Protein bars are the new lattes... or so I've heard.
Health conscious foodies are trading in their frappuccinos and morning coffee for a slightly healthier energy boost. But if you're a bar lover you've come across a few dilemmas most of us have. Not only are they ridiculously expensive, 4 bucks plus tax PER bar, but carry preservatives and plenty of calories to make up for the flavor. I've realized something big about weight loss, anything that's good for you is always much more expensive. Giving us the excuse to take the easy way out since it's a much cheaper alternative. Well I don't know about you, but I'm tired of spending so much to feel my best, while STILL taking in so many calories from ONE protein bar, which at times reach almost 500 calories, not including the carbs, sugar and grams of fat.
So I ground up some pistachios, peanuts, oats, cooked some quinoa, added some unsweetened cocoa powder (only 15 calories per tablespoon). Instead of using brown sugar I opted for agave, it is much more natural and since it's so sweet, a little goes a long way. Not to mention the whey protein powder provides some much needed sweetness. I tried to add as little calories as possible while still achieving a naturally sweet and chocolatey taste. And folks I am happy to report, it can be done! The recipe doesn't take long at all and the results are a MILLION times better than the store bought stuff. Why didn't I think of trying this sooner? Although the marshmallows will melt in the oven, which is why I added a few extra for photo purposes, but the melted toasty marshmallow flavor is definitely there. Feel free to add coconut flakes, cashews, almonds, cherries, raisins; whatever your heart desires.
Chocolate Pistachio Protein Bars w/ Mini Marshmallows
Nutrition Facts (Per serving makes 6 bars)
9.7 grams of fat
39 grams of carbs
4.3 grams of fiber
10.2 grams of protein
15.2% Vitamin B-6
7.2% Vitamin B-12
- 1/2 cup of Steel cut oats (processed to almost a powdery consistency)
- 1/2 cup of processed pistachios
- 1/4 cup of processed peanuts
- 3/4 cup of vanilla whey protein powder
- 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa
- 2 tablespoons of agave nectar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup of mini marshmallows
- Preheat oven to 270 degrees.
- Combine all of the ingredients (except marshmallows) into a bowl until the mixture has come together completely. Then fold in marshmallows.
- Spread mixture evenly onto a 9x9 non-stick sheet pan (you will have room on one side to remove the bars when ready) You may add extra ground pistachios or peanuts to your liking.
- Place in oven for about 20 minutes, they will be chewy, cook for longer if you would like them more crisp, make sure to check every five minutes so that it does not burn.
- When removed from oven, let cool cut into 6 pieces, store in air tight container, or cover with saran wrap. Store in a cool dry place.