These chocolatey macaroon protein bars are a go-to snack in our kitchen! They are packed with healthy fats & protein to help get through your day! Thy them out and see for yourself!
I am back at work early in the New Year and I am in the full swing of getting back into my routine (which I love by the way!). I've had a lot of great meals over the holidays! Prime rib, turkey, meatballs, ribs, lasagna -the whole gamete! There was no shortage of amazing foods over the break and I am feeling so grateful to have been able to spend special time with family & friends!
Getting back into routine = stocking the fridge! I tackled the grocery store yesterday and have been prepping some essentials for my #Januarywhole30 (more on this in my next post). With the #whole30 reset around the corner, I am looking forward to trying some new recipes!
"Eating healthy doesn't have to be boring!"
I often get asked if I ever get "bored" with the meals that I eat? The answer is NO! Healthy eating doesn't mean that you need to eat a plain chicken breast, steamed broccoli & baked potato every night. Trust me, you'll get bored eating like this!
I make a point of trying new recipes at least every few weeks to keep things fresh and new in our kitchen! You never know what new favourite meal you'll stumble upon:) There are a TON of resources online with free recipes for you to try (Thank-you Pinterest!).
My husband & I both love to cook and will often plan an at-home date night where we will explore a new recipe, share some wine, and create a beautiful meal together. Being a home body, these date nights are my absolute favourite!
If you are looking for something healthy to snack on, here is one of my classic recipes that can always be found in our kitchen. Give it a try and let me know what you think below!
"Are you somebody that has those morning/mid day "hunger crashes"?! Feeling super hungry around 11 am? I hear ya! Especially on days when I have done a morning workout, my breakfast is often long gone by mid-morning and I am needing something convenient that will fuel my body."
Chocolate Macaroon Protein Bars
Servings: 12-16 (depending on size of bars)
Prep time: 20 minutes (+ time to soak dates)
Ingredients you will need:
4 cups of raw nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts & pecans are some of my favs!)
4 large medjool dates (pitted)
1/3 cup of boiling water
1 apple (quartered)
1 cup of melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon of almond butter (or any unsweetened nut butter!)
1/2 cup of dutch pressed cocoa (camino brand is amazing!) https://camino.ca
1/2 cut of unsweetened ribbon coconut
1 scoop of whey protein powder (optional -chocolate or vanilla would work)
Start off by soaking your dates in hot water in a small bowl for a minimum of 2 hours. This allows the dates to soften (this will become your date paste and the main sweetener for the bars).
Next, you will chop the mixed nuts finely in a food processor (I use my VITAMIX) and empty the chopped nuts into a large bowl. You can most definitely pulse the nuts more/less and tweak to your liking! Personally, I like my bars to have some texture but also don't like the nuts too "chunky" as the bars then seem to fall apart.
In the same food processor (no need to clean in between!), place your medjool dates along with the water and apple (quartered). Pulse on high for 20-30 seconds or until it becomes a date/apple paste. Pour paste into the large bowl along with nuts, cocoa powder and. stir mixture. Add melted coconut oil and nut butter to large bowl.
Last but not least, add the ribbon coconut, mix thoroughly and place in a medium sized pan. I have a 6 1/2" X 9 1/2" rectangular pan that I use for my protein bars and it works great! The consistency may seem bit runny at this point but refrain yourself from adding more dry ingredients! I prefer my bars to be fudgy (delicious) vs. dry & crumbly (no thank you!). In order to have this fudgy consistency to the bars, your batter will need to be a tad "runny". Keep in mind that over the next few hours, the nuts and seeds will continue to absorb the moisture from the batter. The coconut oil also solidifies when cooled making the bars super easy to grab on the go!
Cool in fridge for 4-6 hours before cutting (or place in freezer for 45mins if you are in a rush).
Tips & Tricks:
The bars should be kept refrigerated. Due to the coconut oil, they will turn runny if left in the car on a hot sunny day. Speaking from experience :)
I line my ceramic pan with parchment paper making it sooooo easy for cleanup and to prep your bars once they are ready. The protein bars will literally "pop" out in one giant protein bar! You can then place them on a cutting board and wrap them for your week . Parchment paper is a go-to in my kitchen! I don't know what I'd do without it!
Freeze bars in plastic wrap or in glass container. These are super grab & go snacks that can easily store in your freezer for a few weeks but honestly, mine never last this long!
Set time aside for your meal prep! At the time, it may seem daunting (not what you feel like doing right now....) but trust me when I say that you will be grateful that you did prep later! I've never said to myself while eating a delicious protein bar... "Gosh, I sure wish I didn't have this chocolatey treat right now!"
I make my bars once a week and have been doing so for years now. They are super easy to make and store so well in the fridge/freezer. I love having healthy fats & protein that I can grab on the go and snacks that I actually enjoy eating! I pack these bars in my lunch every day and also bring them on my work trips to have for an easy breakfast or mid day snack while on the go!
Have you tried any new recipes recently? Comment below ! I"d love to hear from you!