Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Almond protein bars/cereal













































I really like eating protein bars. However, itt can be difficult to find a good protein bar that is kind to your body. Many of them contain soy products, flavours, sugar and grains. They're also expensive. So, I decided to make my own protein bars...which then transformed into the 'cereal' you see above.



Cereal.

Yum.

Yes, even though I have not had cereal for two or so years, I still remember it tastes nice.

I was once really addicted to it. My favourite was chocolate muesli with banana juice. What is your favourite?

But you know, cereal also contain grains (which I cannot tolerate) and sugar. Some of them contain far too much sugar!

So, this recipe is for those looking for a new protein bar and those after a new kind of cereal.

Recipe here, notes and observations below it.



























Almond protein bar/'cereal'
I ventured around the internet for a while in order to find a recipe for a protein bar. Basically, you need a wet component and a dry component. This one is based on the dark chocolate peanut butter 'granola' bar recipe from Against All Grain. My recipe closely follows the recipe, but uses different nuts, more liquids and no honey. Plus, I turn it into cereal at the end.

What you need
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup almond butter/paste (this is 100% pureed almond)
  • 3 teaspoons Natvia sweetener (or another sweetener or honey)
  • 2 cups nuts (I used 165g almonds, 70g walnuts and 60g brazil nuts)
  • 150g dried figs
  • Grated dark chocolate (85%)
What you need to do
  • In a food processor, process nuts until course.
  • Place vanilla, coconut oil, almond butter/paste and sweetener into a saucepan over low heat and heat until runny.
  • Place nuts into the saucepan and combine with the liquid.
  • Line a baking tray/slice tin/roasting tray/baking dish (I used a 16*30cm baking dish) with baking paper and place mixture inside. Press the mixture down into the pan. Use a spoon to do this or place a sheet of baking paper over the mixture and press down using your fists.
  • Grate chocolate over the mixture.
  • Place the tray into the freezer for around two hours.
  • Once set, lift the baking paper out of the tray and place onto a bench.
  • Cut desired portion into squares/rectangles for protein bars....or chop into small pieces for 'cereal'.
  • Store the remainder in the freezer.

Recipe notes/observations
  • I would recommend you add more dried fruit than the 150g mentioned above. This adds more sweetness, texture and flavour.
  • You can use any combination of nuts you like and any fruits you please. 
  • A variety of nut butters are available in the shops and if you have a processor, you can make the nut butter of your choice.
  • Yes, this is expensive to make, given almond butter from the shops will set yo uback $6.50 or so  and coconut oil, $10. However, I think if you make it often enough (to use the coconut oil) and make your own nut butter, it shouldn't be too bad on your pocket.


I used the food processor! I want to tell you about it!













































The Breville Whizmaster Pro, purchased at the post Christmas sales

This was the first time I had used the food processor alone. Ahhhh! And, the first time it had been used to process nuts. I was a little worried using it alone. I am not good with technology...especially technology with the power to chop at extremely fast speeds!



























I was a bit worried about how sharp the blade was. I made sure to be very careful



























Blade inside the bowl. Still have all ten fingers

It actually was not that hard to put the blade into the machine. You simply put it into the bowl. All ready to process, I measured out the nuts and placed them inside. I was then ready to test the processing ability of this machine.



























After one pulse, the processor had smashed the nuts as you see above. I was amazed at the power! I was lost for words. After around seven pulses, the nuts turned into the consistency shown below.



























I will no longer be buying almond meal. I can make it at home for half the price (not taking into account electricity cost of running the processor and time). A few more pulses of the processor would be needed, of course, to make almond meal.

The quad blade I used was also very easy to clean. I washed it in soapy water and made sure no nuts were stuck to it. It was the same process with the bowl. I have used a different blade to chop vegetables and I find it is much harder to clean.

End verdict - Impressed!



























Nearly everything you will need to make these bars/cereal. You will also need vanilla extract.



























My first almond butter experience. Wow. So good. It is simply processed almonds



























Green and Blacks 85% dark chocolate was on special at $3.00 for 100g. It is amazing. Not too bitter.  I prefer it over Lindt 85%. I also like it how the squares (although rectangle) are nice and small














































When placing the mixture in the tray, it should look something like this. Not too dry and not too moist



























Pressing the mixture into the tray



























Grate chocolate onto the mixture. If it is warm at your place ,then your chocolate may melt like mine did. Really difficult to grate melting chocolate!



























I had a lot of difficulty grating the melting chocolate on this particularly hot day. Luckily the protein bars/'cereal' do not require baking:)



























Once set in the freezer, your protein bar/'cereal' should look something like this



























And there you have it, protein bars. Chop them up into random pieces and you have 'cereal'

Overall, a great recipe.

Though, I prefer eating this as a 'cereal'. I like how the milk softens the nuts a little. The milk is also the slightest bit chocolatey from the grated chocolate. You could also have the 'cereal' with yoghurt.

Give it a try. Let me know how you go:)

3 comments:

  1. this looks fab but did u forget to mention when to put in the dried figs?

    thanks for sharing! xx

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  2. I find so many muesli and protein bars expensive to buy and so cost efficient to make! :)

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