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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Chewy Chocolate Chip Protein Power Bars


Need some extra protein power? Look no further.  These bars are choc-full.  They are also very high in fibre, packed with nutrients, gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan.  Oh, and my kids adore them!

I am so pleased with how these turned out.

The problem I've always had when making protein bars or granola-type bars is that they usually rely on either a liquid sweetener (and there are none I like to use in abundance) and/or nut/seed butter as binders.  This makes them high in sugar and calories and the nut/seed butters makes them kind of greasy.

This time I used...pureed chickpeas!

Seriously!

Even I wasn't sure how they'd taste, and, in particular, whether they would pass the kid-friendly test.  I am happy to say the exceeded my expectations!! Or perhaps I should say, ex-seeded my expectations, because they are full of good-for-you seeds like chia and hemp.

I used a bag of Nature's Path Q'ia Superfoods Cereal, but you can use any chia-based cereal or similar product.  Its basically a mix of chia, hemp, buckwheat groats and some extras, depending on the flavour. I used the Cranberry Almond Vanilla, because that's what I had, but can use another kind and keep it nut-free.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Protein Power Bars

1-14oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp. ground flax + 6 tbsp. hot water)
1 cup baking stevia (or coconut sugar or xylitol or erythritol)
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
2 scoops vegan vanilla protein powder
1 bag Q'ia Superfoods Cereal
2 cups oats (gluten-free, if necessary)
1/2 cup stevia-sweetened, vegan chocolate chips

Puree chickpeas and flax eggs in blender or food processor until smooth.  Add everything except chips and pulse until dough forms a ball.  Add chocolate chips and pulse just to mix in.  Spread evenly, pressing firmly, into greased 9x9 square pan.  Bake at 350F for 16 minutes.  Let cool and then cut into bars.  Makes 16 bars or 32 squares.  Store in air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.  Warm a bit before eating if you want the chocolate melty (like Big A does!).

The girls love these so much, and I love that they are getting so much nutrition from them, I will definitely be making these regularly.  Especially since they go through them so fast!!

I have submitted this recipe to Vegetarian Mamma's Gluten-Free Friday and Urban Naturale's Plant Based Pot-Luck link-ups.