Happy Sunday ya’ll! I hope you are having a lovely weekend and are enjoying spring! (for all those not in MN since it is apparently still winter in late April here…)
This afternoon I am heading to Indianapolis for some work training and will be there until Friday. This is not my favorite thing, mainly due to the lack of kitchen and cooking, and thus, blogging that will be going on until Friday. Boo. On the bright side, I did reach out to the guy in charge of the training class and told him in the least annoying way possible, “I can’t eat grains or dairy… can we do something about the catered breakfasts and lunches?” He told me that he would do whatever he could to accommodate so hopefully there will be fewer bagels with cream cheese for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. In order to ensure that I have enough food for the week I stocked up on a few items at Trader Joe’s today which I will bring with me in case of emergency. These are good items to bring with you when you travel and are staying in a hotel with no cooking capabilities. I purchased the following:
– Smoked sardines in olive oil
– organic Jerky
– Plantain chips
– individual Apple Sauce with cinnamon
– some Trail mix
In addition to these I am hoping to make it to a grocery store (hopefully one of the lucky ones who gets to rent a car will bring me) so I can pick up some pre-made guac, baby carrots, snap peas, and maybe some other goodies. One can only hope.
What I am MOST excited to bring with are the homemade protein bars that just came out of the oven! They smell IN credible. If I wasn’t still ridiculously full from Fogo De Chao last night I would TOTES be eating one… or two at this very moment. And yes, I stuffed my freaking face with rare filet mignon and unlimited salad bar and got FREE dessert because they were a half hour late with our reservation. Be jealous. It was for The Drs’ birthday and it was a blasty blast, but to be honest I don’t want to see another steak for at least a week…
Anyways, back to the bars. They are based off a recipe from Mark’s Daily Apple and are the perfect substitute for all those protein bars out there that are chock full of CRAP that I don’t want in my body. I have been trying to find the “most compliant” ones I can (for the upcoming Europe trip) but I think making some homemade is a much better option, that way I know what exactly are in them. Real food for the win!!!
I loaded these bad boys with a variety of goodies to get some of the most beneficial nutrients from each one. For example, I used Brazil nuts which are rich in selenium, which protects cells from free-radical damage, enables your thyroid to produce thyroid hormone, and helps lower your risk of joint inflammation. I used flaxseed meal which is REALLY high in the Omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. This is great for cardiovascular health. Lastly, I used dried blueberries which are low in Glycemic Index (won’t cause your insulin/blood sugar to spike) and contain antioxidants with potential benefits for the nervous system and for brain health. I know that protein powder isn’t paleo, but having these on hand when traveling can be a big help. I used this protein powder from Arbonne, which is vegan so it is dairy free, which is vitally important to the happiness of my tummy!
The mixture may be a bit dry so make sure you press it down well into the baking dish.
When it comes out of the oven, don’t be alarmed if there is some oil on top! You want that moisture in there and it will eventually soak back in but if you try to soak it up or pour it off your bars will be WAY to dry. Promise.
Scroll down or click here for this tasty recipe 🙂 Hope you like them as much as I do!
Oh, and even though I will be gone this week, I may have a fun little giveaway in store, so make sure to check back 😉
Sweet Potatoes and Smiles,
The Freckled Foodie
Paleo Protein Bars
- 1/4 c raw Almonds
- 1/4 c Brazil Nuts
- 1/4 c Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1/4 c Sunflower Seeds
- 1/4 c unsweetened shredded Coconut
- 1/4 cup crunchy Almond Butter (could sub any nut or seed butter)
- 1/4 cup Coconut Oil
- 1/4 c Flaxseed meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill) or almond meal
- 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2-1 tsp raw Honey (optional but helps hold them together)
- 1/2 c Protein Powder (I used Arbonne Chocolate)
- 1 large Egg
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/3 c dried Blueberries
- 1/4 c unsweetened Coconut to sprinkle on top
- On a cookie sheet, toast nuts, seeds, and shredded coconut until golden brown, toss/shake the tray halfway through for even toasting
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees after toasting
- Pour mixture into a food processor and pulse until nuts are chopped and the mixture becomes coarsely ground (some larger chunks will remain)
- In a small bowl, melt coconut oil, almond butter, and honey
- Remove from microwave and stir to combine
- Add vanilla extract and sea salt
- Pour wet ingredients into nut mixture, add flax/almond meal and protein powder until combined
- Beat egg in the bowl you used for your wet ingredients, then add to mixture and combine thoroughly
- Fold in blueberries until well incorporated
- Press mixture into an 8×8 loaf pan (preferred) or a regular loaf pan (your bars will be squares, like mine)
- Bake for 12 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle on coconut
- Place under broiler until top begins to brown (3-4 minutes)
- Let cool for 15 minutes, or in fridge overnight
- Cut into 12 bars with 8×8 or 8 squares with regular loaf pan
- Store in airtight container or wrap with tinfoil and toss in a plastic bag for travel!