GINGERBREAD PROTEIN BARS

GINGERBREAD PROTEIN BARS

In the spirit of the holidays, I whipped up these delicious gingerbread protein bars! These bars taste like gingerbread cookie dough, but they’re packed with protein and fiber, low in carbs, low sugar, and low(er) fat. They’re also vegan and gluten free! I’m all about enjoying the flavors of the season while keeping my fitness goals in mind. With treats like this, it’s totally possible! This recipe makes five full-sized protein bars or ten snack-sized bars. 

These festive bars get their protein from LivWell Nutrition Raw Plant Protein (a blend of brown rice, pea, sacha inchi, and hemp protein) in “Wild Vanilla Bean” flavor. This protein powder is cold-crafted with no MSG byproducts, artificial or synthetic ingredients, and is certified vegan, gluten free, organic, and non-GMO. It also tastes great! Feel free to use my code “NOEXCUSES” for 10% all orders from www.livwellnutrition.com. If you don’t have this particular brand, any type of plant-based protein should work in this recipe so long as you like the flavor. You can also substitute whey protein or a whey-casein blend (though this doesn’t work for all vegan recipes). Just adjust the amount of liquid as needed to get a thick, rollable dough. 

I used coconut flour to keep the carbs low, but you can sub twice as much (one quarter cup) all-purpose flour, brown rice flour, gluten-free baking blend, oat flour, spelt flour or sweet white sorghum flour (this will increase both the carbs and calories per bar). These other flours are about half as absorbent as coconut flour. For almond flour, start with twice as much, but you may need up to three times more by volume (six tablespoons). 

Pyure Organic Stevia Blend sweetens these protein bars without adding any sugar (get the best deal on Amazon). This blend of stevia and erythritol is sugar-free, calorie-free, and all-natural with no bitter aftertaste. Feel free to sub an equal measure of any other stevia-erythritol blend, or twice as much baking stevia, plain erythritol, or granulated sugar if you prefer (this will increase the calories, carbs, and sugar). I used a couple tablespoons of blackstrap molasses for that authentic gingerbread flavor, which is lower in sugar than regular molasses and has extra vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium.

For even more gingerbread flavor, I used organic ground ginger, cinnamon, and allspice. Cloves can be substituted for the allspice with no compromise to flavor. Betsy’s Best Gourmet Almond Butter adds the wonderful flavors of honey and cinnamon, but feel free to use any creamy almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or cashew butter (peanut butter is not recommended for authentic flavor). I also added a little extra Himalayan pink salt for more flavor and trace minerals.Himalayan pink salt is not only more flavorful than table salt, it is also less-processed, easier for our bodies to absorb, and has been shown to reduce the risk of infection and kill harmful bacteria.

Here’s the recipe! Please do me a favor and rate/comment below if you try it 😉

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Gingerbread Protein Bars
Makes 5 bars
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Ingredients
  1. 80g vanilla plant protein*
  2. 2 tbsp. coconut flour*
  3. 2 tbsp. stevia-erythritol blend*
  4. 1 tsp. ground ginger
  5. 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  6. 1/4 tsp. salt (optional)*
  7. 1/8 tsp. ground allspice (optional)*
  8. 4-5 tbsp. water (more as needed)
  9. 1/4 cup creamy almond butter*
  10. 2 tbsp. blackstrap molasses*
  11. 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
  12. *See above for substitutions.
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Mix until a soft, rollable dough forms (add water one tablespoon at a time if too crumbly).
  3. Line a 7"x5" or 8"x4" dish with parchment paper and press dough into bottom evenly.
  4. Place in freezer for 10-15 minutes, then cut into five equal-sized bars.
  5. Keep in the fridge up to one week and in the freezer up to one month.
Notes
  1. Calories (per serving, minus optionals): 170kcal, Fat: 7.5g, Sat fat: 1.2g, Carbs: 12g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 1g, Protein: 15g, Sodium: 58mg
  2. Calories (per serving, including optionals): 171kcal, Fat: 7.5g, Sat fat: 1.2g, Carbs: 12g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 15g, Sodium: 98mg
  3. © 2017 No Excuses Nutrition. If you wish to publish this exact recipe digitally (website, blog, ebook) or in tangible format (cookbook, magazine), you must first request permission by emailing noexcusesnutritionllc@gmail.com. If publishing an adapted version with one or more ingredients changed, it is sufficient to mention "inspired by No Excuses Nutrition."
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