Paleo-Friendly Protein Bars

I adapted this: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/protein-bars-recipe/index.html to be more paleo-friendly. (Original uses silken tofu, oat brain, wheat flour, wheat germ, etc.)

Paleo-friendly Protein Bars

NOTE: BOTH volume (cups) AND grams are shown. Depending on which measure you use, the calories will vary DRAMATICALLY. (e.g. using cups for the dry ingredients will display much higher calories). SO, for more accuracy and if you have a food scale, you should use appropriate measurements (grams for dry, volume for wet).

  • 1 cup (approx 72 g) Whey protein powder
    NOTE: I have used Reserveage Grass Fed Vanilla Protein Powder – has a slight stevia aftertaste, and also MRM PLAIN whey protein – I like the plain better – Super Supplements has a variety. I have also tried Hemp protein powder – other powders can be used, you'll just have to experiment with the density/weight. Whey = NOT paleo, I know… go hemp if you are strict. My naturopath/diet expert guy says OK to whey… just be conscious of what you're buying.
  • 1/2 c Ground Flax Seed
    SUB: omit flax seed, increase almond flour by 1/2 c, or 1/4 almond flour + 1/4 c finely shredded coconut
  • 1/2 c (approx 48 g) Almond Flour/meal
    NOTE: Winco & Pilgrim’s has in bulk, or Costco has bags
  • 1/4 c (approx 38 g) Chia Seeds
    NOTE: bags at Costco are best deal
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 c (approx 75 g – or more to taste) craisins or other mix of dried fruit 
    NOTE: I have used Mariani mixed fruit – can use apricots, dried cherries, raisins, craisins, etc. – Original recipe calls for 2 cups – too many calories
  • 1 c unsweetened applesauce
    SUB: 1 cup mashed bananas OR 1/2 c pumpkin puree (increase milk and honey, and add pumpkin pie spices
  • 1/2 coconut milk
    SUB: almond milk, hemp milk, apple cider.
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 c sunflower seed butter
    NOTE: Sub almond butter, peanut butter (if you don't care about paleo). Amount can be increased to 1/2 cup for more flavor.
  • OPTIONAL Canola oil, for pan (I don't use, parchment paper is fine by itself)

Other variations:

  • add 1/4 of cocoa powder and sprinkle with dark chocolate chips.
  • The dry ingredients can be varied quite a bit as long as the amounts are consistent.
  • Add almond or vanilla extract

Directions

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper (Optional: lightly coat with canola oil (or spray – I don't use any oil, just the parchment paper). Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the protein powder, flax seed, almond flour, chia seeds, and salt. Set aside.

Coarsely chop dried fruit and place in a small bowl and set aside.

In a second mixing bowl, add applesauce, coconut milk, honey, eggs, and nut butter, 1 at a time, and whisk to combine after each addition (I just put everything together at the same time). Add this to the protein powder mixture and stir well to combine (should be somewhere between muffin and cake batter consistency). Fold in the dried fruit. Spread evenly in the prepared baking dish and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. (My oven runs hot, I do 20 – don’t overcook because they’ll get dry. As long as they are firm to the touch and not jiggly). Remove from the oven and cool on rack for about 10 minutes, then lift parchment out of pan and cool completely before cutting into squares. Cut into bars. I store mine in the fridge and they last easily 7-10 days.

Cut into 15 bars

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Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 bars
Amount per Serving
Calories 136
Calories from Fat 55.4
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6.16g
Saturated Fat 0.95g
Cholesterol 46.95mg
Sodium 39.15mg
Total Carbohydrate 13.88
Dietary Fiber 3.08g
Sugars 7.82g
Protein 7.36g

Est. Percent of Calories from:

Fat 40%
Carbs 40%
Protein 21%
 

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