Probably the most important part of a healthy diet, lean protein is an integral component of your daily meals for so many reasons. These bars contain plant-based protein powder and hemp hearts, without any sneaky additives or sugar, so you can feel good about this whole food snack. I like to have half a bar about an hour or two before I workout as an energizing power snack and then I finish the other half after, since protein aids in recovery and lean muscle building!
When shopping for protein powder, stick to high-quality, plant-based ones with no additives. You should recognize everything on the label (that goes for all packaged foods). Look for organic and non-GMO ingredients. I like this one.
2 tbsp chia seeds
¼ cup cold water
1 ½ cups rolled oats
¾ cup chopped walnuts (or another nut)
¼ cup raw cacao nibs or dark organic chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries (or another dried fruit)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup plant-based protein powder
¼ cup hulled hemp seeds
2 tbsp flaxseed
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
3 ripe bananas
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp maple syrup or unpasteurized local honey
Preheat the oven to 350F. First, make your chia "egg" – combine the chia seeds and the cold water in a small bowl, and set aside. Combine the dry ingredients (the rolled oats to the salt) in a large bowl. In a blender, puree the bananas, vanilla and the maple syrup. Add the chia “egg,” and pulse until it's incorporated. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, stir until well combined, then pour into a baking pan, using a spatula to spread it out. Bake for 25 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
I like to store mine in an airtight container in the freezer.