Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Chocolate Fudge for Breakfast - Protein bars

Call it lazy, call it genius, call it whatever you want, but this could be the best idea I have had- EVER! It was one of those light bulb moments that sounded just crazy enough to work, and Ta-Da! IT DID! Here's the story:

I am a protein shake ninja and my weapon of choice is chocolate! I have been drinking them for breakfast for quite a while, but recently, shakes got serious. Currently, the shake making tools in my kitchen are a Ninja blender and a really awesome shaker cup with a metal shaker ball and a cute little polka-dotted neoprene coat that keeps it cool and dry.

Most days, I make my shake and then take a few swigs before I get in the shower, then take the rest to work and finish it between clients. I LOVE those shakes, love thinking up new combinations of flavors and ingredients, love hiding things like chia seeds, powdered greens and hemp protein powder in them, and love adding fruit, flavorings, nut butters, etc. WHAT I DO NOT LOVE IS CLEANING THE BLENDER AND THE SHAKER BOTTLE EVERY STINKING DAY! UGH! Sooo...

One day, I made the basic recipe minus the almond or coconut milk while adding a secret ingredient (revealed below), mixed it all up in one bowl and Chocolate Fudge Protein Bars were born!

Makes 3 servings

 I try to use organic, minimally processed ingredients, but feel free to go with what you've got. DON'T LET PERFECT BE THE ENEMY OF GOOD. Just do your best.

1/2 cup coconut oil (THE SECRET INGREDIENT-it holds everything together)
1 cup nut butter (I prefer almond butter)
6 +/- drops of almond extract (vanilla also works)*
1-3 tablespoons local, raw honey*
2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder*
1 teaspoon cinnamon*
3 scoops chocolate protein powder  
6 tablespoons micro-sliced chia seeds*
3 scoops hemp protein powder*
1/2 cup chopped nuts*
1/2 cup toasted unsweetened shredded coconut*

*Optional ingredient. Necessary ingredients in bold.

Melt coconut oil in large bowl in microwave or pan on the stove. It melts quickly, but it's easiest to work with when it's very warm. Add nut butter, honey and almond extract, stir until blended. Stir in cocoa powder and cinnamon. Add other dry ingredients gradually. Mixture will resemble cookie dough or thick oatmeal.

Line a 8x8 or 9x9 pan with waxed paper, bottom and sides. Turn mixture into pan and press out to fill bottom of pan. Place in freezer for at least 1 hour. Have Girl Scout Thin Mints in your freezer, too. Just in case...

Lift hardened product from pan with waxed paper and turn onto cutting board. With a sharp butcher knife or pizza cutter, cut block into 3 equal bars.

Cut each bar into small squares and store in ziplock bags in refrigerator until ready to eat. Should keep in fridge for about a week. Make sure you drink plenty of water along with your protein bars, especially if adding chia seeds and/or hemp protein.

NOTE: I make enough for 3 meals, so do the fancy math to determine how much you need for 1 day's worth or a whole week. I work 5 days a week, but have a breakfast meeting on 2 mornings so 3 servings get me through the week. You could double the recipe, have enough for 6 days and beg somebody else to make you some pancakes on Sunday! Also, I usually don't eat lunch but these keep me fueled up all day.

Make some.  Eat them. Thank me later. Share tweakage ideas and whatnot in my comments. Thanks for indulging my crazy healthy side!

Here's where you can buy some awesome protein powder and micro-sliced chia seeds.

Go Forth and Do Good Works!