Vegan protein bars, using protein powder, dried fruit for sweet and flavor, a little spice and some nut butter! Wholesome, delicious, and filling, post-workout or breakfast!
I’ve been playing with morning –vs.– evening workouts lately, even though I’ve been a morning workout person for the past almost 2 years. The thing is, I still love working out in the morning, and I’d much rather do it then. You get up and go, without thinking; nothing else from the rest of the can get in the way of your workout; and you feel pretty awesome the rest of the day after what you’ve accomplished! However, you have to be prepared to workout in the morning if you’ve got a time cap, which is what I’m running into, especially now that I need more sleep (I went from being fine sleeping from 2-8 about 4 days a week, to need to sleep 12-9 on the weekdays. That’s THREE HOURS a day of time gone. ugh).
So, over spring break, I tried to lay out a plan. That included being more strict (aka actually doing it lol) on packing lunch, and knowing what I wanted for breakfast, ensuring I went to bed on time, and having some wholesome snacks prepared while I was at home. Usual suspects include muffins, specifically these (my favorite!) (but I made these ones this weekend to try something new!), crackers, and bars, as well as hummus and lots of slice veggies, fresh fruit, and some dried fruit.
Enter: these bars. I usually just drink a shake with Vega post workout protein + soymilk, but am trying to eat some yogurt or something else also. But I wanted something that I could literally grab and bring with me to the gym whether I go in the morning or in the middle of the day, and don’t have time to go back to my room to grab something.
Now, I make a lot of bars, muffins, and cookies. Some more successful than others. These, I intended to make to taste alright, but their main purpose was intended for nutrition. Meaning they weren’t going to have the best taste. However, when I already ate 1 & 1/2 before I left, and had to make a second batch (they’re small batches), I knew I had actually made something a better than I expected! –and blog worthy!
I made two variations:
The first uses Vega OneTM (Natural flavor)- with six servings of greens, and featuring 1 billion probiotics (per serving), this is an “All-In-One Nutritional Shake”
The second one primarily uses Vega Sport Performance Protein (Berry flavor)- this new formula has a whopping 30g of protein, with 6g of BCAAs and Glutamine, and also has Tart Cherry extract and turmeric for the best recovery!
So one if for a breakfast or anytime snack- the other is for after a killer workout! Right now, I’m training again for the Race for the Cure, which has been a bit rough with my knees, and overall body soreness, and I feel like I’ve been sick 4 times since January! Ugh. Anyways, I’m running, and using workouts from Fitnessista (as I’ve been doing for years! love hers), and runners workouts from Jason of Strength Running, as well as lifting.
Here’s to good health, and recovery!
- 1 scoop + 3 tbsp Vega One Natural*
- 12 moist organic Turkish dried apricots (I use TJ's or WF)
- 1/2 tsp Saigon Cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp dried ginger
- 3 tbsp unsweetened vanilla non-dairy milk*
- 1 Scoop Vega Sport Pro Performance Protein, Berry
- 3.5 tbsp Vega One Natural
- 11 moist organic Turkish dried apricots (I use TJ's or WF)
- 2-3 tsp organic raw almond butter (I use homemade, TJ's raw crunchy, or marthana raw crunchy)
- 1/2 tsp Saigon Cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp dried ginger
- 4 tbsp unsweetened vanilla non-dairy milk*
- If your apricot are not soft (and a little sticky), warm them in the milk a little.
- Add the apricots to a food processor (not the milk!) and the powder and the spices. Pulse 10 times.
- Turn the processor on for 30 seconds, add the milk 1 tbsp at a time. Stop and scrape down the sides after if needed. It should look like the pictures at this point. Mix scrapes on the bottom if needed.
- Process continuously for 1 minute. It should come together and form a dough. Keep processing if needed.
- Dump it out onto a large square of parchment paper and form a ball. Fold parchment over the dough (or use another piece) and roll it out. Fold it over so it is a small square or ball (to ensure it is properly mixed- roll and repeat folding if necessary), then roll it out to a rectangle shape.
- Refrigerate for 20 minutes (covered/wrapped in the parchment), then take it out and cut into 4 rectangles.
- Wrap in parchment and store in the fridge in a sealed bag, in a warmer part of the fridge (ie the door or front of the fridge)
- Method- Use the same steps as above. Add the almond butter with the powder and spices in the beginning (I only needed 2 tsp- added 1 then and 1 with the milk).
- To process- Pulse 10 times. Process 30 seconds. Pulse a few times and/or mix/stir. Process 30 seconds, etc.
- This method is needed because the sport powder is finer, and less grainy like flour. Thus it won't come together like a dough by itself (pictured), but you can easily form the dough when you dump it out with your hands.
- Cut into 4 or 5 rectanlges
- *The first time I made these, I use Califa Unsweetened vanilla almond milk, it's so good! To keep it almond/nut free, the second time I used soymilk + 3/4 tsp pure Burbon vanilla extract
- I used almond butter (only ingredients: almonds), but you could use any nut or seed butter. If you can't use nuts OR seeds (for the 2nd bar), you could use a total of 1 scoop vega one + 2-3 more apricots.
- I used vega one natural (unflavored) and vega sport berry. you could probable also use vanilla.
Also, congrats to Beverly for releasing her progressive 4 week workout E-books! Which these would be purrrfect ( I <3 cats) for eating after. I’ve done her workouts occasionally over the past year since I found her blog, and I cant wait to get into the e-book! I do like organizing my own workouts, but like The Fitnessista, these are very similar to my own style, so I think they’ll work well for me. I also really want a kick in the butt, and love how this is progressive!
share your favorite protein bar recipe below!
also, when do you workout?
Other links i’m loving lately:
- Anne (with Rachel and !) released the launch of their new program: The Joys of Intuitive Eating! Yes I am studying to be an RD, I know healthy food, I help others, etc, but sometimes I don’t always practice what I preach, because my body/mind knows the tricks, and gets around them. And I definitely struggle with emotional eating. I’ve mentioned it in passing on the blog, and I’m definitely a lot better than where I was a year ago, but I still love the help of a community, and am looking forward to this!
- Brie: My Whole Foods Approach to Eating Yes girl!
- Strange But Good! I haven’t read or linked up in a while. Needs to change :)
- Why Runners Should Eat Beets! I touched on this here too :)
- All the Life, Mind, Body & Spirit posts linked up at Strength & Sunshine! And this throwback!