Late last night I was watching YouTube videos of folks making homemade protein bars. Yep. Odd, I know. But they inspired me and I trudged my way to the health food store this morning to get some goods to whip up my own recipe.
I hate artificial sweeteners. And I struggle with my own addiction to sugar. I'm not saying that lightheartedly - I fully believe that some of us are chemically addicted to the sweet stuff. ::hand raised high::
I wanted to create my own protein snacks that had a lower amount of carbohydrate, but still was without the artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols.
Chocolate Covered Cherry Protein Bites were born.
In my recipe I used sucanat. I know everyone in the healthy food arena has their sugar prejudices. I love reading blogs like 100 Days of Real Food, and although I wholeheartedly agree with the notion of cutting down on processed food, I think defining processed sugar is kind of subjective. A lot of whole food eaters use sugars like honey and maple syrup, but my perception is that most of those found on store shelves have not been gathered from the hive or tree and deposited directly into your bottle. Also, honey and other 'natural' sweeteners like agave nectar are high in fructose, a sugar that has to be metabolized through your liver and fat stores. Sucanat (or dried cane juice) is comprised of more glucose, a sugar that is metabolized immediately in your blood (higher glycemic index, but okay if you're working out and active). Less tax on your liver and less chance it is stored as fat. So. That's my sugary two cents.
I took lots of time to break down the ounces, cups, and grams, and came up with a rough estimate on carb and protein counts for the bites. (My brain fried and I didn't bother with fat and calories. Sorry!) I got 40 bites from this recipe, and each bite came out to 7 grams protein, .5 grams fiber, and about 8 grams of carbs. I have the pickiest taste-tester on the planet, my four year old, and she gobbled down two of them right out of the pan. Success! I'm excited to try new flavor combinations and maybe different protein sources (rice or egg protein powder?) in the future!
Chocolate Covered Cherry Protein Bites
1 Cup of Oats (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 Cup of Oat Bran (I used Bob's Red Mill)
10 Scoops Unsweetened/Unflavored Whey Protein Powder
1 Cup Sucanat
1/2 Cup Dried Cherries
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips (Use some with high Cacao content)
2 Cups Cashew Butter
1 Cup Almond Milk
Mix dry ingredients together. Melt chocolate chips in microwave and mix with cashew butter and almond milk in separate bowl. Blend wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Spread into a pan to cut into bars, or use a teaspoon or cookie dough scoop to form into balls. Roll balls in oat bran, coconut, shaved chocolate, or crushed nuts. I used oat bran for ours!
Now I'm off to clean the kitchen.