We likely all have our favorite protein bar that we make sure to always have on hand. We know how they can hit the spot after a workout or help keep the hunger pangs at bay during those long afternoons in front of the computer or working around the house.
But have you ever considered making your own protein bars? Before you say you don’t have the time or expertise, listen to professional Chef Jason Roberts.
“A protein bar or an energy ball or something where you’re adding additional protein is really easy to make,” Jason said. “Fundamentally, it’s a balance of dried fruits and nuts.”
It’s all about making sure you have the right level of moisture in the mixture, he said. Jason was sharing his protein bar wisdom during a recent live cooking demonstration on the XSNation Facebook® page where he made several recipes using XS™ Protein Pods, including bars, doughnuts and smoothies.
His recipe for XSpresso Chocolate Protein Bars includes dates, almonds and walnuts, but he said it’s easy to make substitutions. Figs for dates, for example, or pepitas instead of walnuts. Just make sure you’re consider flavor changes or sweetness levels and make appropriate adjustments, Jason said.
“You can use the flavors that you like,” he said. “You can do almonds and dried cherries, you could apricots and pistachio. Just add your favorite flavored protein powder. The vanilla would work really well, too.”
Both chocolate and vanilla flavors of XS Protein Pods will add a sugar-free sweetness to the recipe thanks to Stevia® leaf extract. If you choose to use a different protein, such as Nutrilite™ All Plant Protein Powder, consider tweaking other ingredients to boost that sweetness level.
The recipe also includes ground coffee for an extra kick of caffeine and maca powder, which comes from a Peruvian plant that was sought after by Inca warriors. “If you need more energy, add more coffee,” Jason joked.
It’s all about balance
No matter what you choose to put in your protein bar, as long as you have a food processor and the right balance of dry and wet ingredients, making your own bars should be a breeze! If you do find your mixture is a bit too moist, Jason said you can pop them in the oven.
“If it feels a little too wet, it wouldn’t hurt to actually bake it on a very low oven, almost like dehydrating it,” he said. “You want to remove as much moisture as possible.”
Ready to give it a try? Check out the recipe below and get creative. Who knows? You might find a recipe combination that will become your new favorite snack!
XSpresso Chocolate Protein Bars
- 3 XS Chocolate Protein Pods
- 1 ½ cups pitted, whole dates
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds hydrated in 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons ground coffee
- 1 ½ cups raw almonds
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons maca powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt flakes
- 2/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
The chia seeds should soak for at least 30 seconds and up to 15 or 20 minutes, so get those going while you gather the rest of the ingredients. Add each of the ingredients to a food processor, saving the protein pods and chia seeds for last.
Lay the pods on top of the mixture and poor the chia seeds and water on them to quickly dissolve the film. Blend the ingredients for 30-40 seconds or until the mixture starts to ball up. (Feel free to taste test, especially if you made substitutions!)
When you’re happy with the flavor and consistency, press the mixture firmly into a brownie pan or form into a flat roll on a cookie sheet. Refrigerate for one hour.
When chilled and firm, slice into finger-sized bars. Store bars in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Enjoy whenever you want to add a little protein to your system!
To learn more about XS or Nutrilite products, click the appropriate link below. You can also find more recipes at Amway Connections.
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