Before I go into protein bars, I plan to bore you with France Adventures. I haven’t been creative in the kitchen for ages (ok, a few days) and I am feeling like it’s time to get crazy. Last week I spent all my time trying to use up everything we had in the fridge before going away for the May long weekend. The good thing is about that is that it forces me to be creative, hence the previous post on hazelnut shortbread cookies. They are very easy to make, take very few ingredients, all of which I always have on hand. On our arrival back, I worked solid, with no time to go grocery shopping or really think about anything other than getting some sleep. This also has it’s perks since we get to eat delicious leftovers that I stocked our freezer with in the previous week leading up to our mini vacation.
It’s that time again when I stock the freezer with a fresh batch of protein bars. I’ve started running again and my husband is constantly looking for snack food, so we don’t even want to go one day without them. I run in the morning and my husband Joshua runs at night, which means my favorite 4 legged friend, Shasta, gets 2 runs a day. Maybe I should develop a protein bar for her? I’m sure she wouldn’t protest since she is always, ALWAYS hungry. I swear if I wasn’t around both my husband and Shasta would perish.
The Ultimate Protein Bar! It sounds so conceited doesn’t it? I thought so too, but these are really good. I can’t figure out why. I didn’t even start with a recipe. I just started chucking things into a bowl and baked it. These are the best ones we’ve made yet, not solely for the flavor, though they are really tasty, but more because of the texture. The result is a ridiculously moist yet dense protein bar. I believe this recipe will be the base for many other concoctions and flavors in the future. Tell me what you decide to add.
The whole thing started because I was making Pavlova and needed 4 egg whites. Also I wanted to stuff it with cream and fruit but wanted to try it with a dairy free cream, whipped coconut cream that is. I read about it recently but had never tried it. Oh my word, it’s delicious. But I only needed the cream at the top, not the water that congregates at the bottom and I had 4 egg yolks. As the queen of never wanting to waste anything, I wanted to figure out a way to use the liquid. At the same time my husband reached for the last Peanut Butter Oatmeal Protein Bar, and that’s when the concocting began.
I chose to use sunflower seed butter for 2 reasons. First off I like to change the flavor of our bars every time we make a batch so we don’t get bored with them. Changing the texture helps too. Secondly the price on sunflower seed butter is half the price of almond butter! I like that.
Some Facts: I also like that Sunflower seed butter is high in unsaturated fats and vitamin B5. Like all Vitamin B, it helps break down food into energy for the bodies use. Also high in copper and magnesium which aids in the development and maintenance of the skeletal and cardiovascular system, it helps in the formation of bone and connective tissue and enhances brain function.
Sunflower Butter Oatmeal Raisin Protein Bars
- 1 cup rolled oats
Coconut water from the bottom of a coconut cream can or 1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup water
- 4 eggs yolks room temperature
1 cup plain 2% yogurt (or the coconut cream from the top of the can)
3/4 cup warm honey
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/3 cup ground flax seed
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2/3 cup rolled oats
1 cup sunflower seed butter (or any other type of nut butter you like)
1 1/3 cup chocolate chips
1 cup raisins
1 cup pumpkin seeds toasted
Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350F. Based on a recommendation of soaking the oats to make them easier to digest, I took a cup of oats, covered it with the coconut water, and 1/2 a cup of water and let it sit for an hour.
Mix the eggs, yogurt, honey and coconut butter together until well blended. Add all remaining ingredients and mix until no lumps remain. Break up the soaked rolled oats with a fork if need be. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 35 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, so that the coconut oil and sunflower seed butter can solidify. Cut into 2″ x 1″ slices (my husband got 3″ x 1″ slices).
They will store well in the fridge for a week. This recipe makes a large batch so I wrap mine individually and freeze them.
It’s that part of the week where I prepare myself for the next few days – so that we don’t reach for convenience food – and keep myself on top of my game energy wise. From time to time we all crave those high fat or sugary treats when our energy levels get low or we’ve allowed ourselves to get too hungry and end up reaching for the easiest solution. We also know that it leaves us feeling like caca. To prevent that from happening I start thinking about how to prepare quick, “go to” foods, when my energy crashes. For me it’s not so much about just having good meals, but it’s also having snacks ready in my pack or purse when I’m out doing errands or at work so I’m not tempted to stop at Starbucks. This week I prepped Pear, Ginger and White Chocolate Muffins and these protein bars. If you’d like to read about some inspiration when it comes to weekly planning, Tyla at Finding Breathing Room is a champ. Check out this post to see why! We also prepped some easy to heat upstew just in case we ran into any nights that might leave us flustered.
They’re actually balls but I didn’t want to put that in the title. Anyway, I thought it was time to work from my Whitewater cookbook again since it’s been a while since I kindled that love affair. So this recipe is a variation on Shelley Adams Energy Balls. The Fresh Tracks Cafe at the Whitewater ski hill sells these miracle energy boosters to the local skiers, as well as those heading out into the backcountry. Shelley Adams moved to the Kootenays in 1985 and became the co-owner of the local ski hill and the creative director/chef of The Fresh Tracks Cafe.
Here are a few photos of the beautiful area. We had the pleasure of making it our home for a short period of time. My husband had the great pleasure of skiing 5-6 days a week throughout the winter we lived there. Our biggest challenge at the time was keeping his weight on! I wish I had come across this recipe back then.