Month: November 2017

Copycat Protein Bars (Dairy-Free, Grain-Free)

Copycat Protein Bars (Dairy-Free, Grain-Free)

What’s your go-to snack when you’re hangry and running short on time? Handful of nuts? Protein bar? The drive-thru? Over the years, convenient, pre-packaged foods have grown in popularity as they can go anywhere you go – especially when you are on the run and need something quick. 

Protein bars in particular are a top choice for many as they don’t require refrigeration, can fit in your purse or back pocket, and are more somewhat more satiating than other quick options.

 

 

Unfortunately, not all bars are created equal. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “glorified candy bar” thrown around, and this in no exaggeration. Most bars are loaded with added sugars, are highly processed, contain little nutritional value, and offer as many calories as a full meal. When given the choice, I’m going for an actual meal. Still, it’s nice to have smart snacks on hand for those times when you can’t sit down to eat.

 

 

Thankfully, not all bars are bad. Some brands like Rx bars, have risen to fame in large part because of their short and recognizable ingredient list. Common ingredients include nuts, egg whites, and dates or other fruits. We can dig that! Something we can’t dig? Their $2 per bar price tag. Ouch. 

We decided it was time to make our own copycat version of these popular protein bars. Why? Because we believe you should have access to delicious, quick, and affordable smart snacks without the hefty out-of-pocket. Oh, and did we mention that these bars are NO BAKE and take less than 10 minutes to make? Yeah, there’s that too. Here’s what you need to get stated:

 

 

These bars start with a few simple ingredients and can be modified to fit your personal preferences. Add your favorite mix-ins to make them all your own!

 

Simply add your base ingredients together in a food processor:

 

 

And pulse until desired consistency reached:

 

 

Then, throw in your favorite “mix-ins”.

 

 

Press into a mold,

 

 

and chill until mold forms.

 

 

Then, slice into individual bars….

 

 

and enjoy!

 

 

Nutrition Notes: These bars are primarily comprised of almonds and cashews which contain rich sources of mono and polyunsaturated fats as well as vitamins and minerals including folate, vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium which support a healthy brain, heart, and body. Nuts and egg whites provide essential protein for hormones, enzymes, and antibodies, building blocks for tissue and muscle growth and repair, and fuel for the working body. 

 

Ingredients

1 cup raw almonds

1 cup raw cashews

12-14 pitted dates (roughly 1 1/3 cups)

1 cup pure egg white powder

2-4 tbsp water

2/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

2 tbsp dairy free chocolate chips

Other fun mix-ins (up to 1 cup total)

Dried fruit

Cacao Powder

Flavor Extracts

Peanut Butter Powder

Directions

Add almonds, cashews, dates, and egg white powder to a food processor. Pulse until ingredients are well mixed and desired consistency reached*. Add water one tablespoon at a time, continuing to pulse until mixture starts to clump together (it will feel really sticky, this is correct!). Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl. Toss in your favorite mix-ins and ‘smoosh’ together until well incorporated. Add mixture to a 9×9 square baking dish lined with parchment paper; press down into a smooth, even mold. Place baking sheet into the fridge for at least 20 minutes to chill. 

Remove baking dish from the fridge. Slice mix into 10 even bars (note: 20 smaller bars pictured). Individually wrap to be enjoyed any time! We recommend storing them in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

*You may prefer your bars to be smooth with little texture. In this case, continue pulsing until even in color ad consistency. We like our bars to have a lot of crunch so we only pulsed until dates were broken down. 

 

 

Nutrition Facts (makes 10 large bars. Images shown as 20 small bars)

Calories – 230 calories  Fat – 15g  Carbohydrates – 15g  Protein – 12g  Fiber – 3g

Easy as A(vocado) B(eet) C(itrus) Salad.

Easy as A(vocado) B(eet) C(itrus) Salad.

At long last, citrus season is upon us! Although it seems more fitting that this would occur during the summer months along with other juicy favorites, most citrus is in its true peak during the cooler months of the year. I always look forward to this time of year in the kitchen because I find it a fresh reprieve from all of the savory, rich meals associated with the fall.

 

 

Today, we’re combining some of the best flavors of the season in a bright, colorful salad that makes for a perfect light lunch or side dish at holiday meals. It is so incredibly simple to make and many components can be prepped ahead of time which is why we call it our Easy as A(vocado) B(eet) C(itrus) Salad. 

 

 

In addition to citrus, the ABC salad highlights another seasonal staple, beets! We’ll teach you how easy it is to roast your own which is not only a cost savings (#cashmoney) but tastes oh so much better than the canned version. Not a fan of beets natural “earthy” flavor? Our zesty citrus vinaigrette gives beets a whole new look (er, flavor) that will absolutely wow your tastebuds. Don’t take our word for it, just try it!

 

 

You can roast your beets in batches and keep them in the fridge for up to a week for a quick grab and go addition to any salad or meal. Simply wash and scrub your beets.

 

 

Wrap them in foil “pouches”…

 

 

 

And roast until tender and the skin easily peels or slices off. That’s it!

 

 

Once the beets are roasted, we toss our vinaigrette together, add the rest of our toppings, and our salad is ready to devour! 

 


Nutrition Notes: Fresh citrus is rich in vitamin C, which is essential for tissue growth and repair, aids in the absorption of iron, protects against heart disease, and may combat the effects of nitrites (preservatives in certain processed foods). Citrus fruits are good sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber which can aid with digestion, decrease LDL cholesterol, and boost immune function. 

 

Ingredients

2-3 cups mixed butter lettuce

3/4 cup roasted and cubed beets

1 tbsp pine nuts

2 tbsp crumbles blue cheese

1 tbsp green onions, chopped 

1/4 avocado, sliced 

Vinaigrette

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp white balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp orange juice, fresh squeezed

2 tsp lemon juice, fresh squeezed

Fresh lemon and orange zest 

1 tsp honey (optional)

1/8 tsp garlic powder

Pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and scrub beets. Using a knife or fork, carefully poke a few holes in each beet. Wrap beets in foil, creating mini “beet pouches”. Place beets onto a baking sheet and roast for 50-60 minutes, or until tender. Let cool 15-20 minutes prior to peeling. 

In a small bowl, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients; set aside. 

Wash and dry butter lettuce and add to serving bowl. Add 1/2 of vinaigrette and toss well. Garnish with nuts, cheese, beets, onion, remaining vinaigrette and extra slices of orange or lemon. Lightly toss and serve. Want some extra protein? Grilled chicken or sirloin pairs perfectly. 

 

 

Nutrition Facts

Calories – 405  Fat – 29g  Carbohydrates – 33g  Protein – 8g  Fiber – 6g