Healthy Girl Scout Samoas with NO added sugar, flour or dairy

DSC_0134I love Girl Scout Cookies. I’ve loved them since I was a little brownie pushing boxes of coco-nutty Samoas®, peanut buttery tagalongs and minty thin mints. Now I’m the leader of my own little Daisy’s troop, which means that I’m surrounded by their deliciousness and I MUST buy a box (or 100)

Which call my name.

As much as I love Girl Scout cookies, I can’t eat them everyday. I wanted to come up with a sugar-free version of my absolute favorite: Samoa.

Can’t be done?

After experimenting in the kitchen, I re-created a version that delivers all the chocolate and coconutty goodness without a drop of added sugar.

How did I do it? I’m about to tell you the secret.

First, I had read about combining processed chickpeas and dates soaked overnight in the Chocolate Covered Katie Blog. She has some amazing recipes, so I encourage you to check her out. When I first read about the chocolate chip cookie dough dip with beans and dates, I thought it sounded disgusting! But I was too curious, so I gave it a shot and I PROMISE you, it is delicious! It got me thinking of other ways I could incoporate this technique.

So I came up with these healthy samoas. They are vegan, and contain no added sugar, flour, oil, food dyes or preservatives.

DSC_0156Stacy’s Sugar-Free Samoas

  • 1 1/4 cups cooked, drained chickpeas (do not use canned! they have a different flavor and won’t turn out a swell. Soak your chickpeas overnight in water, then cook the entire next day in the slow cooker. Refridgerate overnight and then you can puree them in this recipe)
  • 1 1/4 cups soaked dates with liquid (soak 1 1/4 cups of dates in 1/4 cup water overnight)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Artisana Cocoa Bliss Organic Raw Coconut Butter
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp oats
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar-free coconut flakes (I bought mine at Earth Fare, but you can also find at Whole Foods and on Amazon)

Using your food processor or Vitamix, puree the chickpeas completely. Add the dates with water to the mixture and puree for a full minute. Add the vanilla extract, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder and oats. Process until combined. Add only as much almond milk as you need to reach the desired consistency. I added 2 Tbsp., you may need a bit more or less. Remove from processor and stir in coconut flakes. Sprinkle with coconut and serve! These taste best after they’ve been refriderated for a few hours to harden.

Voila! Girl Scout Samoa cookies with NO added sugar, NO added oil, NO flour and they’re are good for you! They are also super easy to make and require NO cooking! What more could you ask for?

If you are looking for more sugar-free, flour-free recipes, check out my recipe for my oatmeal cookies. They are delish and don’t contain an ounce of added sugar!

Please try them and let me know what you think!

Guilt-Free Cupcakes only .99 on the Kindle for a Limited Time!

GuiltFreeCupcakesBookCoverImageI’m excited to annouce that I’m offering my book, Guilt-Free Cupcakes, for only .99 for a limited time! This book is 9.99, but I’m offering this discount in honor of my birthday! I wanted to pass along a birthday gift from me to all of you!

The book is filled with light, lucious and low-calorie cupcakes recipes.

If you have a Kindle and are looking more more cheap reads, check out Good Reads for the top cheap books (that are worth reading.) Amazon also has a daily listing of the “Deals of the Day.”

I love my Kindle and especially love finding good, inexpensive books! In Charlotte, today is the perfect day to stay inside, curl up by the fire and read a good book. It’s also a great day to bake some cupcakes while watching the rain hit the window pane.

Do you have a Kindle? What are your favorite books? I’d love to hear from you!

Sugar-Free Flour-Free Artificial Sweetner-Free Oatmeal Cookies

I’m trying to cut back on the added sugar and flour in my diet, but it has been extremely difficult. Did you know that manufacturer’s sneak sugar in practically everything? There is sugar in ketchup, peanut butter, salad dressing and even some dried fruit. I went three weeks with NO added sugar and NO flour and I lost weight, but I was miserable. I scoured every label and couldn’t find one brand of salad dressing that didn’t have some form of added sugar. Also, be careful of peanut butter labeled “Natural” because I noticed that many “Natural” peanut butters still had sugar and oil. I had to go to Earth Fare to buy a sugar-free ketchup that didn’t have artificial sweetner added. The problem with going completely sugar-free is that it became an obsession to find sugar-free products.

