Maple Almond Protein Bars with Dark Chocolate Topping [Gluten Free]

Maple almond protein bars topped with dark chocolate are the perfect snack or healthy treat. Making your own protein bars gives you control over the ingredients and saves money. The recipe today is made with minimal ingredients, simple to make, and taste way better than store bought varieties! So if you guys cannot tell by now, I'm all about saving money. All. About. It. I know eating healthy seems daunting. I know one of the reasons for that is it feels like your grocery bill is going to sky rocket. I get it. In my opinion, eating healthy can be expensive or it can be cost effective, it depends on how and where you purchase your ingredients.

My food budget has shrunk dramatically over the past couple years, despite switching to organic meat, eggs and dairy products and adding things like maca, cacao, matcha, etc. to my diet. I believe that is because I buy smarter. I shop at Whole Foods or Rollin' Oats for select items, Trader Joes for select items, and utilize stores like Aldi and Costco to save money. I also buy a lot of ingredients (like my matcha, cacao nibs and protein powder) from Amazon. I use these ingredients to make items like homemade protein bars, rather than buy store bought protein bars that cost $3 a bar or that have an ingredient list I can barely pronounce.

For me, it is worth the extra time to save money. I totally get that sometimes we have busy seasons of life that do not afford for that. But when you have 10 minutes to spare, make these. I promise your taste buds will thank me!

Maple Almond Protein Bars with Dark Chocolate Topping [Gluten Free]

Now let's talk protein powders. You do not need protein powders to reach your protein goals. Whether you eat meat and fish or you are a vegan or vegetarian, it is attainable to get enough protein without it. But to be honest with you, I like the convenience of protein powders. Because I know that protein from whole foods is best, I try to limit my portion to 1/2-1 scoop of protein powder daily.

Not all protein powders are created equal. Check ingredient lists. Think about where you want to source your protein from. I really like a lot of the vegan protein powders on the market, I  just personally use whey as the vegan ones make my stomach go crazy! I use Bodylogix grass fed whey protein. Nick and I are both obsessed. It taste great and the ingredient list meets my expectations. This is totally not sponsored- just sharing a product with  you that I love!

Maple Almond Protein Bars with Dark Chocolate Topping
Author: Victoria Myers RD/N, LD/N
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 3 scoops protein powder (I used chocolate, vanilla would work too!)
  • ½ cup oat flour (purchase gluten free certified oats,if needed)
  • 2 T almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1.5 oz dark chocolate (I used 85%)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • Optional: sea salt for topping
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl add the almond butter and maple syrup and mix to combine. Then add the protein powder, oat flour, milk, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Mix to combine, the mixture will be thick.
  2. Pour into small pan or dish and use hands to press down. Using spray or parchment paper will help the bars from sticking to the pan. Freeze for 30 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, add the dark chocolate and coconut oil and microwave for 30 second intervals until melted. Pour over the bars and use a spatula to spread evenly. Add sea salt if desired. Freeze again for 10 minutes.
  4. Cut into 12 bars, and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Notes
You can just blend rolled oats in a blender or food processor to make oat flour.[br]Vanilla extract, cinnamon and sea salt are not necessary I just think they add more flavor![br][br]Recipe inspired by thehealthymaven.com

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and if you make it- show me how you enjoyed it! Use the hashtags #nourishyoself and #diehardfoodiefinds, and tag me in the picture @the_diehard_foodie.

 

P.S.- Happy St. Patrick's day! If you are looking for something delicious and green to eat or drink today- try my matcha smoothie or my matcha lattes!