Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pumpkin Protein Snack Bars

 A new challenge I'm facing is going gluten free.  Since I love to bake, it's going to be interesting adapting my recipes and fun trying new ones.  The original recipe for these bars is at www.foodfanatic.com, but as usual, I've switched it up a bit.  By changing a few ingredients, I've added protein and improved the texture and flavor while keeping them low in sugar and gluten free.  
I cut the bars into 18 so they are smaller, but still satisfying.  You can cut them into any size or quantity you want, just be aware that the calculations for their nutrition changes the bigger they are.
For 18 servings:     For 12 Servings
152 Calories           228 Calories
8 gr fat                    12 gr fat
9 gr sugar               14 gr sugar
7 gr protein            10 gr protein

Homemade protein bars wont last as long as the commercially processed ones, but you know exactly what you are putting in your body when you make them at home.   Fats, salt and sugar are not bad for the body; they are necessary for it to function properly.  It's the quality and quantity that we have to be aware of. 

*I used 1/3 cup of the Splenda Brown Sugar.  I wanted to make sure I noted that as the packaging says to use half of what the recipe calls for.  If you want to make these with regular brown sugar, use 2/3 cup.
*To toast any nut, bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Let cool and chop.  I like to use my mini food processor to chop nuts; it's quick, easy and contained.  You can use raw nuts for this recipe, but be careful when using a food processor; it can turn into nut butter easily.  Toasting the nuts and adding 1 teaspoon sugar helps to guard against nut butter. If you chop them by hand, it takes longer but you'll completely avoid butter that way. 

Pumpkin Protein Bars
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unflavored whey protein powder
  • 1/3 cup Splenda brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice , plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line an 8x8 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the pumpkin, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  3. Add the protein powder and spice into the mixture, along with the quick oats, salt and ½ cup almonds; stir until well combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out evenly. Sprinkle with remaining almonds and drizzle with 2 tbsp. maple syrup.
  5. Bake for 33-35 minutes.  Center will be set and edges will pull away from the edges of the pan when done.  Let cool completely.  Cut into 18 bars and store in the fridge.
18 servings: 152 cal, 8 gr fat, 9 gr sugar, 7 gr protein
12 servings: 228 cal, 12 gr fat, 14 gr sugar, 10 gr protein

I like these bars because they are moist without being sticky, not overly sweet, but with a good flavor and nice texture between the oats, cake and almonds.  They are also easy to eat on the go.  Give them a try and don't be afraid to make your own tweaks.  Maybe dried fruit or different nuts or seeds.  
Thanks for stopping by and spending a little time with me today!

Much love!

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