I am officially back home in Canada!
Whoever said there’s no place like home was absolutely right. It is such a huge relief to be back in the comforts of my own kitchen and food. Don’t get me wrong, I had an amazing trip, and I enjoyed being with my family and getting the rare opportunity to enjoy the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, pastured eggs, meat, and raw dairy; but the comfort of home is indispensable.
That being said, I wasted no time in getting back into the kitchen.
Now, I am aware of the controversies surrounding the use of protein powder; some foodies avoid it like the plague because they claim it to be a highly processed food while others tote the benefits of muscle growth and improved metabolism. I fall somewhere in the middle. I agree that protein powder is not a complete food and support the idea that protein is easily–and thus should–be primarily obtained from actual plant and animal sources as nature intended.
However, I don’t believe in the complete demonization of protein powder either; there are a few brands that make plant-based protein powders out of raw hemp seeds or other sprouted grains that aren’t heavily processed. In fact, about a month ago I came across a brand called Garden of Life which makes a raw, organic protein powder that is a complete source of all essential amino acids.
Here is a brief breakdown of this protein powder:
Organic Raw Sprout Blend
Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Protein, Organic Amaranth Sprout, Organic Quinoa Sprout, Organic Millet Sprout, Organic Buckwheat Sprout, Organic Garbanzo Bean Sprout, Organic Kidney Bean Sprout, Organic Lentil Sprout, Organic Adzuki Bean Sprout, Organic Flax Seed Sprout, Organic Sunflower Seed Sprout, Organic Pumpkin Seed Sprout, Organic Chia Seed Sprout, Organic Sesame Seed Sprout
Raw Probiotic and Enzyme Blend
High Protein Chlorella, Proteases, Bacillus subtilis
It is soy free and does not contain any filler ingredients, artificial colors, or preservatives. For a complete breakdown see here. This protein powder passed the nutrition test in my books. As for taste it is fairly neutral and blends easily into smoothies or baked goods.
I purchased this protein powder off of iherb when it was on sale. Iherb is a great site for purchasing supplements, nut butters, specialty flours, natural skin care products, and other superfood powders. If you are a new customer to iherb you may use the code CMN912 to take $5 off of your first purchase of less than $40 or take $10 off if your order is more than $40.
In this recipe you can use any protein powder you have on hand, or if you don’t you can easily substitute almond meal or oat flour and still end up with tasty granola bars.
Banana-Nut Protein Bars (Paleo, GF)
Adapted from Mark Sisson’s Primal Energy Bars
- 1/2 cup slivered, blanched almonds
- 1/4 cup pecans, soaked and dried
- 1/4 cup walnuts, soaked and dried
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup protein powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt (omit if using salted nut butter)
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup nut butter of your choice (I used homemade peanut butter)
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
- 1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (or 1 bean, scraped)
- 1 large egg
- 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries or cranberries (optional)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line an 8 x 8″ pan with lightly oiled parchment paper.
- In a food processor, pulse slivered almonds, pecans, and walnuts until finely chopped and the mixture becomes coarsely ground (like bread crumbs).
- In a bowl, whisk to combine coarse nut mixture with almond meal, protein powder, sea salt, and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
- In another glass or metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt the coconut oil and nut butter, stirring frequently until smooth (this should only take a few minutes).
- Remove coconut oil and nut butter mixture from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract, mashed bananas, and egg. Mix thoroughly to combine.
- Whisk together dry ingredients and wet ingredients until well combined, then fold in dried fruit.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven, sprinkle shredded coconut on top and place under broiler until top begins to brown.
- Let cool for 10-15 minutes then cut into 12 pieces/bars.
- Enjoy or stack on wax paper/parchment and store in an airtight container (I store mine in the fridge).
Note: You can add dark chocolate chips instead of the cranberries/blueberries or other dried fruit of your choice like raisins or apricots. Coarsely chop the latter before adding to the batter.
These are an easy, delicious, and satisfying snack! Enjoy!