I love experimenting in the kitchen, especially at the end of the month when funds are low and conversely creativity is high. I have made some very strange things while waiting for payday – not all of them very healthy, but sometimes a girl’s gotta eat the dry salty crack and not feel bad, you know?
This recipe was a direct result of low funds and an inspired kitchen session, and somehow it just worked. I know because Mark assures me it’s a definite winner, and that the key is in the light, spongey texture. He’s a great judge of my cooking – completely unafraid to disdainfully throw away a half-eaten, dry-as-dust protein ball mishap, or point blank refuse to try my misadventure of rice noodles in whatever’s-in-the-fridge sauce (to be fair, I didn’t end up eating them either).
This recipe is based on a baked protein bar recipe, only I was missing the primary ingredient – protein powder. I also had no flaxseed, chia, or any of the other ingredients I usually put in. My very intricate thought process went something like this – what do I have? Oats! K great, experimental oat bars it is. And since then, we haven’t gone a week without stocking up on them.
2/3 cup rolled oats soaked in water for at least half an hour
½ cup mixed seeds
½ pecan pieces
1-2 tbsp cacao, depending on how chocolatey you like them
¼ cup coconut flakes
¼ psyllium husks (can omit if you don’t have – just more seeds/nuts instead)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch Himalayan crystal salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (can use essence)
2 heaped tbsp raw honey
2 fresh dates / 3 dried dates, soaked in water for an hour
Handful of goji berries
1. Put all the ingredients except gojis in your food processor and combine well.
2. Stir through gojis with a spoon.
3. Pour mixture into greased small baking tray or casserole dish and pat smooth.
4. Bake for 20 – 25 mins until a testing fork comes out clean and the texture of the cake is firm and springy when you press it.
5. Allow to cool and cut into bars or blocks.
Tip: To make a protein rich snack, add ¼ cup protein powder and balance the wet to dry with a few teaspoons of water or oat milk. You can also substitute protein powder for psyllium husk.