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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Gluten-free, Egg-free, Cane Sugar-free Chocolate Protein Bars



Whew, that was a mouthful of a title.

The day before I found out about my egg and sugar intolerances, I was spending time with my friend Lexi and we attempted to make Macarons. I already knew about my gluten intolerance and Macarons are gluten free so we decided to go for it! Macarons use almond meal for their main ingredient so we had a bunch left over when we were done.

I was poking around at it and mentioned to Lexi, "This would make a great base for a protein bar, wouldn't it?" Being the awesome, innovative lady that she is (she makes the most amazing things just by guessing measurements and they always turn out delicious!), she got right to it.

The next morning I found out that I was intolerant to sugar cane and eggs and was about to go crazy when I remembered that I could eat everything in the bars we had made the day before. I won't lie, I was addicted to sugar. I eat pretty healthy except when it comes to the baked goods department, and then I'm sunk. So, to know that I could still get my sweets fix and not be poisoning myself at the same time, that was great news. :)

These bars taste so good that sometimes I'll bite into one and get instantly scared that I'm eating something I shouldn't be. Yep. Guilty pleasures that aren't so guilty. :) Also, they're "free" by nature, not by replacement so they aren't really that expensive to make. That's a huge relief to me too, I've been really overwhelmed by the prices of gluten free baking ingredients.

Lexi and I made this up and I've further tweaked it so there's not really an exact recipe. It's just kind of one of those "sense it as you go" type of deals. You can substitute or tweak it as much as you want and I'm sure they'll still turn out great.

Approximate Recipe:

2 cups almond meal (We bought bulk almonds and ground them in a food processor)
1/2 + 1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut (found it in the bulk section of my grocery store)
1/4 cup cocoa powder (dark is super tasty but regular is really good too)
1/4-1/2 cup Gluten-free oats (the only specialty thing you need. It's pricey, so I just used a little)
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup honey (pretty much use as much as it takes to make it all stick together)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
2. Grind the almonds in a food processor or blender.
3. Leave about 1/4 cup of almond meal in blender and add 1/2 cup raisins.
4. Blend the 1/2 cup of raisins and almond meal (the almond meal helps prevent the blended raisins from becoming a sticky mass).
5. Mix almond meal, blended raisins, extra 1/4 cup of whole raisins, coconut, cocoa powder, gluten-free oats, and salt together.
6. Mix in honey until is all sticks together. Using your hands works the best. :P
7. Put into a lightly oiled 8X8 pan and bake at 250 for 10 minutes.

The salt adds a little bite to it all, without it I thought they were too sweet. Baking really firms them up and into and actual bar. For some reason the taste changes. Don't ask me why. :)

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Here's Lexi's blog too, if you want to check it out!
Mrs. Lemonmint

Rachel






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