I’m now trying to find a happy balance.

I love sweets, but obviously it is quite a challenge to satisfy a sweet tooth without sugar. I adapted this delicious recipe for sugar-free, flour-free and artificial sweetner free oatmeal cookies from Dr. Gott’s No Flour, No Sugar Cookbook. I was leary how cookies would turn out if they didn’t have sugar, but they are excellent! You would never know that they don’t have a drop of oil or sugar in them.

They are so healthy that you can eat them for breakfast or dessert. Give them a try and let me know what you think:

Sugar-Free, Flour-Free, Artifical Sweetner-Free Oatmeal Cookies

  • 3 bananas
  • 2 c old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 c almonds
  • 1/2 c raisins
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Mash the bananas well with a potato masher. Mix in the oats, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Mix well. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

 

Fresh Strawberry Cake

There is something special about picking a plump, juicy red strawberry off the vine and popping it in your mouth right in the strawberry fields.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m lucky to have fresh strawberry fields right across from my neighborhood that allows customers to “Pick-your-own” strawberries. I bring my kids every year because I think it is important for them to understand where food comes from. Real food, food that is nutritious for our bodies, doesn’t come in a box.

We picked strawberries last weekend and made a fresh strawberry cake.

 

 

 

 

I’m a big believer that it is OK to indulge in treats occasionally, especially if you prepare something from scratch with fresh ingredients, is much better than eating pre-made, chemical-filled “faux food.” We hear messages that “butter is bad” or “don’t eat carbs,” and manufacturer’s force so-called “healthy” snacks on us like low-carb cookies, sugar-filled energy bars and low-fat chips. They are all filled with chemicals to replace the carbohydrates, sugar and fat, which does more damage to our bodies than a little butter. According to the Centers for Disease Control obesity rates are two times higher today than in the 1970s. What’s interesting is that today we have more “fat-free,” “low-fat,” “low-carb,” “gluten-free” foods than ever, but we are geting fatter. Back in the 1970s cooking with butter was common, but so were homemade meals.

Get back to the basics by making this delicious, fresh strawberry cake for your family. I modified this recipe, which was in the April issue of Southern Living Magazine.

Fresh Strawberry Cake

This is a three part cake, so it take a bit of time to make. First, you will want to make the cake layers.

Cake Layer:

  • 1 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 1/4 cup sugar
  • 7 egg whites
  • 3 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

Mix the Greek yogurt with the sugar first, then add the egg whites, beating well with an electric mixter after each egg white. Mix the flour and baking powder seperately, then add to the wet mixture. Add one cup of water and almond extracts. Mix well, then pour into four 8-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350 for 22 minutes.

While your cakes are cooking, prepare the strawberry mousse.

Strawberry Mousse

  • 1 envelope gelatin
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream
Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup water in a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Using a food processor, combine strawberries and sugar. Transfer strawberry mixture to a small pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and add gelatin mixture. Stir well, then cover and chill for 30 minutes.
Beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into strawberry mixture until blended well. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
While the mousse is chilling, prepare the strawberry frosting.
Strawberry Frosting
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cups strawberries (finely chopped)
Cream butter and powdered sugar together in an electric mixter. Add strawberries and beat at a low speed until just combined.
Now it’s time to bring it all together!
When the cake layers are cooled, spread a layer of strawberry mousse over each layer and stack four cakes high. C
over and chill for three hours, or until mousse is set.
Remove from fridge and spread frosting on the top and sides of the cake.
This cake takes a while to make, but is incredibly delicious!

Middle School Memories

Smoking behind the school gym in between classes, scarfing down pizza at lunch in between celery-only crash diets and spending spare cash on the McRib and doughnuts. Ahhh, the memories from middle school. Not exactly a picture of heath, eh?

