Our 20-year-old son has grown up in a foodie household. He’s always been the kid who would try just about anything. Even as a baby he’d eat the mushed up squash that no other kid would touch. For his whole life he’s been part of the life of the bakery, gardens, goat milking, cheesemaking, catered dinners and wood-fired pizza gigs. So it’s no real surprise that he’s turning into a cook. Last year he got fired up to start working out and lose weight. He’s never been heavy but kudos to him for all the hard work he’s put into the effort, and now he’s gotten himself on track to eating better and exercising regularly. He’s learned quite a bit about nutrition along the way too, but still found himself wanting some sort of treat occasionally. These bars are his adaptation of an on-line recipe. Added plus – no baking required. They are loaded with protein. I’m no scientist, but just adding up the protein grams listed on all the containers this recipe gives you a whopping 207 grams. Divide that by the number of bars you cut out and you can figure out the protein content of each bar. I didn’t add up the calories or fat but rest assured it’s not diet food.
He likes to use half whole almonds and half pistachios for the nuts, but use any kind you like, lightly salted or unsalted. Since there is no other added salt, lightly salted nuts go well with the chocolate. We prefer freshly ground peanut butter in recipes but whatever you have on hand will work. Whey protein powder is not cheap but is a big part of why these bars are so high in protein.
This mixture comes together very quickly in the mixer. You can stir it together by hand but it’s hard to do because it’s so thick. Use a stand mixer if you can. He has used a food processor but finds the mixer works better.
– Joan & Andrew, 19 July 2019
Heat together till melted and smooth:
- 1 cup peanut butter, creamy or chunky
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate, chips or chunks
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Stir together in stand mixer:
- 2 cups whole rolled oats
- 1¼ cups whey protein powder
- 2 cups nuts, whole or chopped
- 1¼ teaspoons cinnamon
Pour the melted mixture onto the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed. It comes together and gets to be a solid mass quickly. Transfer it to a greased pan and push it down till smooth. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before cutting into bars. Cover and refrigerate to store.