Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cranberry Coconut Protein Bars ~Au Naturel~

There are so many protein bars that have all these weird, fake additives in them, which I'm really not a huge fan of. As a vegetarian, though, its really important to get as much protein as possible, and any help you can get is welcome. Unlike many other recipes that have "protein powder" or other funky stuff, I use vital wheat gluten to add protein. This stuff is really amazing if you've never used it before. 1/4 cup has 23g of protein- unheard of!! You should be able to get this at whole foods or other natural food stores, probably in the baking aisle. And after making my date raisin syrup i had all this extra soft date and raisin meat that gets strained out, so I figured I'd just whip up some awesome protein bars! This is kind of a basic recipe and the ways of flavoring these are pretty much limitless. Plus, in each serving of this recipe (i divided it into 12 bars) there is 10 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. Healthy, cost effective, and delicious!

Cranberry Coconut Protein Bars
leftover fruit meats from Date Raisin Syrup recipe -or- 1 cup medjool dates and 1 cup seedless raisins, soaked for 20 min in water
1 cup dried cranberries, soaked for 20 min in water
1 cup dry oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup vital wheat gluten

1.  Put the leftover fruit meats (or soaked medjool dates and raisins), the soaked cranberries, 1/2 cup of the oats, and 1/2 cup of the coconut flakes in a food processor and blend until relatively smooth (you can adjust this depending upon how chunky you like your bars)
2. Transfer the "dough" to a large bowl and knead in the rest of the oats and coconut flakes.
3. Add 1/4 cup of the vital wheat gluten to the dough and knead it in. Repeat this process until you've kneaded in the whole cup. Once finished, the dough should be tougher and less sticky due to the added protein.
4. Line a baking pan with parchment or wax paper, and press the bars evenly into the bottom. Try to spread them out to a 1/2 inch thick square. Refrigerate for a few hours , cut into 12 or so bars, and enjoy! (Keep these in the fridge, they stay good for a while)

Health Benefits!!

Dates- Contain Vitamin K, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, food Folate, Folic acid, as well as minerals such as Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Copper, and Manganese. They also contain awesome-for-you amino acids!
Raisins- Raisins are awesome for you! They contain a phytonutrient known as oleanolic acid, which helps promote good oral health by destroying the bacteria that causes cavities. They are high in iron, high fiber, and contain boron which allows other nutrients to be absorbed into the body.
Oats- High in soluble fiber, oats have been shown to lower cholesterol levels, help promote healthy digestion, oats stabilize blood sugar levels, lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, high in selenium which helps antioxidant systems throughout the body, and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and heart failure.
Vital Wheat Gluten- Super duper high in protein, high in calcium, and high in iron
Dried Cranberries- low in fat, and high in fiber!


1 comment:

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