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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Peanut Butter Protein Bars

Like many families we increased our preparedness in 1999 as the new year drew closer.  We expected some disruptions but not the predicted end of society warnings.  Looking back, it was an amazing year of discovery in many aspects of our lifestyle.  At the same time, I discover many shelf stable products that despite seeming over preparing at the time, have become pantry staples.  I learned to make some of them like powdered fruits and vegetables.  However, I still buy and use powdered cheese, milks, honey and peanut butter.

PB2 all natural powdered peanut butter
PB2 is a natural powdered peanut butter that became popular with hikers, campers and survivalists.  I use it in applications where I want the rich flavour of peanut butter without the bulk.  In the last couple of months, I have discovered that PB2 is popular with those trying to lose weight because it has 85% less fat calories than traditional peanut butter.  A tablespoon of traditional peanut butterhas about 90 calories, 8 g fat and 3 g protein.  Two tablespoons of PB2 has 45 calories, 1.5 g fat and 5 g of protein.  PB2 can be used as a spread by mixing 2 tbsp of PB2 with 1 tbsp of water.  It can also be used in smoothies, shakes, and baking to boost protein while adding that wonderful peanut flavour everyone loves.  PB2 is also available with premium chocolate added.  It has 45 calories, 1 g fat and 4 g protein making the PB2 with chocolate a real calorie bargain.

peanut butter protein bars
My first experiment with no bake protein bars was the chocolate protein bars made with whey protein.  The results were promising so I went on to create a peanut butter protein bar.  I used a pea protein powder (Sequel Naturals Ltd., Vega Sport) to make these bars.  Honestly, I am very impressed with the Vega Sport protein powder.  It is only 130 g per 33 g scoop with 25 g protein, a calorie savings over the two whey protein powders I have.  The peanut butter protein bars are tasty but still have a slight stickiness.  I cut them into smaller bars as well so they could be used as a snack. 

Peanut Butter Protein Bars
recipe by:  Garden Gnome

1 c almond milk
2 scoops (66 g) Vega sport protein powder, vanilla
2 tsp Truvia baking blend
4 tbsp PB2
1½ quick cooking oats
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 tbsp peanut butter baking chips
1 tsp chia seeds

Place the oats in food processor bowl.  Process until fine, similar to flour.  Add Truvia, PB2 and coconut flour.  Pulse process to blend.   Pour the dry mixture into mixing bowl.  Pour most of the milk in and stir, adding just enough of the remaining milk to get the mixture to stick together.  Mix to form a ball that cleans the side of the bowl.  Place the ball on parchment paper.  Flatten and shape into a rectangular block.  Place parchment paper with the block on a plate.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Let chill to set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.  Cut into bars of desired size. Place the peanut butter baking chips in a small bowl.  Melt over another bowl of hot water.  Spread over the top of the bars.  Sprinkle the bars with chia seeds.

Yield: 12 bars

Nutritional value per bar: 78 calories, 10 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, 6 g protein, 63 mg sodium, 2 g fibre

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