My best friend and I once saved up our money from babysitting and then walked to Winn Dixie (do I get credit for walking to Winn-Dixie instead of catching a ride?) to spend all of our hard-earned money on a junk food extravaganza. We bought Ding-Dongs, canned spray cheese, Lay’s potato chips, frosting and bags of M&M’s and then spent the entire night playing Mall Madness and gorging ourselves. “Tomorrow I’m starting the cabbage soup diet,” I said in between mouthfuls of frosting and spraying my mouth with processed cheese, straight from the can.

It’s not as if my mom deprived me of candy or sweet treats, so I’m not quite sure what fueled my junk food extravaganza other than having newfound financial freedom.

I don’t miss much about middle school, but occasionally, I wouldn’t mind having the freedom from worrying about the food I eat from both a health and calorie perspective. So, as an ode to my middle school days, I’ve re-created the Ding-Dong, Five a Day the Fun Way style, with whole-wheat flour, Greek yogurt and less calories and fat.

I’m sure it’s not as good as the chemical-filled, high-fructose corn syrup doused, waxy ding-dong from the past, but it may just hit that sweet spot. Plus, this version won’t have your sweetie singing “I like big butts.” So “Walk this Way” in the kitchen and “Bust a Move,” by making these light Ding-Dongs.

Light Ding Dong’s

1 box Non Pudge brownie mix

2/3 cup Greek yogurt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Filling

1 container fat-free Cool Whip

Coating

1 80% or darker dark chocolate bar

1 Tablespoon natural peanut butter

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350.

2. Mix No Pudge brownies with nonfat Greek yogurt and vanilla extract until shiny. Pour into 8X8 square pan and bake for 30 minutes.

3. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

4. Cut circles from brownie square with circle cookie cutter.

5. Fill frosting bag with fat-free cool whip and pipe into center of brownie

6. Meanwhile, melt chocolate with peanut butter in microwave.

7. Dip the brownie into the melted chocolate.

Not quite a “diet food” but certainly more healthy than the trans-fat filled ding-dong of the past.

What is your favorite treat from the old days? What kind of junk did you eat in middle school? Please share your middle school memories!

 

 

If you like pina coladas….

Welcome to Weight Loss Wednesday! Every Wednesday I feature a different recipe, food, exercise or tip that can boost weight loss on Five a Day the Fun Way.

Today I’m featuring a virgin PiÑa Colada Protein Shake that tastes like ice cream, but is low in calories and filled with protein.

Protein can help boost weight loss. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that a high protein diet, combined with exercise, enhances weight and fat loss. A diet filled with protein helps satisfy hunger better than fat or carbohydrates, while preserving muscle mass while losing weight. Both are crital factors in both losing and maintaining weight loss. One of the biggest challenges of losing weight is that many people lose muscle mass along with fat when they follow a low-calorie diet. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so when peole lose muscle, they end up slowing their metabolism and burning fewer calories. This causes people to gain all of the weight they lost back, plus more. A diet high in protein helps combat this problem because protein contributes to preserving muscle, which boosts metabolism and contributes to a leaner physique.

I love drinking protein shakes in the morning before my workout, but pre-made shakes and so-called “protein shakes” sold at Smoothie King or Jamba Juice are filled with sugar and calories. Some can even contain more than 1,000 calories! The peanut butter smoothie at Jamba Juice has 770 calories and “The Hulk Strawberry” smoothie at Smoothie King has 1,035 calories! There is nothing about a drink that has over 1,000 calories, 32 grams of fat, 161 grams of carbohydrates and a whopping 125 grams of sugar that is healthy. You can have a 3 ounce serving of Yoforia Frozen Yogurt for only 74 calories, less than one gram of fat and 14 grams of sugar. That is a delicious dessert that will actually satisfy you, rather than leaving you wanting more.

I make my own protein shakes using high quality,medical grade protein powder made by Unjury. Some protein powders are filled with sugars and chemicals, but Unjury made from the highest quality protein and tastes great. I am not sponsored by Unjury, I just really like their protein supplements. My Dietician was the one who introduced me to Unjury and I’ve been using it ever since. Try out this Pina Colada Protein Shake recipe and let me know what you think!

