Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pumpkin Protein Bars

A huge fan of granola bars, my only beef with them is the quantity of sugar and the lack of protein they provide. I discovered these tasty bars in a quest for a cheaper and healthier replacement. They keep you satisfied for a long time and the recipe is quite versatile if you want to change up your flavors. I've been making them with pumpkin, but feel free to replace that with plain yogurt, adding also either 1/4 c. canola oil or peanut butter to your batter. You can add dried fruit instead of chocolate (but who wants to do that!), or nuts of any variety. Whatever suits your fancy.

Okay, not the prettiest...but I promise they're tasty! ;)

Pumpkin Protein Bars
Adapted from Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe
1 c. soy or whey protein powder (I used vanilla flavored whey)

1/2 c. all-purpose flour

2 c. rolled oats

1/2 c. oat bran

1/2 - 3/4 t. cinnamon

3/4 t. salt

1 c. sweetened coconut

1/2 c. brown sugar (to taste)

1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

1 c. pumpkin

3/4 c. plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)

2 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a glass 9x13 dish.

Place all dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix together. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients. Add to dry and blend together well. The dough will be thick so use those muscles! :)

Spoon into baking dish and distribute evenly. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and cut into bars. Place on baking sheet and bake another 15 minutes or until browned around the edges.

These are hearty bars so lil' ones go a long way. I like to freeze them in Ziplocs and snack on them cold straight from the freezer. They serve excellent as an afternoon snack or pre/post-workout fuel.

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