Bars.  They are really just two flavor versions of the same bar, but I will put them both in this post so you have all the details.  You will need to use your food scale to measure the ingredients in grams (not ounces), because the original recipe came from a Canadian, and I haven’t done the U.S. conversions yet.  If you don’t already own a food scale, I highly recommend you purchase one!  It’s a great tool I will blog more about soon.

I really prefer these bars warmed up slightly (15 seconds in the microwave), but my husband prefers them cold…so either way, I hope you enjoy them too!

Dark Chocolate Protein Bars

Place all of the following ingredients into a large bowl and mix:

85g chocolate whey (I used MRM Natural Whey in Chocolate)

92g unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder

240g egg whites

80g cooking Truvia

1 Tbsp baking powder

60g reduced calorie butter

120g Walden Farms Zero Calorie chocolate syrup

228g zero fat cream cheese (leave this out to soften for 25-30 minutes prior to mixing in)

Use a hand mixer or bowl mixer to blend all ingredients in bowl until smooth.  Pour batter in sprayed baking pan and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Makes 20 brownies:  59.4 cals/1.78g carbs/7.2g protein/2.5g fat/.55g fiber ** This nutritional labeling is approximate.  Depending on the protein powder you use, the nutritional profile may be slightly different.

 

Morning Coffee Protein Bars

Place all of the following ingredients into a large bowl and mix:

85g IsoPure Whey Isolate, Colombian Coffee flavor

82g unsweetened chocolate cocoa powder (regular, not dark)

10g ground coffee (I use decaf)

240g egg whites

80g cooking Truvia

1 Tbsp baking powder

60g reduced calorie butter

120g Walden Farms Zero Calorie chocolate syrup

228g zero fat cream cheese (leave this out to soften for 25-30 minutes prior to mixing in)

Use a hand mixer or bowl mixer to blend all ingredients in bowl until smooth.  Pour batter in sprayed baking pan and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Makes 20 brownies:  Nutritional profile very similar to the Dark Chocolate bars, again depending on the protein powder you use!