Saturday, September 14, 2013

"Reverse" Nourishing Protein Bars 1.0.

Cocoa butter is one of those ingredients that I've been wanting to flirt with for a while, yet the "high" price tag has always bothered me. Recently, however, some of my blogger friends have been using cocoa butter in their recipes, effectively making me jealous (well, more so curious!), so I jumped in and got some myself.

Cocoa butter is the fat that is extracted from the cocoa bean; and that's why it is white/yellowish in color, and not brown. Good quality cocoa butter should be at least $15/lb, and if it's less than that, you're either getting scammed or you just happened on a good deal. Look for a brand that has good reviews, is raw and organic, and can be used to make both food items and lotions. If you're using your cocoa butter for food applications, like here, you do not want to buy a non-food grade cocoa butter, so be sure to read the description on the product before you buy. I am a fan of Tisano brand organic cocoa butter, which you can find the link to on my ingredients page.

Cocoa butter comes in chunks or wafers (look for the kind made of chunks) and is easily meltable. For best results, store in the fridge before you're ready to work with it. And don't be afraid to try a chunk on it's own. I think it texture is like a bit like really smooth fatty coconut, but instead of coconut flavor, a hint of chocolate flavor instead! That being said, it's super versatile, and you can use it in chocolate sauces, puddings, and in things like these delicious protein bars :) I actually had a little bit left after making my protein bars, so I mashed some ripe bananas into it, added some cocoa powder, a little coconut sugar, ground chia, salt, and vanilla, and Viola! Chocolate pudding!

"Reverse" Nourishing Protein Bars 1.2.
    a spin off my original protein bars
    1 cup  whole raw walnuts
    1 cup  whole raw pumpkin seeds
    1/4 cup  ground chia seed
    1/2 cup  organic whole cranberries - mine were from Trader Joes
    1/2 cup  organic unsweetened coconut chips
    1/2 cup  organic sunbutter - mine was homemade :)
    1/2 tsp  unrefined sea salt
    1/2 cup  organic coconut oil, melted
    1-2 Tbsp  organic local wildflower honey
    2-3 tsp  vanilla
    ~  1 cup  organic raw cocoa butter, melted - source
    ~  1 cup  coconut cream concentrate - source
    ~  1/4-1/3 cup  organic coconut oil
    1 dropper  vanilla creme liquid stevia (optional)
    1 Tbsp  vanilla
* Please note the ingredients with an "about" sign in front of them are just estimates of amounts. I really just added some cocoa butter, ccc, and coconut oil to a double boiler and melted it together, adding the stevia (for sweetness) and vanilla (for flavor) at the end. I wanted a lot chocolate coating on my protein bars, but feel free to use less if desired.

To make your protein bars:
  1.  Place walnuts, pumpkin seeds, ground chia, cranberries, coconut, sunbutter and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine.
  2.  In a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil using LOW heat. Remove from heat and add vanilla and maple syrup.
  3.  Add melted oil mixture to the food processor and pulse/grind ingredients until it forms a coarse paste.
  4.  Scoop out the mixture and press down hard into an square bar pan.
  5.  Melt coconut and cocoa butter in a double boiler, add stevia and vanilla last when finally melted. Pour the white mixture on top of the already pressed down bars, it should be liquid. Place into the fridge until chocolate has hardened. To serve, take bars out of fridge for at least 2 minutes. Work a knife around the edges gently, or insert a large knife on side and gently pop out the bar  and place pieces of plastic wrap or small baggies. Freeze for later or munch right away :)

You can even cut them into smaller or easier to bite shapes, like in the second photo. Enjoy this easy + nutritious option on the go!


Elizabeth said...

Your bars look beautiful and delicious!! Did you soak your seeds prior or use unsoaked?
Peace & Raw Health,

Meagan said...

Elizabeth - they are not soaked, if they were the recipe would have said so. I don't have time to "properly prepare" my nuts and seeds, so I don't usually, unless I am making nut butter. But you can definitely used soaked/sprouted nuts/seeds!