Pre, Post, or Snack…..
Wow! This year is already busier than I expected! Which is one of the very best reasons for simple, quick, healthy recipes! If you are going all the time, like I seem to be these days, you want FAST! I’m carrying on my healthy lifestyle with some added oomph this year and today’s recipe is perfect for that. It is NO BAKE! You can’t get much faster than that. It is a great source of protein and fiber and is easy to make. I think I just hit every point that is necessary for a busy life. So, whether you are continuing a healthy life style, or have resolved to have one this year, you seriously need to tune in because this recipe is absolutely amazing!
I have made this recipe two ways, the first way was for my husband, chocolate chocolate. 😉 I actually designed this recipe for him to meet his protein needs, and his yum needs. I made it easy, and portable, so he can take it to work, and it fits nicely into his exercise needs. Actually this little guy is perfect for pre workout, post workout, or just a snack! The second batch, I made with me in mind. And with that I bring to you the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bar.
These bars are 207 calories, but they are packed with protein, fiber, and good fats. They beat out the boxed bars because YOU control what is in them!
I used Special K cereal as my base, like I did with my breakfast bars, but this is an entirely different bar. Instead of crunchy, and a little bit crumbly, it is soft and needs to be kept in the refrigerator. If you are anything like me, if you look at an ingredient list and it looks really long you just skip over it and move on to another recipe. This recipe may look like it has a long list of ingredients (8), but it is so simple to just throw together that the number should be dismissed. (I usually like to keep my ingredients in the ballpark of 5, but sometimes….. but can you really count vanilla flavoring and water as TRUE ingredients? 😉 )
I feel the easier it is to throw a recipe together the better. I did use a pan to melt the butter and peanut butter, but you can absolutely use the microwave! The only “time consuming” part of this entire recipe is sifting out the chocolate pieces from the cereal. There are approximately 1-1 ½ Tablespoons of chocolate pieces in chocolate delight. I picked them out (It took about a minute or two.) because I didn’t want to get them lost in the mixture when I ground up the flakes. When you make the bars dumb the mixture onto wax paper and using the outer excess of the wax paper flatten the mixture into a flat square. If you pull up one side over and use your hand you can make the square nice and even. If you need to fold all four sides of the wax paper over and gently roll the square with a glass, or rolling pin, until it is your desired thickness. (The square was approximately 9×9”) Most importantly, after you chill and cut these bars take a minute to taste test one, and sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bars
By Angie Gouchenour
¾ cup crunchy natural peanut butter (I used Kroger)
2 Tablespoons light butter
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring or extract
1 ½ cup Special K chocolatey delight cereal – ground with chocolate pieces removed
1 scoop (49 g) Vanilla protein powder (I used Body Fortress)
1 Tablespoon ground flax meal
2 Tablespoons powdered Stevia
1/4 cup water
In a small sauce pan melt the peanut butter and butter together. (You can use a microwave if you’d like)
Stir in vanilla
Add ground cereal (Make sure that the chocolate pieces have been removed), protein powder, flax meal, and Stevia to peanut butter mixture and combine (You may not be able to get all of the powder combined right away)
Add water 1 Tablespoon at a time until the mixture becomes a soft dough, fold in leftover chocolate pieces
Dump the dough onto wax paper and using the wax paper, and your hands, flatten out the dough into a square (approximately 9×9”)
Fold all four sides of wax paper over and chill in the refrigerator
After about an hour remove from the fridge, cut into 8 bars, and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator
1 bar is 207 calories