Making your own nutrition bars is healthier, cheaper, and not at all tricky. Don't take our word for it. Here's a simple recipe (with tons of variations) from Camilla Saulsbury's new protein-bar primer, Power Hungry: The Ultimate Energy Bar Cookbook.
Why start with truffles and not bars? They're even easier to make because you basically learned the skills required in kindergarten with Play-Doh. Try them out, then tote your tasty truffles to your next boot camp class!
FIVE-MINUTE PROTEIN TRUFFLES
1/2 cup natural, unsweetened nut or seed butter (e.g., peanut, cashew, sunflower, or tahini)
3 Tbsp honey, agave nectar, or pure maple syrup
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
2/3 cup lightly packed all-natural, sweetened vanilla whey protein powder (or 1/2 cup all-natural, sweetened vanilla or chocolate vegan protein)
Suggested coatings for your truffles (optional)
— Miniature semisweet chocolate chips or cacao nibs
— Unsweetened, natural cocoa powder
— Unsweetened flake or shredded coconut, plain or toasted
— Finely chopped nuts, toasted or raw (think almonds, walnuts, pistachios, or hazelnuts)
— Toasted or raw seeds, finely chopped if needed (sesame, chia, pepitas, hemp hearts, or sunflower are good options)
— Finely chopped dried fruit (e.g., cherries, raisins, apricots, or blueberries)
— Matcha powder
— Quick-cooking rolled oats
1. Mix the nut or seed butter, honey, and salt in a medium bowl until blended. Add the protein powder, stirring until completely combined (mixture will be firm).
2. Protein powders vary in terms of their dryness. If the mixture seems too wet, add a bit more protein powder (or ground oats or flaxseed meal) until it comes together as a dough. If the mixture seems too dry, add milk (non-dairy or dairy) or water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture comes together as a dough. (Optional texture tip: Mix up to 3 tablespoons of any of the suggested coatings directly into the dough instead.)
3. Scoop about 1½ tablespoons of the mixture into your hands and shape into 1-inch balls.
4. If desired, place one or more of the suggested coatings in small shallow dishes. Roll each ball in the coating, gently pressing to adhere. Place the balls in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator (up to one week) or freezer (for up to three months). Thaw for 15 minutes.
Delicious recipe variations
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls: Use peanut butter for the nut butter and chocolate protein powder in place of the vanilla protein powder. Add 1½ tablespoons unsweetened, natural cocoa powder (not Dutch process) and 1½ tablespoons water along with the honey.
Mocha Java Protein Balls: Use chocolate protein powder in place of the vanilla protein powder. Add 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder, dissolved in 2 teaspoons warm water, along with the honey.
Gingerbread Protein Balls: Use 3 tablespoons dark (cooking) molasses for the sweetener and add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves along with the protein powder.
Snickerdoodle Protein Balls: Add 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg along with the protein powder. Add 3 tablespoons chopped raisins to the dough before rolling into balls. Coat the balls in finely chopped toasted pecans or walnuts. —Lisa Elaine Held
For more information, visit www.powerhungry.com
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