Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Sweet Veggie Protein Bars

Whee! The Rise Up And Shine II event I've been yakking about for weeks is sold out - I am thrilled we'll be able to donate so much money and raise so much awareness for Plan Canada's initiative!

Of course, that many energetic, exercise-loving participants means a lot of hungry people at the end of the 3 hour marathon, and if last year's activity is any indication the food table will be decimated by clean-up time! Never a bad thing, obviously - and I knew I wanted to contribute a few "healthier" snacks that would also be safe for anyone with celiac or a gluten intolerance. Protein bars immediately popped into my head, and since I still had some pumpkin left over (not to mention an open bag of delicious, gluten free granola on hand) and a recent trip to my second home found me with a bag of kañiwa - something I'd heard of on the 'net but never tried (FYI - it's delicious, especially mixed with amaranth in a "pilaf"!). I was hesitant to try it at first, since it's cousin quinoa is not exactly my best friend (I just can't get over it's flavour as a grain... the flour baked into things is A-OK!) but I was pleasantly surprised by the nutty, almost sweet flavour it had - and the lack of saponins means no rinsing for ages!!

The nutritional profile is impressive too - single 3.5 ounce serving of gluten free kañiwa seeds holds 31% of the recommended daily fibre intake for adults, it has more high-quality protein than quinoa, (16% vs 13%) and is packed with B vitamins and antioxidants to boot! For a little extra protein, skim milk and whey protein powders mixed into the already protein-rich flour blend, and I bumped up the fibre with psyllium, carrots, flax and a brown rice bran and germ powder.

Phew! All this good stuff crammed into a gluten free bar that tastes like a mixture of carrot cake and pumpkin pie, with a decadent crunch in every bite? I'm sold!

Sweet Veggie Protein Bars

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays

Sweet Veggie Protein Bars
Makes 24 bars
2 eggs
2 tbsp coconut cream (not milk)
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
¼ cup jaggery or coconut sugar
2 tbsp honey
¼ cup skim milk powder (you could use soy milk powder if you need dairy free)
¼ cup naturally sweetened vanilla whey powder (or soy protein if you need dairy free)
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup sorghum flour
¼ cup quinoa flour
½ cup amaranth flour
⅓ cup Natural Traditions Brown Rice Bran and Germ Powder
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
3 tbsp psyllium husk powder
1 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp kaniwa, teff seeds or amaranth
1 large, finely grated carrot
½ cup raisins, soaked in hot water and drained (reserve ¼ cup soaking water)
2 cups Nature’s Path© Gluten Free Fruit & Nut Granola
  1. Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment and set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs, coconut cream, pumpkin, jaggery, honey, milk and whey powders, salt and cinnamon until well combined.
  3. Add flours, rice bran and germ powder, flaxseed, psyllium, xanthan gum and baking powder, mixing until combined.
  4. Fold in kaniwa, carrot, raisins (with liquid) and granola.
  5. Spread into the pan and allow to stand for 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 325 F.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  8. Let cool in pan before cutting into bars.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 138.2
Total Fat: 3.6 g
Cholesterol: 21.5 mg
Sodium: 49.5 mg
Total Carbs: 21.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.4 g
Protein: 5.8 g

Psst- only 3 days left to enter my @naturespathorganic #OnMyPath Giveaway!