Monday, January 14, 2013

Coconut Crumble Bars

Coconut Crumble Bars  

I came across a problem, one which I’m sure everyone does. I’ll be stuck in traffic or have a longer drive in my car, and I’m hungry! A friend of mine had introduced me to Quest bars which I absolutely love! I keep a few in my car and when I encounter hunger pangs I will eat a little of one to keep me until my next meal. These bars can be quite addicting and completely satisfying! So I decided to embark on a cooking adventure to try and create my own Quest bar. This is my test project number one, and surprisingly, even though I didn't achieve the texture of the bar, the taste was pretty phenomenal and the texture of these reminds me a lot of Halvah. (Halvah is a Mediterranean/ Middle Eastern dessert spread made of sesame seed paste, pistachio egg whites and sugar.)
And so my creation of these Coconut bars ensued, and what resulted though not a replicated success was nevertheless delightful! These easy to make no-bake bars..  high in fiber, high in protein and healthy fats, low in carbs and with only a touch of honey added are a delicious snack and or treat that will fill you up even with just the smallest of pieces. Hope you enjoy. J

1 cup dried unsweetened bananas
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup walnuts or almonds
2 tbsp. of chia seeds
4 scoops Level 1 Chocolate Coconut Protein Powder
1/3 cup psyllium husk powder
1/4 cup water
1 cup coconut oil (not melted)
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. of pumpkin pie spice
¼ cup honey

In a food processor combine bananas, coconut flakes, nuts and chia seeds. Pulse until ingredients are finely ground. Add is spices, vanilla extract, and psyllium husk powder, pulse again and slowly pour in honey and water until all ingredients are blended. Place in mixing bowl  4 scoops of protein powder, add in the contents of the blender and mix together. Finally add the coconut oil to the bowl and using your hands or a large mixing spoon blend the ingredients together until a crumbly mixture has formed.
Place in a baking pan lined with tinfoil or cookie sheet and press the dough firmly into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with almonds or other nuts. Refrigerate overnight. Next morning it is ready to serve and enjoy. I keep the bars wrapped in tinfoil in a zip lock bag in my car for those times I get in a crunch. Absolutely love them!!

Fun Facts:
Psyllium husk is obtained from the seed of the psyllium plant. It contains 71 g of fiber per 1/3 cup, as opposed to oats which contain about 5 g of fiber per 1/3 cup.
Coconut oil has so many benefits to it!! My favorite being that it helps to balance out your thyroid and can lower abdominal fat in women. Coconut fats have special fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). It has been shown that breaking down these types of healthy fats in the liver leads to efficient burning of energy. One 2009 study found that women who consumed 30 milliliters (about 2 tablespoons) of coconut oil daily for 12 weeks not only did not gain more weight, but actually had lowered amounts of abdominal fat, a type of fat that is difficult to lose, and contributes to more heart problems. To read more about the benefits of coconut oil check out the link below.

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