A peanut butter and chocolate combination is probably what springs to mind when you think of protein bars. And if you glance at the shelves of protein bars at the supermarket, health food, and athletic stores, you might think it is the only flavor combination (chocolate-peanut butter, peanut butter-chocolate, double peanut butter chocolate fudge, fudgy chocolate peanut butter blast…you get the idea). Infractions abound—notably those sporting choco- (make that chalkoh) flavor coatings and gum-enhanced fillings—but a fantastic peanut butter chocolate protein bar is worth pursuing. Lucky you, the pursuit is over. Whenever you want a trustworthy, taste-worthy peanut butter and chocolate bar, this is it.
Makes 12 Protein Bars
Peanut Butter Protein Bars
1/2 cup roasted, lightly salted peanuts
1/2 cup natural, unsweetened peanut butter
1/2 cup plain nondairy milk or low-fat dairy milk
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, warmed until melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup lightly packed all-natural, sweetened chocolate vegan protein powder
1/4 cup unsweetened, natural cocoa powder
Peanut Butter Icing
1/4 cup natural, unsweetened peanut butter
2 tablespoons plain nondairy milk or
low-fat dairy milk
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon liquid stevia
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place the peanuts in a food processor and process into a fine powder (not a paste). Add the peanut butter, milk, oil, and vanilla. Process, using on/o. pulses, until the mixture is blended, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl several times with a rubber spatula.
3. Add the protein powder and cocoa powder to bowl; process using on/o. pulses until all of the protein powder is incorporated, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl once or twice with a rubber spatula.
4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Place a large piece of parchment paper, wax paper, or plastic wrap (coated with nonstick cooking spray) atop the bar mixture and use it to spread and flatten the mixture evenly in the pan.
5. To prepare the icing: In a small saucepan, combine the peanut butter, milk, and coconut oil. Heat over medium-low, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes until mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the stevia, vanilla, and salt; immediately pour and spread over the bar mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight until very firm.
6. Using the liner, lift the mixture from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Uncover and cut into 12 bars. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Nutrients per bar: Calories 271, Fat 21.2 g, (Saturated 10.2 g), Cholesterol 30 mg, Sodium 101 mg, Carbs 7.2 g (Fiber 2.8 g, Sugars 2.5 g), Protein 16 g
Power Hungry, The Ultimate Energy Bar Cookbook, by Camilla V. Saulsbury,(Lake Isle Press, 2013)