Perhaps because I knew I’d be having an insane work schedule this week, my forays in the world of healthy baking (and eating) continued with attempts at homemade power bars. I found this site with various recipes for DIY power bars online, and decided to make the first two recipes. These recipes contain a ton of protein and good-for-you ingredients but have none of the added sugars and preservatives that you’ll find in commercial power bars. (Note: The Toasted Coconut and Vanilla Whey Protein Bars came out nicely, however I am focusing this post on the Orange and Goji Berry Whey Protein Bars which is the second recipe listed on the site)
Orange and Goji Berry Whey Protein Bars
First I assembled my ingredients:
- 1/2 cup of Organic Unflavored or Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
- 3/4 cup of Ground Almonds
- 1/4 cup of Coconut Flour
- 3/4 cup of Goji Berries
- 1/4 cup of Coconut Milk (from the carton, not the can) *I used 1% lowfat milk
- 1 tbsp of Vanilla Essence
- 1 tbsp of grated Orange Rind (optional, but highly recommended!)
- 1 tsp of Chili Powder (optional but highly recommended; it gives the bars a really nice kick)
- 40 grams melted 85% Dark Chocolate
Then I mixed the ingredients by hand in a medium sized mixing bowl while melting the chocolate in double boiler. I was impressed that the ingredient measurements came together into a workable stiff dough (think PlayDoh consistency) without my having to fuss with adding more milk or almond flour. From here it was on to shaping the dough into a “brick” so that I could then cut the brick into bar sized portions.
Dunking the bars into the melted 85% chocolate was also surprisingly easy since they held their shape and remained intact.
After cleaning off my chocolate en-robed fingertips, I popped the bars into the freezer to chill for 30 minutes. I’ll confess that I was a bit afraid that the bars might not be sweet enough since 85% chocolate is fairly bitter. However, later when I bit into a bar, I was delighted to find just the right balance of flavors. The orange zest brings a brightness to the nutty base of the bars and the goji berries add a pleasant tang. The chocolate is the crowning touch providing just the right balance of sweetness.