just a smidgen

Gluten-Free + Vegan Triple Chocolate Protein Bars

Triple Chocolate Vegan Protein Bars CIt’s hard to take risks, sticking yourself out there can be nerve wracking. My kids and their friends are looking for summer employment and, while it’s only temporary, they’d like it to be something they can add to their skill set on their resume. Ours is a boom town, which means job opportunities, but also lots of in-migration. Jobs for students can be scarce. So email queries and phone calls have to be made to anyone and everyone. Which can be stressful for some, kids worry that companies may be annoyed or even rude. I say, so what! Someone’s bad day doesn’t have to be yours.

Triple Chocolate Protein Bar 1

I used to be paralyzed with fear, a quiet person by nature, I can be shy to the extreme. As a teenager, I’d rehearse my contribution to the conversation and by the time I had the courage to speak up.. the discussion had moved on.

After reading the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,  I have a learned to trust in an intuitive, quiet confidence that enables me to be more courageous in social situations. The main difference now, is I know that I do have something meaningful to contribute and others will want to hear it. Why? Because I believe that everyone has something important to contribute (most of the time). I’m interested in what everyone else has to say, ergo, people { hopefully } have an interest in what I have to say. Loud and overly assertive people may get the floor more often than not, but there are people who are { relieved } and appreciate a different, quieter point of view.

Triple Chocolate Protein Bar 2When I approach these sorts of situations, I have taught myself to think “Why not me?” instead of “Why me?” And I’ve gone from “Why would they want to meet me?” to “Of course, they would want to meet me, I’m a nice person.” In fact, those few words are the ones I’ve trained myself to always think first: “Why not” and “Of course” before my old negative self-talk has the chance to interrupt.

Triple Chocolate Protein Bar 5Applying for a job means you must have that same attitude. Go in thinking, “Why not me for the job, after all I am (list of attributes)” and “Of course.. they’d want to hire me.” Jump in, both feet first. Be ridiculously optimistic. Send your resume absolutely everywhere. Email everyone under the sun that you know and tell everyone what you’re hoping for, what you’re dreaming of. Chances are the universe will welcome and respond to the queries you send out. After all, if you don’t try, you’ll never find out! Sometimes you’ll get the job you need and it won’t be the one you were hoping for in the first place. But that’s a discussion for another day.

Vegan Triple Chocolate Protein Bars

I took a few risks, ok, really small ones.. figuring this recipe out, almost all the way through I kept thinking “This looks strange.” or “The texture is so dry, how can I rescue this?” I’m so glad I kept going, these proteins bars are amazing. I highly doubt if they’re low-cal, but I promise the flavor is unreal, the texture is just that right amount of rice crisp and coconut chewy.  I noticed on the second day the texture is very like a puffed wheat square that I’ve made. After making the base, I sprinkled chunks of raw almonds over top and sealed them with melted vegan chocolate. They have protein, they’re Gluten-Free and they’re completely Vegan!

Best of all, unlike store-bought protein bars, you know what’s in them!

I think this recipe could be adjusted to suit your taste. If you want more protein, switch out the cocoa for protein powder. Or vice versa if you don’t care for protein powder. I used Vega Protein because I love it in my smoothies. Make up a batch of these bars, slice, wrap and freeze for convenience. 

 

Triple Chocolate Protein Bar 8

 Vegan Triple Chocolate Protein Bars

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Good news!! It’s going up to 14C today! Spring has unofficially arrived!

Vegan Triple Chocolate Protein Bars
 
Ingredients
Base
  • two cups oats
  • 1 cup rice puffs, organic, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 (26 gm) scoops Vega Chocolate Smoothie protein mix
  • 3/4 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Topping
  • 1/3 cup raw almonds
  • 1 package (283 g) Enjoy Life Mega Chunks
  • 2 tsp coconut oil (melted)
Instructions
  1. Prepare a 9x9" baking pan by lining it with parchment paper, so that the paper extends up over opposite sides (this helps you lift the bars out). My pan was non-stick so I didn't have to line it.
Base
  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, rice puffs (gluten-free puffed rice cereal), coconut, cocoa powder and protein mix. In a smaller bowl, stir together the brown rice syrup, peanut butter, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Pour the syrup mixture over the oats and rice mixture. Gently fold the ingredients together until blended.
  2. Spoon then press the mixture into the prepared 9x9" baking pan.
Topping
  1. Coarsely chop the almonds, leaving some larger pieces. Scatter over the top of the base.
  2. Melt the package of Enjoy LIfe Mega Chunks by microwaving in bursts of 30 seconds, stirring after each time. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate pieces as they can turn "grainy". Once melted, stir in the coconut oil. Then pour over the base, covering the almond chunks and the entire top of the square. If needed, use the back of a spoon to spread the chocolate, or gently tip the pan up on one side.
  3. Let the bars set in the fridge. Remove by lifting out with the ends of the parchment paper, place on a cutting board and cut into bars or squares. Wrap and refrigerate or freeze. I did leave mine on the counter and they were fine for a few days.. but I'm not entirely sure, because they were gone by the third day:)

 Triple Chocolate Vegan Protein Bars ALove, Smidge

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