Loving the BITE: High Energy Protein Breakfast Bar

23
May
2013

BreakfastBar (7)If you’re feeling less-than-energetic, you’re in luck.   This week’s Loving the Bite recipe is made up of 6 Energy All-Stars.  And, what better time to eat energy all-stars than first thing in the morning?  To be sure, the energy from these bars isn’t just quick and then fading.  The ingredient combo provides quick and long-lasting energy, from sources of carbohydrates, medium chain triglyceriedes, easy-to-digest fiber, minerals like copper, and protein.  Best of all, they take only 6 ingredients, and 5 minutes to make.

Recipe of the Week: High Energy Protein Breakfast Bar

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup hemp seed hearts
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 3 Tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries, apricots, or dried cranberries
  • 2 scoops undetatured whey protein or your favorite protein powder (optional)

Instructions: Place all ingredients in food processor, process until smooth.  Press into a greased bread loaf pan (if it’s sticky, you can use wax paper to press).  Place in in refrigerator until firm.  Cut into 6-12 equal bars or squares, depending on if you want snack or meal bars.  Store in refrigerator.

Makes 6 meal bars or 12 snack bars.

Nutrition (per serving of 6 meal bars): 349 calories, 26 grams carbohydrates, 20 grams protein, 20 gm fat, 26 mg sodium

Comments: And now, the Energy All-Stars:

Cashews are special food because they are especially high in copper.  Copper is a key nutrient for energy as it supplies a specific enzyme that’s necessary for both energy production and iron utilization.  What’s more, copper is an antioxidant and important in collagen health.  Click here for more on cashews.

Hemp Seed Hearts are the nutrient powerhouse of the hemp seed.  And, the hemp seed is a wonderful source of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and ALA omega-3s.  Click here for more on hemp seeds.

Chia seeds are one of my favorite energy foods.  Like hemp seeds, they are high in fiber, protein, minerals, and omega-3s.  And, they make a great breakfast food as they will keep you feeling comfortably full and satisfied throughout the morning due ot their ability to absorb water and “gel.” To take full advantage, make sure to begin hydrating in the morning with coffee, green tea, black tea, or water.  Click here for more on chia seeds.

Organic coconut oil is a staple of my recipes and diets.  It’s a very special fat.  It is primarily composed of medium chain triglycerides, a quick-acting fat that is easily absorbed and used as an energy source by the cells.  Read more about organic coconut oil.

Dried Cherries or other fruit choices provide the only significant carbohydrate source in the recipe.  Although I recommend less carbs and more protein and healthy fats than what’s in most typical diets, it’s still a good idea for cyclists to have a whole-food source of carbs at breakfast, lunch and daytime snacks.

This will provide the wake-me-up you need in the morning.  Undenatured whey protein is a unique ingredient in that it can increase the production of glutathione, a super-antioxidant made by our cells.

But buyer beware, there’s a lot of “junk” protein powders out there and you must wade through to find a “clean” minimal-ingredient undenatured whey protein.  You can read all about it here.

Or, if you prefer a vegetarian protein, I recommend a rice/pea blend, or one that uses a variety of plant proteins such as Vegasports Performance Protein.

But what makes this bar special?

What makes it different for every “energy bar” out there?  Or, even our Loving the Bite Lemon Energy Bar?  More protein, more healthy fats, more fiber, less carbs, and completely whole-food.  These are a perfect recipe for Daily Nutrition, but may be too slow-digesting and “heavy” for intense Training.

Bonus Recipe: Turn this Breakfast Bar into a High Protein DessertBreakfastBar (1)

Need a high-protein, low-carb treat to satisfy your sweet-tooth before bed? Cut one of these bars into a third, add just a few 70%+ cocoa dark chocolate chips or shavings, press into the top, and you’ve got a satisfying high protein treat.  Before bed, stick to more protein and less carbs to improve ongoing muscle recovery.

This week, I hope these bars offer an easy get-up-and-go breakfast option for you.  I know my schedule often demands something fast.  But, it can’t be just fast.  It needs to be whole, real food.  No “junk” ingredients.  Even in a rush, you deserve good nutrition and a bar that packs energy to start your day.

Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.

Enjoy Your Ride

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  • Mr. Fred

    HeyDarryly looks a really good recipe. Will make some soon. I tend to drink a protein shake after a spin, would this be agood replacement? Also this looks a good protein source after a gym/weights workout what do you think? PS. Loving the Cycling 360 show. Have you ever done a show on Sprinting and how to become a better sprinter?

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Hi Mr. Fred…..thanks for leaving your comment. I’ll let Kelli answer your question about the protein shake and workout. We’ve touched on sprinting a few times at Cycling 360 but never dedicated a full show to it. I’ll run it by Victor and see what he thinks. Thanks for the suggestion.

      • Mr. Fred

        Thanks Darryl, appriciate it. Think it would be an interesting topic. Imroving and training for sprinting specifically would (in my humble opinion) help a cyclist improve their all round cycling performance. Ah don’t worry about Victor your opinion is just as important as the Guru ;-)

    • Kelli, RD

      Hi Mr. Fred, Thanks for your comment. Yes, this bar an work well after a ride, although it may be a little low in carbs to fully replenish glycogen stores. I recommend either adding a small banana on the side or eating your next meal within 60 minutes of your recovery (if it works out well in your recovery). And, yes, it will work well for gym/weight workouts. Enjoy!

  • SlimmingItDownViaBike

    Question. Followed the directions and my batch was too dry to hold shape. So I added a bit more coconut oil. Still a bit dry I added some more. The still dry so I added some organic raisins (mostly for the moisture) the I achieved a spreadable consistency. FYI … my cashews were organic RAW if that makes any difference. I used dried craisins for the original fruit since I had some organic ones that needed to be used. Just wondering why I had to add the extra oil and raisins? Should I have pushed in dry-ish and waited for the Chia seeds to gel? Any way..I am sure they will be good but a bit more calorie bloated then the recipe because of my additions. Your thoughts on the matter would be most appreciated. What I pulled of the spatula after spreading in the dish was D-LISH! Can’t wait to try them. Thanks for the blog and recipes.

    • Kelli, RD

      Hello and thank you so much for your feedback. Hmmm- my batches have definitely been closer to sticky (before refrigeration) than dry. But, there’s definitely potential for different ingredient choices to produce different results. I did use dry-roasted cashews and this could be the difference. If using them again, I do recommend reducing the raw cashews to 1/2 cup to see if this makes the difference. You can also reduce the chia and hemp to 6 Tbsp each rather than 1/2 cup. Usually, since all of these ingredients are high in fat, they don’t tend to dry out, but something definitely didn’t work. I’m very sorry for any frustration…I know it’s a pain when these recipes don’t work right especially when they have pricey ingredients. You did what I would have done w/ adding in more coconut oil to try to add moisture. If you do try again, please let me know the results. I’m planning on making more today, so I’ll have a chance to re-test as well. Thanks again and take care!

  • Engin

    Hi,

    I’m a visitor from Turkey. I can find all ingridents but no Chia seeds in Turkey (or very hard to find)
    What can I use intead of Chia?

    Thanks

    Engin

    • Kelli, RD

      Thanks for the question Engin. Go ahead and double the hemp hearts while omitting the chia. For anyone who can’t find hemp seeds, this can also be done in reverse (double chia, omit hemp hearts). These no-bake bars are very versatile in terms of ingredient combos. Hope you enjoy them!

  • Skinner

    Uh, I don’t think the recipe instructions coincide with the ingredients. Dates? Lemons?

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Whoa, thanks for catching that. We’ve corrected the mistake and it should be good to go now. Sorry about that.

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