Hiiii guys! So this post is bringing you what I feel is going to quickly become one of my favourite recipes from the blog to date. I decided to try to come up with a new protein bar at the weekend, and in my head I wanted it to involve chocolate (obviously) and VEGGIES. That might sound like an odd starting point (although if you know me, then maybe it sounds totally expected…!), but what I was aiming to create was a bar that is both deliciously chocolate-y and still full of healthy wholefood goodness. And I think I’ve succeeded!
So these bars have a bit of everything you need – plant-based protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and an unseen dose of fibre and micronutrients from grated courgette and carrot blended into the mixture! This is a vegan-friendly recipe using brown rice protein – I’ve been using the brand That Protein for a while now (mostly for baking and smoothies) and I’m loving their rich cacao flavoured protein powders. The addition of goji berries gives a little sweet kick on top and they bake nicely into the bars! Feel free to add a sprinkle of seeds or chopped nuts into the mix before baking if you want a little extra crunch!
Recipe (Makes 8 bars)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 tsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp sweetener of choice (I used My Protein Mocha Flav-drops) – e.g. honey/maple/Stevia-based products
- 1 tbsp nut butter of choice
1/2 cup each grated Courgette (1/2 courgette) & Carrot (1 medium size carrot)
- 40g Oats (I use Flahavan’s Progress Oatlets)
- 3-4 tablespoons of Protein Powder (I used That Protein Vegan Chirpy Choca Mocha Blend)
150ml Milk of Choice (I used Alpro Coconut Almond Milk)
30g Goji Berries
- Note: I haven’t tried making these bars with a whey protein powder (although I plan to!) – so I recommend using a rice or pea protein blend since I know that works with this recipe combination. But feel free to try it yourself – you may just need to adjust the milk amount slightly!
- You will need: A Food Processor or Nutribullet/Equivalent Blender
- Pre-heat the oven to 175C (fan oven).
- Grease a baking pan with a little of the melted coconut oil and set aside (or line using greaseproof paper).
- Grate your courgette and carrot into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the rest of the dry ingredients – oats, protein powder, cacao and baking powder. Mix well.
- Transfer the dry ingredients to your food processor or blender cup.
- Add your wet ingredients – milk, vanilla extract, sweetener, nut butter and melted coconut oil.
- Blend all of the ingredients until you get a smooth consistency – this should only take about 5 minutes or even less. If the mixture seems too dry, add just a little bit more milk to it and blend again.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking tray, and sprinkle your goji berries on top.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 20-25 minutes. Check by inserting a toothpick or fork into the mixture at 20ish minutes – if it comes out 99% clean you’re good to go!
- Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing into bars. You can store these in the fridge for up to a week or freeze them either!
Enjoy guys! I really hope you like this recipe – I feel pretty proud of the texture and taste of these bars, they’re sort of like little protein brownies, but with all the added veggies goodness! Tag me if you try them out – @theirishbalance on Instagram!
Ciara 🙂 x