As much as I’ve tried to ignore the fact that it’s winter, there’s no denying it now. While it’s still not really that cold, the rain has set in as a gentle reminder that our sunbathing days are long gone (who am I kidding though, it’s not like I could ever actually tan anyway). Now instead of spending my days outside frollicking in the fresh air I’m forced to entertain myself. Of course I could spend this extra time planning for my trip to Europe – in exactly 24 days!!! – but that would count as “planning” and I don’t think I want to risk frightening my parents. Besides, I’ve built a great deal of my reputation around procrastination. Why stop now?
I’ve been trying to get a new recipe up on here for weeks now, but every time I have a free day it seems to be swallowed whole by the ever-increasing list of things I have to get done. This, combined with the fact I’m not even at home all that often, has meant I’ve been quiet on the blogging front. Nevertheless, I’m here today partly because of the aforementioned rain but mostly because I have a little (edible) something to share.
Let me present to you my raw protein power bars. Since I started eating vegetarian I’ve noticed a huge difference in the way I’ve felt. I have more energy, I get sick far less, and I’m not succumbing to the afternoon slump like I used to. One thing I have noticed though, is that I seem to have a bigger appetite than I had before. All jokes aside about vegetarians being hungry because they only eat salad, it puzzled me a little. I had done my research into where to get your protein, in what forms, blah blah blah, but recently I thought perhaps that by upping the protein intake in my diet I might feel more satiated.
Thus, this recipe was born.
One of these seems to make a huge difference to how hungry I am, and coupled with a muffin or a piece of fruit for afternoon tea I can keep going until dinnertime. I’d been making a variation of these bars for quite some time now, but after a few simple ingredient switches and additions I managed to nearly double it’s protein content. If you cut this bar into sixteen pieces each serving has about 14 grams of protein and a quarter of your recommended daily iron. Not bad for a snack bar!
RAW PROTEIN POWER BARS
If you’re not a huge fan of spirulina’s taste feel free to halve the amount and replace it with cacao without dramatically reducing the protein quantity. You can also switch up the nuts used here, as long as you stay around the 2 cup mark in total. I’ve used hemp seed meal simply because it’s the only hemp product, besides oil, legal for sale in New Zealand (don’t get me started on this, crikey) but if you can get your hands on hemp seeds just whizz 3/4 cup in a food processor or spice grinder to get a coarse powder. Finally, if you don’t have raw cacao, feel free to use normal cocoa powder.
1 cup almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup hemp seed meal, or ground hemp seeds
1/2 cup ground flax seeds, approx 3/4 cup whole seeds before grinding
2 tablespoons (22g) spirulina powder
1/2 cup cacao
4 tablespoons coconut oil
3/4 cup date puree (try this method with any dried date)
1/2 cup water
optional: toasted buckwheat, cacao nibs, bee pollen, dried coconut
Place your nuts, sunflower seeds, hemp, flax, spirulina and cacao in your food processor and pulse until everything is crumbly but not quite like breadcrumbs. Mix together the date puree and water and pour into the processor with the coconut oil, pulsing again until it starts to stick together and make a ball.
Dump it out into a bowl and give it a good massage, making sure there are no lumps of oil. Now’s the time to mix in any crunchy add-ins, too. Don’t worry if it seems quite sticky, as the ground flax will absorb the water as it sets.
Line a baking dish with cling wrap or baking paper and press the mix evenly into it, placing another piece of wrap/paper on top to press it out smoothly. Pop into the freezer for about 30 minutes to chill, then slice into 16 pieces.
// Makes 16. Keeps for 1-2 weeks in the fridge, even longer in the freezer.