Best Protein Bar EVER – with Garden of Life

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So…by now y’all are aware that I went all whiny and whingy at BlogHer14, but I came away with a few positives, like meeting the awesome reps from Garden of Life Kind Organics.

I start every day with smoothies prepared with Raw Protein-Beyond Organic Protein Formula

  • Good for those with gastrointestinal sensitivities to milk, whey, and other protein sources
  • Easily digested – supports digestive health and function with live probiotics and protein-digesting enzymes
  • It’s raw, vegan and gluten free.
  • One serving has 17 grams of raw plant based protein.

My family loves my protein bars — I’m on a constant quest experimenting with different recipes to pack as many nutrients as possible in every bite, and THIS one is so good, it could be a meal replacement bar, too.

There are a lot of ingredients, but don’t let that scare you; it makes enough to last a long time.

This recipe uses Garden of Life Raw Protein in Vanilla, but you could use any flavor. Chocolate would be DELICOUS, and if you use that, add 1/2 cup cocoa to the dry ingredients.

“Bomber Bar” with Quinoa and Lentils ©™

We call them “Bomber Bars” ‘cos “bomber” is a term for an awesome wave. In my family, everyone but me surfs, and this is a great snack when you’ve burned all those calories in the water.

Lentil Puree:
4 ounces lentils, approximately 2/3 cup, picked over and rinsed
2 cups water
Cook until soft, about thirty minutes, then mash or use immersion blender. Set aside.

Ingredients:
½ – 1 cup Garden of Life Protein Powder
1½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (we love cinnamon)
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons fresh or ground ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom

2/3 cup maple syrup
½ cup vegetable oil or coconut oil
1 egg (delete egg to make it vegan)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsalted peanut butter

2 cups rolled oats
½ cup raw quinoa
1/2 c. Garden of Life chia seeds or ground chia
1/4 c. ground flax seeds
¼ cup rice bran
1/4 c. shredded coconut, sweetened

½ cup dried blueberries
1 cup assorted dried fruit, such as raisins, cherries, apricots, cranberries
1 cup chopped almonds

Directions:
In a really big bowl, combine the first ten dry ingredients, whisk to stir and set aside.quinoalentilbarCombine the quinoa, chia, flax, coconut, oats, and almonds on a baking sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes @350 degrees until lightly browned.

quinoalentil6in a large pot, mix the peanut butter and maple syrup together and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the rice bran, salt, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, ginger, and vanilla extract.

quinoalentil7Combine the lentils with quinoa/oats/almonds mixture with dry ingredients that were set aside. Whisk to mix.

Pour the peanut butter/maple syrup mixture into the bowl with dry ingredients, add oil and egg (if used).

Add cooked, mashed lentils. Mix well with wooden spoon to completely incorporate.

Add fruit. At this point, I use my hands to mix it all together. The mixture is a bit heavy and thanks to the maple syrup, it should stick together, so you may need to slightly moisten hands as you go.

Line a 13×9 pan with parchment paper, leaving enough hanging over the sides so you can lift it out after it bakes and cools.

Pour the (heavy) mixture into the pan and press down firmly.

*This is a super important step. When my tugboat man is home, this is his job. When he’s not here, I use a one-pound can to roll back and forth until it’s a flat and mooshed(?) together as possible. Pack it down to ensure it fills each corner and creates an even, flat surface.

Bake at 350 degrees for about thirty-forty minutes. Remove from oven, and press down again. The more dense the bar, the less crumbly it’ll be.
Let cool, refrigerate for at least two hours. Cut into 2×2 inch squares. To keep them fresher longer, I wrap each individually in parchment paper and always refrigerated.

quinoalentil8
quinoalentilproteinbar2 quinoalentilproteinbar3One of these bars is a protein packed “bomber” that’s a perfect snack or even meal replacement.

My son needs to eat several small meals with high quality nutrition and these are perfect for his busy, on-the-go lifestyle.

I’m happy because I know my family is eating healthy food made with love.

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