I wanted to share this great recipe that I found for gluten-free, clean Pumpkin Protein Bars. I've made it twice now, with a few modifications, and I'm completely addicted. They're healthy, but they definitely taste sinful!
I've been following Jamie Eason's Live Fit program for the last few weeks, sticking to the workouts and trying my hardest to follow the meal plan. I swear that I already notice a difference. I am limiting my fruit to 2 servings a day and I think that (along with the intense weight training) is what's doing it. I have been getting wicked sugar withdrawl headaches though - no joke! I read that keeping sugar under 35 grams per day is the magic number, so that's what I've been shooting for.
Pumpkin Protein Bars
(modified from original recipe, here)
- ¼ C Splenda Brown Sugar blend (or, use ½ C of Xylitol if you don't like artificial sweetners)
- ¼ C unsweetened applesauce (I use one lunch-sized packet)
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 large egg whites (or 1/2 C of egg whites from the carton)
- 1 - 796 ml (15 oz.) can of raw pumpkin (ensure it's NOT the pie filling which is loaded with sugar)
- 2 C oat flour (buy it premade or grind your own oats in a blender to make flour)
- 2 scoops vanilla whey protein (I used About Time Whey - Birthday Cake flavor)
- ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- ½ C chopped walnuts (optional, but highly recommended)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F
- Spray a 9x13 Pyrex (glass) dish with non-stick spray
- Combine first 10 ingredients and mix well
- Add the final 3 ingredients (4, if adding walnuts), and mix until incorporated. Spread batter into the Pyrex dish and bake for 30 min
- Makes 24 squares
They are about 65 calories each (with walnuts) and 50 without. Each square offers about 4 grams of protein. The Live Fit program recommends a serving size of 4 squares for a small meal, but I find that 2 is often enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.
And while we're on the subject of protein, my body sometimes does not like artificial sweetners and dairy so finding a protein powder that works for me was difficult. I recently came across About Time Whey, which claims to be "the cleanest protein on the market" so I went ahead and ordered some from Low Carb Canada (not sure if there are any stores in YYC that sell it right now). The flavors I ordered were Peanut Butter, Birthday Cake and Chocolate. Amazing, right?
There are only 4 ingredients - all natural. The taste is really good - much better than all of the other "natural" ones that I've tried - and it mixes well with water and almond milk. One scoop is only 103 calories and 24 grams of protein.
My current smoothie of choice is this one:
Chocolate, PB and Banana Protein Smoothie
- 1 scoop About Time Whey, Peanut Butter flavor
- 4 ice cubes
- 1 C unsweetened chocolate almond milk
- ½ banana (optional, only if I'm working out right before or after)
Blend for a few minutes and enjoy!
Happy eating, loves!
PS - They are opening a Low Carb Canada store in Calgary (14th and McKnight NE) on June 30, so we will be able to buy About Time in store soon!