No Bake Goji Nutter Protein Bars
I don’t know about you, but there seem to be so many so-called ‘healthy snack bars’ on the market at the moment, I find it quite overwhelming and difficult to work out which ones are actually worth their while! I won’t deny that there are a handful of brands that make some great tasting bars which are really useful for snacking on the go (I’ll be sharing some of my favourites later this month). However, many others can be disappointing and often incredibly pricey too!
With a bit more time on my hands over the holiday period, I decided it was time to try and make a batch of my own. I started by having a think - what do I look for in a bar? I’m a sucker for anything nutty, I like a little crunch, and I also like a little juicy bite. Plus, I don't really like anything too sickly sweet that leaves me gasping for water after!
If so, then I think you might like these! These protein bars are little powerhouses. They contain approximately 10g of protein per bar and are made with just a handful of natural ingredients. They’re gluten free, dairy free, and don’t even require an oven. Yes, that’s right, all you’ve got to do is leave them to set in the fridge and then they can be sliced up and enjoyed straight away!
The main ingredient in these bars is nut butter. Packed full of healthy fats (which should not be feared), nut butters are one of my favourite ingredients to have with just about anything. Each nut butter has a slightly different nutritional profile, depending on the nut in question, but they are all great sources of minerals, vitamins, and often omega-3s too. Just be sure to only buy those that are free from any added refined sugars. You can use any nut butter in this recipe (I opted for half almond, half peanut) depending on which you like best. If you are allergic to nuts, then you could also use sunflower seed butter as this is similar in consistency and nutritional value and will do the job just the same!
I made my first batch to keep me going through this first busy week of January 2017. They leave me feeling satisfied and alongside my morning or afternoon cuppa, have been the perfect energy booster. I recommend making a batch for the week and if you can resist eating them all in the first day or two, then freeze a few for when the munchies strike and you need a quick fix later on! They should last for about a week in the fridge and for about a month in the freezer.
No Bake Goji Nutter Protein Bars
Time: 15 minutes to make, 1 hour to set
Serves: makes 9 bars
Vegan. Dairy free. Gluten free.
- 1 cup (256g) unsalted nut butter (I used half almond and half peanut as I couldn’t decide between the two!)
- 5-6 tbsp maple syrup or brown rice syrup (depending on your sweet tooth)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 4 tbsp (approx. 45g) unflavoured vegan protein powder (alternatively a vanilla blend would also work well here)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (only a pinch if you use salted nut butter)
- 6 tbsp warm water
- 60g puffed/popped quinoa*
- 3 heaped tbsp. dried goji berries
*You should be able to find puffed/popped quinoa in your local health food store, but if not, you can replace it with puffed brown rice, puffed or regular rolled oats, puffed amaranth, or a mixture of nuts and seeds. I haven’t tried these myself, so use my suggest amount as a guideline. Add enough to the mixture until it forms a dough like consistency, but before it begins to crumble - you want to make sure that the mixture still holds together.
- Start by lining an 8x8 inch baking tray with grease proof paper.
- In a large bowl, add the nut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla essence. Stir to combine.
- Add the protein powder and a pinch of salt. Stir again.
- Gradually add 6 tablespoons of warm water to the mixture and stir well until completely smooth.
- Next add the puffed/popped quinoa, using roughly a third of the mixture at a time. Stir gently but firmly, until evenly distributed.
- Finally, add the goji berries and stir once more. You may want to use your hands to help bring it all together.
- Transfer the mixture into your baking tray and press down hard using a large spatula or your hands to make sure the mixture is firmly compacted.
- Place the tray into the fridge for an hour, or until firm, then slice into 9 bars and enjoy!
- *Take care not to let the bars get too warm - they get a little soft at room temperature so I recommend storing them in the fridge (or freezer)!
If you have any questions or try any variations then I'd love to hear from you. As always, please also feel free to tag me @mylifeisforliving, use the hashtag #mylifeisforliving, or comment below if you give the recipe a try. I hope you like them!
Until next time,