Recipe by Javier Estrada
Protein bars are not only a convenient, portable snack but they’re also great for delivering muscle-building protein to your body post-workout.
Consuming protein is most important after a workout because that is when your muscles are best primed to receive the macronutrient. Your body uses protein to begin healing the “micro tears” or the very small tears in the muscle tissue, caused by the intense contraction of the muscle caused during a workout.
The downside to many big-brand varieties of protein bars are that they are often loaded with unnecessary sugars, additives and calories. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to make your own version at home. With homemade bars you can not only tailor the recipe to your specific taste but you are 100-percent certain you are feeding your body the nutritious ingredients that will help replenish and rebuild to fuel your body.
Invest a little time and save money on packaging by making a much tastier and healthier product with the following simple-to-follow recipe. These bars are gluten and dairy-free to boot. Don’t let the long list of ingredients sway you; these bars are easy to make and delicious.
- 1 cup gluten-free Brown Rice Flour
- 1/2-cup Flax Meal
- 1/2-cup unsweetened/unflavored vegan gluten-free protein (or protein of choice)
- 1/2-cup of gluten-free pretzels crumbled into pieces
- 1/2-cup almonds chopped
- 1/4 to 1/2-teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1/4 to 1/2-teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2-cup natural ground peanut butter, almond butter or favorite nut butter
- 1/2-cup pure maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of choice)
- 1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3-tablespoons mini dark chocolate chips
- 1/2-tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2-tablespoon almond milk
- Line an 8-inch square pan with a piece of parchment paper. Mix together the brown rice flour, flax meal, protein powder, cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl.
- Add in the nut/seed butter, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir well to combine. Add almond milk, adding more if mixture is dry.
- Add in crushed almonds.
- Press almonds into pan and roll out with a pastry roller until smooth. Place bars into freezer.
- While bars are freezing, place the chocolate chips and coconut oil together in a small saucepan on stove eye set to low heat; stirring frequently until halfway melted. Then remove from heat and stir mixture until smooth.
- Remove bars from freezer (make sure they have set for five to 10 minutes) and cut into bar slices. Drizzle with chocolate mixture and then place back into freezer.
- Store bars in freezer until ready to eat.