Stacy’s Protein Packed Pina Colada

Add 1/2 cup ice to your blender, then pour in the milks. Add protein powder, pineapple, flaxseed and spinach. Blend for two minutes or until all of the spinach is completely blended. Pour into a tall glass and top with a spoonful of cool whip if desired. 

Do you have a favorite protein shake recipe? Please share! If you would like more healthy recipes, check out my latest book Culinary Duct Tape: Greek Yogurt: Just as versatile, not as tacky, available now on Amazon!

 

 

How to make delicious cupcakes that are actually GOOD for you!

This year for St. Patrick’s Day I volunteered to bring in green cupcakes to my daughter’s class. I love making fun food for kids, but I don’t love the negative side effects of food dye on children’s behavior. Many studies have shown that children are particularly susceptible to the effects of food dyes, especially those with ADHD and ADD. Add white sugar, white flour and food dye to the mix and you have a recipe for disaster.It seems that the United States is behind on the issue of elminating artificial food dye in packaged foods. The Center for Science in the Public Interest group recently posted an article about the actions that the British and European government have taken on ending the use of food dyes throughout Europe. Evident to this change is the difference between the Kellog’s Nutri-Grain Cereal Bars made in the United States compared to the same exact product in Britain. The bars made in United States contain red number 40, yellow number 6 and blue number 1 dyes. The bars produced in Britain use beetroot red, annatto and paprika extract to color the bars.

The Food and Drug Administration is trying to implement a ban on several food dyes. Review this list from NPR to see the food dyes under scrutiny.

I love my daughter’s teachers too much to subject them to a room full of hyper kids for the day, so I made natural green cupcakes, using spinach to dye the cupcakes green. By using whole-wheat flour, applesauce and spinach to make these cupcakes, I transformed a recipe for diaster into a fairly healthy mid-day treat.

I asked the teachers to let me know how the kids liked them, and everyone of the kids gobbled them up! They had no clue that they were getting a serving of healthy veggies in their treat. Make these for your kids and let me know if they like them. If you would like more guilt-free, vegan, low-calorie or healthy cupcakes, check out my NEW book, Guilt-Free Cupcakes: Indulge without the bulge that is available now! It just hit Amazon today and it is available in print or on the Kindle.

Top of the morning to ya Spinach Cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cups Splenda Sugar Blend
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dried milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 4 cups baby spinach
Frosting
  • 1 small package neufchatel cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. King Arthur Green Natural Food Color

Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line mini-muffin tin with mini liners.

2.Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

3.Puree the applesauce and spinach in a food processor and pulse until combined. Make in batches to ensure the spinach is completely pureed.

4. Mix  spinach mixture and vanilla into the flour mixture by hand. Place spoonful of batter in each muffin tin.

5.Bake for 10 minutes.

6. Meanwhile make frosting by combining neufchatel cheese with powdered sugar, natural food color and vanilla extract in a food processor.

7. Let them cool completely, then frost.

The secret for creating a delicious low-calorie dessert

What if I told you that you could eat a decadent tasting pie that was not only low in calories, but loaded with fiber, antioxidants, potassium and folate?

 

It may sound too good to be true, but the butternut squash pie that I made this week was delicious and healthy. I was craving something sweet and the Girl Scout cookies I had in my pantry were calling my name. As much as I would like to sit down and eat the entire box of Samoas, bathing suit season is coming up.

 

I scavenged my pantry, looking for something to satisfy my sweet tooth to no avail. I did however see a box of Fiber One Caramel Squares cereal and a frozen block of butternut squash, so I decided to get creative. The secret to losing weight and keeping it off is to create delicious, decadent foods that satisfy you without making you feel deprived. No one can stick to a diet if they feel deprived.

 

Butternut squash is a staple in my house. After reading every Hungry Girl book, I’m no stranger to the miracle of butternut squash.

