When it comes to protein bars, most recipes call for sticky dried fruit, molasses or honey, and lots of nut butter or coconut oil. These ingredients act like the glue that holds everything together. They aren’t unhealthy, of course, but they’re calorie-dense – especially when combined.
So if your paleo friend makes a batch of delicious bars or balls containing dates, honey, coconut oil, macadamia nuts, and almond butter, be prepared to eat three and feel like crap because you those three little globes of goodness contained around 700 calories.
I’m not telling you to go on a low calorie diet, or even to count calories. I’m just telling you that you can volumize what you’re eating so that 700 calories are incidentally a lot harder to consume in one sitting.
This is the art of volumizing: Choosing foods that seem to take up more space in your stomach, but won’t make YOU take up more space. You’ll feel like you’re eating a ton because you’re satiated, but you’re actually consuming a reasonable amount of calories. And by replacing sugary ingredients you can fill up while bypassing the molasses-induced carb coma.
- 2 scoops Metabolic Drive® Vanilla
- 1 cup PB2 (powdered, defatted peanut butter)
- 1 cup Splenda
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cashew or almond milk
- A splash of vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Liberal amounts of ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, or pumpkin pie spice
- Optional coating: chopped nuts, coconut flakes, mini dark chocolate chips
- Add the oats and 1/2 cup of milk to a bowl. Stir and let them sit for 5 minutes.
- Combine all the other dry ingredients in your food processor and mix: Metabolic Drive, PB2, salt, spices. (A powerful blender will do the trick too.)
- Add the milk-soaked oats to the food processor. Blend until evenly distributed. It should look like little sandy clumps.
- Add the three tablespoons of almond or cashew milk and blend again. Let the food processor run until the dough rolls itself into a giant ball. If there are any dry ingredients on the bottom of the food processor, evenly distribute them back into the dough.
- Dip your fingers in water to prevent sticking, then pinch off bite-sized pieces of dough and roll it into small balls, about a half inch in diameter.
- Roll the poppers in a pile of toppings if you’d like: coconut flakes, chopped nuts, or dark chocolate chips. You may need to wet the poppers with a dab of water to make the toppings stick.
- Put them in the fridge to chill.
Makes about 25 balls.
Nutrition information: Without toppings, each ball has around 45 calories, 5 grams of carbs (1g fiber), 4 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fat.