Now that I'm not working, I can go back to hitting the farmers markets a couple times a week and preparing meals and snacks at home. We've started Meatless Mondays and have been eating a ton of salads and veggies.
We've been roasting lots of winter vegetables, as well as a goodly amount of stir fry action.
And lots of raw veggies, on their own and in salads.
We've been following some recipes to the letter and then improvising on a regular basis.
I have spent an ungodly amount of money over the years on Cliff Bars, meal-replacement bars, protein bars, etc. etc. I've made them in the past with great success, both in regards to costs, tastes, and nutritional value. But it does take time. It is so easy to finish a work-out or class at the gym and then spring for a bar.
Since I'm not working, I have a little more time to pursue such worthy endeavors as making my own bars or better yet making it part of Skye's home-school curriculum.
I gave Skye the recipe for the energy bar that I wanted. It was called Power Grab Protein Bar and I added that I wanted the Chocolate Fudge Brownie variation. Oh, and the chocolate whey protein powder I use for my morning shakes will be a fine substitute vegan protein powder listed in the recipe.
It wasn't until Skye was well into the process, that I read the "Bar Tips".
"Whey protein will not work in this recipe as written; the bars will have a gooey sticky texture that will not hold together in bar form. But the problem is easily solved; simply increase the total amount of oats to 2 cups and reduce the amount of milk to 1/2 cup."
Easily solved, unless you've already added the milk, which she had. We decided to add even more oats, you know to soak up the milk.
It ended up having a "gooey sticky" texture that did not hold together in bar form.
Skye was frustrated and ready to throw in towel and throw out this gooey sticky mess.
And then I thought, what can we do to make it less gooey and sticky on the outside, cause there's nothing wrong with that on the inside. That's when I decided to make them into balls and roll them around in chia seeds and sliced almonds.
It worked out amazingly.
Now we have:
Chocolate Chia-Almond Protien Balls:
2 cups old-fashioned or quick-cooking rolled oats (I honestly am not sure what type of oats we ended up with, sorry)
1 1/3 cups plain low-fat milk
1/2 cup natural unsweetened almond butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups chocolate whey protein powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Chia seed and sliced almonds to coat balls, not sure of measures, sorry...again
1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place the oats in a food processor and process into a fine powder.
3. Add the milk, almond butter and vanilla to processor bowl. Process, using on/off pulses, until the mixture is blended and smooth, stopping to scrap the sides and bottoms of the bowl once or twice.
4. Add the protein powder to bowl; process using on/off pulses until all of the protein powder is incorporated.
5. Transfer to prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
6. Lay out chia seeds and almond slices, take a spoonful of the mixture and roll around in until fully coated, wrap in a small square of plastic wrap. Store in refrigerator or freezer.