Charlottesville is a small town – and the third best small town in the south, according to Southern Living! – which means everyone knows everyone, or at least knows someone that knows someone. While I didn’t know Jess, a local personal trainer, yoga instructor, and blogger at Hello to Fit, personally, I knew of her and have been reading her blog for a while.
Jess shares some of the best recipes on Hello To Fit. How good do these Make Ahead Blueberry Quinoa Oat Parfaits look? I can vouch for this Vegan Pumpkin Ice Cream being as delicious as described. I topped mine with milk chocolate chips and chopped pecans instead of cacao nibs though! I’ve been meaning to try her Peanut Butter Medjool Dates Energy Balls forever. Check out her recipes for all kinds of inspiration!
These bars are incredibly easy to make, and pack a protein punch. My Working Against Gravity coach has me at 155g of protein per day, so I’m always looking for ways to sneak protein into my diet. With nut butter, almonds, and protein powder, these bars ended up being super beneficial in that regard. Although they were hard to eat just one serving of!
It took about 10 minutes to throw these bars together. After another 30 or so in the freezer, they were ready to go! I also discovered they work well when crumbled up over a serving of Oatmeal Cookie Halo Top!
I doubled the below recipe and ended up with 16 bars, so I had plenty to share throughout the week. My roommate loved them and I took some to the studio for a staff meeting. I plan to make them again soon, and try them with almond butter instead of peanut butter. I also want to try making them into balls and freezing them for those days when you want something sweet or need a quick snack.
Prep Time: 10 minutes + 30 minutes in freezer or overnight in the fridge
Servings: About 8
- 1 cup chopped almonds
- 1 3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats (option to use gluten-free)
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup nut butter of choice (I used peanut butter this time!)
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I used ProteinOne’s Vanilla)
- Line a 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper – make sure the edges hang over the pan for an easy removal and clean up
- In a large bowl, combine almonds, oats, chocolate chips and salt and mix well.
- In a medium bowl, combine almond extract, nut butter, maple syrup, and protein powder. Mix with a spatula until fully combined
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine. (I used my hands – a bit messy, but super effective for combining ingredients!)
- Place mix in pan and press out flat. (I used my hands and a wooden spoon, but Jess recommends a flat object like a cup!) Cover and place in the freezer for 30 minutes or in the fridge overnight.
- Remove from pan – should be an easy removal thanks to the parchment paper – place on a cutting board, and cut into squares. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.