These easy and nutritious protein bars are packed with protein and taste like an ice cream sandwich, without any of the guilt, and are whipped up with just a few ingredients!
Working out, and being physically fit has become all the craze since Instagram started, right? Well, recently I’ve jumped on the whole “#fitfam #mealprep #cleaneating” band-wagon, and am also trying to up my protein intake so I can get the most out of my workouts. Many people, like myself, put in all the blood, sweat, and tears at the gym (just ask the man crying on the elliptical next to me yesterday), but most of them fail to simply take protein, which is key to really maximizing your results. Having a protein shake after the gym can seem like such an easy thing to do to supercharge your way to your body goals; but if you’re like me, you probably forget, maybe you don’t like the after taste of protein, or simply your arms are too sore to pick up the protein scoop. That’s why I love protein bars! They’re convenient, no prep work, and they’re usually covered in chocolate and filled with layers of gooey caramel.
News Flash!!! Protein bars aren’t always as “nutritious” as you might want to believe. Now, I don’t want to be the one to pop that bubble of caramel filled happiness, so go see for yourself. Look at the back of your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough, or double chocolate fudge brownie protein bar, and look at the sugar content.
Yes, I know. It’s fairly depressing. If you look at the ingredients of store-bought protein bars, chances are, they’re loaded with sugar and not-so-healthy additives to make them taste and look like a candy bar. And basically, that’s all it really is– a candy bar with some added protein. That’s why I’ve recently started making my own protein bars. They won’t cost you half your grocery bill, and they are way better. They also make a perfect post-workout, pre-workout, and late night snack! Oh, and did I mention they have the texture of cookie dough but taste like an ice cream sandwich?!
When Eat The Bear sent me a container of their “Ice Cream Sandwich” flavored protein, I instantly knew what I had to do– make protein bars that looked like ice cream sandwiches. It’s hitting 120 degrees here in Arizona, so ice cream has been taking over my thoughts most hours of the day.
When making protein bars, the consistency is key. The dough should be crumbly and you’ll probably think it’s way too dry, but it’s not! You don’t want it to be too soft or the bars won’t hold their shape. Every protein powder is a bit different, so add in only half of the milk, stir, then add in the remaining milk a little at a time until you get a very thick dough that is just moist enough to stay together when squeezed into a little ball. if you accidentally add too much liquid, no worries, just roll the dough into balls instead of pressing them into bars, or just eat it with a spoon and pretend it’s raw cookie dough!
The first time I made these I used dark cocoa powder which made the chocolate layer ultra dark chocolaty brown, almost black, and gave them a deep dark chocolate flavor. The second time I tested them I used regular cocoa powder, and the final test was done with cacoa powder, which is just raw cocao powder. It has tons of health benefits due to it being raw, but tastes just like regular cocao powder. You can get it from any health food store, but feel free to use regular cocao powder if you prefer. When I initially tested these bars out, I used a different coconut flour than I used for the ones in the pictures. The coconut flour I used in the pictures was slightly more course and didn’t dissolve as good as the first brand I used. It didn’t change the flavor, just mainly the look and the texture was slightly grittier; so for best results, stick with a very fine coconut flour. I also used a vanilla almond-coconut milk, but you can use whichever milk you prefer.
These protein bars took slightly longer to whip up due to the different layers, but how cute are they?! The best part is that the longer they sit in the fridge, the softer and more fudgy they get.
To get the full flavor effect, the protein I used was the “Ice Cream Sandwich” flavor from Eat The Bear and can be purchased HERE. Be sure to follow their Instagram account (@etb.kitchen) for even more yummy protein-packed recipes!
This paid post was sponsored by Eat The Bear, however all thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own.
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