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Protein bars are such a great idea in theory, but often in practice are just store-bought expensive ways to get sick. They do nothing for your health, and are simply a non-nourishing way to stay full for an hour longer. This is a home made version, and if you have to go and buy all the ingredients for may be just as expensive, but they’re most definitely better for you and very nourishing.

You can mix and match the ingredient sources to suit your budget here. I stuck with organic sources for the chia, maca, almond butter, milk, maple and psyllium, but used conventional products for everything else.

While these aren’t cheap, they’re deliciously good for you so they’re good to make every now and again when you know you’ve got some busy weeks ahead or want to keep gym sessions productive. I will make these protein bars once a month for when my partner and I have a big week and we don’t want to settle for unhealthy grab-and-go options when we’re heading home after the gym.

I serve mine at home with a herbal tea, and am loving the Pukka Detox one at the moment.

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Caramel base
1 cup dates, soaked
2 cups mixed nuts, soaked
1/4 cup maca powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tbl chia seeds
1 heaped Tbl almond butter

Vanilla top
1 cup cashews, soaked
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup vanilla protein (a quality whey or Clean Lean Vanilla)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tbl psyllium husk
1 Tbl pure maple
1 Tbl milk of choice (I used coconut)

1. Soak the dates and nuts for the vanilla base in one bowl, and the cashews for the caramel in another for at least 1 hour. Rinse and drain both bowls well, keeping them separate.

2. Start with the caramel base ingredients, place all into a food processor and mix well. Press into lined baking tin (I love a bread tin so I can make thin slices) and put in fridge while you do next stage.

3. Mix the vanilla base ingredients the same way as the caramel base, by placing all the ingredients into a food processor and blending well. I don’t clean the mixing bowl between uses. Then press onto the top of the base evenly.

4. Set in fridge for 30 mins and then slice and wrap individually in baking paper. Store excess in freezer for up to 3 weeks.