Hi everyone, I hope this post finds you well and recharged (or, perhaps, recovering) from the weekend! I am somewhere in between, thanks to a combination of catching up on sleep & spending Easter with some wonderful friends.
I savored many treats along the way this weekend, including carrot cake, jelly beans, and a chocolate bunny, but today I’m curbing my sweets-enthusiasm (within reason) with a fresh batch of homemade protein bars. It’s been awhile since I’ve created and shared a protein bar recipe, and I’m excited about this one.
These simple, no-bake bars are my homemade riff on RX bars, a brand of protein bars loved by many for their great taste and short list of real ingredients, including dried fruit, nuts, and pure protein powder. If you are thinking “Hey, that sounds like a LARA bar”, you’re spot on: RX bars are almost exactly the same, but with the addition of protein powder.
Unfortunately for anyone who does not or cannot eat eggs, RX bars are off limits, because the bars are made with egg white protein powder. It’s a good thing, because it compelled me to make an equally delicious, protein-rich vegan version of RX bars using plant-based protein powder!
RX bars come in multiple flavors, but I started with a favorite: chocolate coconut. My ingredient list is equally brief (actually, more so) compared to the original:
*unsweetened coconut flakes
*unsweetened cocoa powder
I used a chocolate plant based protein powder (made with a combination of rice, hemp, chia & pea protein), but you can use a plain or vanilla variety, too. I add a tablespoon of chia seeds, too, for the protein and healthy fats they contain, but they are entirely optional.
RX bars are made with a combination of cashews and cashews; I used almonds alone. I tried the recipe both ways (almonds + cashews, and then all almonds). Both were delicious, but also virtually identical, so I kept things simple and went 100% almond. You could also do sunflower seeds or pepitas, even peanuts.
I love how these taste, like a deep chocolate, Almond Joy-esque brownie. They are simple to assemble too, except for cleaning the food processor (assign this task to a resident sous chef, if available :)). I also prefer the texture of these to original RX bars: they are less sticky, and heartier tasting, too.
One word of caution: Since plant protein powders can vary significantly from one brand to the next, begin by adding HALF of the recommended protein powder to the date-nut mixture, then gradually add the remaining portion (less, or more) until the mixture forms a stiff, but not dry, dough.
The final nutrition tabulation for these bars is quite close to the original:
Delicious, nutritious and easy–this is definitely my kind of Monday recipe. Enjoy, everyone!