Chewy Chocolate Protein Bars

This is another super-chocolate recipe that is dense and filling. They’re not quite as heavenly as brownies, but if you want to cram your face full of chocolate and protein… this is a very suitable replacement, in my opinion. They’re not calorie cheap. However, they’re low in net carbs and sugar, and they’re fairly high in protein. I’ve been known to grab one as a meal replacement. I don’t know that I would advise that to everyone. It depends on your nutritional requirements, supplements, etc. As usual, I leave that up to you to decide.

Mix the wet stuff with the dry stuff, bake, and you're off to the races!

Mix the wet stuff with the dry stuff, bake and you're off to the races!

Ingredients
3/4 c almond meal
1/4 c flax meal
3 scoops chocolate protein powder (84 g total)
1 c old fashioned oats
1/2 c non-fat powdered milk
1/4 c egg white substitute
1/4 c Hershey’s sugar free chocolate syrup
1/4 c Joseph’s sugar free maple syrup
1/4 c canola oil
1/3 c semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

Directions

  • Spray an 8×8 baking dish with non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium to large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another medium bowl, combine wet ingredients.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until you have a cookie or brownie batter kind of consistency.
  • Place the dough into the baking pan, spreading it lightly from the center outward. (The less you drag non-stick spray around with it, the less chance of the bars sticking in spite of the spray.)
  • Bake for 20 minutes. I would advise checking them around 15 minutes. If you like super-gooey, take them out of the oven at 15 min and leave them in the baking dish until completely cool. Store in the refrigerator.
  • OR… you can pull them out at around 20 minutes, let them cool until just stable, place a cooling rack over the top of the pan, flip them onto the rack, then flip them back into the pan when the pan is cool.  Don’t do this too soon, though.
  • OR… take the baking dish right from the oven and place it in the freezer for a few hours, and then move it to the fridge. That’s a trick I learned with carrot cake that helps maintain moisture.

Whatever you do, these are ultimately best stored in the refrigerator. I like them right out of the oven, but I love them after they’ve been in the fridge for at least one day. Some people don’t care for them out of the oven but still like them after a day of refrigeration.  I like to cut them into single servings and place into individual baggies.  Makes it easier not to mindless nosh!  Also, simply covering the pan and not cutting them at least forces you to have to think about it every time you cut one.

Lucifer the evil Cinderella cat guards mine!@~

Lucifer the evil Cinderella cat guards mine!@~

Options
Flour swap… I was inspired by a recipe for protein bars given to me about a year ago by Ms. Joni over at Life, Food, Family.   The original recipe calls for 1/2 c almond flour and 1/2 c soy flour.  Up until today, I’ve been happy with 1/2 c almond flour, 1/4 c flax meal, and 1/4 c soy flour.  I don’t really know why I wasn’t keen on trying to use just almond meal and flax, but my friend Georgene… another one whose love for experimentation motivates me… finally convinced me to try it.  Today, I did and I’ll not look back.   In any case, as long as the amount of flours/meals totals 1 c, just about any combo works.  It all depends on the nutritional outcome you want.

Syrup swap… I believe Joni’s recipe called for sugar free Da Vinci vanilla syrup. I now use the Hershey’s in place of this, as I’ll take chocolate any way I can get it. (Hershey’s 15-calorie stuff ain’t great off the spoon, but I like it a lot when mixed into coffee or baked goods.) In the past I’ve also successfully used Monin O’Free caramel syrup and Da Vinci sugar free dulce de leche. I find the Monin caramel to be a bit thicker than the DV.

Maple swap… I know people who use the sugar free pancake syrup you can buy at the supermarket, but I’ve not tried this myself. If your digestive tract is sensitive to maltitol, this would be your preferred option.

Egg swap… Until today, I used 1 large egg where egg white substitute is used above. By happenstance, I found out that the substitute works quite nicely. If you go with a real egg, put it in the bowl first and beat it a bit before adding the other wet ingredients

Protein swap… You could alter the flavor by picking different protein powder. I bought a canister of Click that I didn’t care for in regular protein shakes. I loved it in this recipe. Unfortunately, that’s because the sugar content is higher. I steer clear of it these days.

Chocolate chip swap… Sugar free chocolate chips would lower the sugar content. Nuts would lower the sugar content but would probably increase the overall calories.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO EXPERIMENT! Swap things out based on your needs and tastes. This is a very versatile recipe!

LINKS
For nutritional info, find this recipe in my SparkRecipes Recipe Box.

Check out NutsOnline.  They have the absolute best array of bulk baking ingredients, herbs, and spices.  Great prices!

Visit Life, Food, Family for more great recipes.

Comments

  1. Great recipe! I’ve been standing around on one foot waiting on this :-) especially since I saw your photos in advance on Facebook!

    One caution – I know you know this, but for your loyal readers – in your “flour swap” options, do NOT swap one-for one with coconut flour. Coconut flour is the thirstiest flour around and it will make your protein bars exceedingly dry. That said, coconut is extremely nutritious and it does NOT give the bars a coconut taste. You just want to be real careful how much you use. In my experience 2 tablespoons of coconut flour can easily swap for 1/2 cup of other flour, but experimentation is key.

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