 

Butternut squash has 10,630 IU vitamin A per 100 grams, which is 354 percent of our recommended daily value (RDA.) Butternut squash is also filled with poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds, which are powerful antioxidants. Butternut squash is also loaded with vitamin C, E, K, B6, folate and thiamin. Even though butternut squash as no fat, it has more than 30 micrograms of omega-3 fatty acids and over 22 mcg of omega-6 fatty acids. Butternut squash is an excellent weight loss food because of the high fiber content and low calories.

 

I used frozen Bird’s Eye Butternut Squash in this recipe, which is great because it is available year-round and it is already pureed for you. Simply heat it up in the microwave for five minutes and you have the perfectlyu pureed butternut squash. Try out this healthy butternut squash pie recipe that I made up and let me know what you think.

 

Stacy’s Healthy Butternut Squash Pie

 

Filling Ingredients

  • One 12-ounce box Birds Eye Cooked Winter Squash
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ¾ cup Splenda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

 

Crust Ingredients

Directions

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine cereal, butter, applesauce and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse until combined.

 

Spray 9-inch pie pan with nonfat cooking spray and press crust mixture in pan.

 

Combine filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Pour into pie crust and bake for 45 minutes. Allow pie to cool completely and refrigerate for several hours. Serve with a dollop of fat-free whipped topping.

 

Let me know if you try out the recipe! For more low-calorie recipes, check out my new book Culinary Duct Tape: Greek Yogurt: Just as versatile, not as tacky, available now on Amazon!

The Secret for Making a Healthy Taco Salad

Did you know that at the typical Mexican restaurant the most dangerous item on the menu is the taco salad? In fact, the Qdoba Mexican Grill’s Beef Taco Salad has 1,280 calories! You can eat almost 9 of Taco Bell’s Fresco Grilled Steak Soft Tacos for the same calories!

A taco salad has the potential to be healthy, but many restaurants squander that opportunity by using fattening beef, full-fat sour cream and large amounts of cheddar cheese.

For this edition of “Weight Loss Wednesday,” I’m going to show the secret for making a  healthy taco salad and home for a fraction of the fat and calories that the fast food version contains.

I made my own taco salad at home for a light version that is just as delicious as healthy. Here are a few secret tips for transforming this fattening dish.

“Moo”ve over beef

I used lean ground turkey breast instead of ground beef, which boosts the protein of this dish without adding excess fat. Three ounce of lean turkey breast contains only 88 calories, 1.4 grams of fat and no saturated fat, while the same portion of 80 percent lean ground beef has 231 calories, 14.8 grams of fat and 5.6 grams of saturated fat.

Think outside the shell

For the “shell” I simply used a “Mission Carb Balance Small/Fajita Whole Wheat Tortilla,” which is loaded with fiber and low in calories. Form the “bowl” shape by spraying a glass bowl with nonfat cooking spray and placing the tortilla in the bowl. Cook at 350 for 10 minutes to make crunchy.

Got cheese? 

I omitted the cheese completely. One cup of cheese (which can easily be the amount that some local fast food chains lob onto your meal) has 455 calories, 37 grams of fat and 24 grams of saturated fat. If you must have cheese, use the 2 percent milk variety, which still melts well and has a great flavor, but reduces some of the calories and fat. Don’t bother using the fat-free cheese. The taste and texture is horrible and it’s not worth the reduced calories.

Load up on Veggies

I added pepper strips, salsa and lettuce to load up on vegetables and volume, without adding a lot of calories.

Go Greek!

My biggest secret to slashing the calories, but keeping the flavor of this delicious dish is substituting Greek yogurt for the sour cream. Greek yogurt is filled with calcium and beneficial live bacterial cultures and packs a lot of protein for very little calories. Just a few small changes makes a huge difference in the calories and enhances the taste.

Try my recipe for healthy taco salad and check out my book, Culinary Duct Tape: Greek yogurt: Just as versatile, not as tacky, for more dishes made light and delicious with Greek yogurt!

