Ever had "chocolate drop cookies", or "quick chocolate oatmeal cookies"? I think there are several more names for them, but they are the kind of cookies that you boil some stuff, then add some oats, then drop them on wax paper until they cool and this all takes about 15 minutes. Sound familiar?
I remember my husband's mother making those one of the first times I visited them. They are a family favorite in his family. I'm also not sure if this cookie phenomenon is just a southern thing or not, but if you aren't from the south I think you probably still like chocolate and peanut butter together, (Who doesn't, right?) so you will most likely enjoy these protein bars.
I adapted this recipe from my MIL's quick cookie recipe. Notice, I did not call these a "cookie" in the title. That is because I made these less sweet and packed them with more natural protein so you feel good about having them and starting the new year off right.
Secretly, I wanted to make the cookies; however, decided to adapt a healthier option so I could feel good about eating more of them :)
Quick Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein BarsYields 1 9" x 13" pan full, amount depends on how you cut themIngredients
- 2/3 cup non-dairy milk
- 3/4 cup coconut oil
- 3-5 heaping Tbsp of cocoa powder (depends on your desire for chocolateyness)
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar (**you can substitute a liquid sweetener like honey- see note below)
- 1/4 tsp + pinch of sea salt
- 1 1/2 cup unsweetened peanut butter (will also work with almond butter or sunbutter, but check for added sweeteners as that will make the finished product much sweeter)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 4 cups oats (I use a gf variety from Trader Joe's)
- 1 cup chopped sunflower seeds (can be pulsed quickly in your food processor)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (can substitute another nut like pecan or even peanuts)
- In a large sauce pot, bring the milk, coconut oil, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, and sea salt to a boil. While you are waiting on this to heat up, have your nut butter and vanilla ready nearby.
- Boil for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mixture "makes tracks" in the pot as you stir (or if you have some on your spatula, and you let it cool a bit and run your finger over the spatula, your finger swipe should make a clear track with the mixture not running over that part on the spatula)**see note if using a liquid sweetener.
- Once this consistency is achieved, turn the heat off on the stove-top and stir in the nut butter and vanilla until fully combined.
- Then stir in your oats, sunflower seeds, and walnuts.
- Press into a 9" x 13" glass pan and wait for them to cool (can stick in fridge if you are getting impatient :). This should take about 30-45 minutes on the counter top. Then cut them into the size bars you desire and eat!
- Feel good about eating more than one :)
**Note: if you use honey instead of coconut sugar, simply boil for 3-5 minutes longer before adding the peanut butter, vanilla, oats, nuts, and seeds)
This recipe is linked up to:
Happy Healthy 2012 Everyone,