Stacy’s Healthy Taco Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 Mission Carb Balance Small/Fajita Whole Wheat Tortilla
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey breast
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red, yellow and orange pepper strips
  • 1 can reduced sodium black beans
  • 1 jar Pace Picante Sauce
  • 1 small bag of lettuce shreds
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high  heat and sauté garlic until brown. Add peppers and sauté until cooked through.
  2. Add ground turkey and brown until no longer pink.
  3. Add black beans, ½ jar picante sauce and ¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt. Stir until combined and heat through.
  4. Meanwhile, spray four glass bowls with nonfat cooking spray. Place one whole-wheat tortialla in each bowl and cook at 350 for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  5. Scoop turkey mixture into cooled shell. Top with a generous handful of lettuce shreds, picante sauce and the remaining Greek yogurt.

 

Simple, easy, healthy and delish! Give it a try and let me know what you think. Also, let me know if you try any of the other recipes from my book,  Culinary Duct Tape: Greek yogurt: Just as versatile, not as tacky.

Drop pounds with protein

I’m fed up with these stubborn last pounds that refuse to budge. I’ve tried working out twice a day, slashing calories, cutting out sugar…they still hang on to my thighs like fleas on a dog. I visited a dietician last week who told me to try eating more protein and slashing carbs.

If you are a reader of my blog, you know that I’m a huge proponent of focusing on what you CAN have and not what you CAN’T. So, I decided to try to incorporate more protein at every meal. I did a bit of research to better understand how this works. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that participants in a recent study felt more satisfaction, less hunger and experienced more weight loss when they followed a diet of 30 percent protein, 50 percent carbohydrates and 20 percent fat. This seems reasonable, right? According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the average American’s diet is comprised of 15 percent protein. This means if you eat like the average American, you’ll need to double up your protein intake.

It’s a lot better than Atkins or other high protein diets that ban carbs altogether. But, how much protein do you need? If you are eating a 1,500 calorie diet, you will want 450 calories from protein, 750 calories from carbohydrates and 300 calories from fat. This is not only pretty easy to do, but it will result in greater satisfaction than a diet higher in carbohydrates and lower in fat. A diet high in protein can increase your metabolism, keep hunger at bay and has a natural diuretic effect. Research also shows that the amount of quality protein directly results in increasing your metabolic rate, increasing weight loss, improving muscle fitness, enchanting insulin and leptin function and reducing the risk of diabetes. Sign me up!

But not all protein is created equally. Fish and poultry are the best sources of animal protein, while beans and nuts are the best vegetarian sources. A report on cancer prevention recommends less than 18 ounces of week of red meat and abstinence from processed meat (such as hot dogs and ham) to lower the risk of colon cancer. This same report showed that red meat consumption is directly correlated with elevated risk for cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
My dietician also recommended whey protein powder as a supplement to help increase my protein intake. I make a protein shake every morning with whey protein powder, spinach and frozen fruit to start the day with 30 grams of protein. I personally like the Unjury chocolate whey protein powder because it tastes great and has low sugar, low calories and a hefty amount of protein. Whey protein can enhance athletic performance, build strength and result in greater weight loss than diet and exercise alone. Just watch out for the whey protein powders and bars that have a high amount of sugar. Many of the commercial  protein bars are loaded with sugar and other unnecessary ingredients which negate the positive effects of the protein powder. I decided to make my own protein bars to ensure that I was only getting the best ingredients and not a bunch of added junk. Give these bars a try and let me know what you think!
Stacy’s Yummy Homemade Protein Bars
Ingredients
  • 3 scoops Unjury chocolate whey protein powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Trader Joes Blueberry Flax Seed
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanila extract
  • 1 1/2 cups museli
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
Directions
Mix museli, protein powder, flax seeds, coconut, cherries and almonds together, toss lightly to coat. Add mashed banana, agave syrup, peanut butter and vanilla extract in the bowl and mix well. Add cherries and stir lightly to combine. Spread mixture in 9X12 baking dish covered in plastic wrap. Refriderate until firm. Cut into 15 bars and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for up to a month.