No bake, homemade protein bars

I’m walking 640km across Jordan, and the days are counting down remarkably fast. The point of the trek is not only to challenge myself but to raise funds for @MSF_UK as I’ve written about extensively, start at number one and work on through to ten. If you believe in MSF’s work around the world or simply like my blog please head over to my just giving page and donate a few Pounds, Euro, Shillings or dollars to the cause.

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I’ve been cooking up a storm on round two of my snack bar recipe development. While hiking in Ethiopia a couple on the trail had some amazing homemade flapjack which was an absolute hit as we were climbing 600m up a hill in the heat of the day. What really won me over was it was a microwave recipe. They kindly gave me the recipe and I’ve been working on it since.

Take one, I didn’t change anything – well I did, apparently treacle isn’t such a big thing in Cape Town, so I have treacle sugar and golden syrup instead of sugar, treacle and golden syrup. It didn’t have the depth of flavour that the treacle brings, but it still vanished very quickly!

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Today, I wanted to add some protein and flavour so I made three small batches up with similar but different ingredients – all non-bake.

  1. flapjack style with peanut butter and almonds
  2. flapjack balls with raisins, coated in chocolate
  3. protein balls, toasted oats, almonds, coconut flour, flax seeds, coated in coconut

#2 were supposed to be a bar but the mixture wouldn’t hold, so I converted them into balls and rolled them in chocolate so they looked nicer – perhaps that didn’t actually work so well….

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Recipes are all secrets …. not really, but I’m not a very good cook, so I tend to just combine ingredients ad hoc.

The basics are oats, butter or peanut butter, sugar or honey or syrup, protein power and interesting flavour bits to mix in – Raisins, coconut, almonds, chocolate chips, whatever tickles your fancy. If you want to, try toasting a proportion of the oats and almonds. For a really nice looking recipe go here.

Melt butter/sugar options then combine with dry stuff and mix in tasty bit. Make into balls or press out into a baking tray and allow to cool. Coat in coconut/chocolate, take picture and eat.

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The only disaster was when I burnt the almond I was lightly toasting to a blackened mass and realised I don’t have a smoke alarm fitted in my apartment.

Now all is left is the taste test, best done with a good cup of tea.

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  1. Closest to classic flapjack but with peanut butter flavor to mellow the syrup, can’t really taste the almonds, I’m ok with that, I think they add extra texture than the oats alone. Ranked 1st
  2. I hate raisins, my father convinced me when I was little that they were dead flies and I haven’t been able to enjoy them since. So this is an unfair test. However the peanut butter and caramel from the chocolate make these survivable, but they are still too dry. Ranked 3rd
  3. Entirely different look, texture and flavour. The “toasted” oats and almonds give a much more grown up flavour, with only occasional burnt notes. I think these have the most protein as they have both flak and protein powder added, but are perhaps a little on the dry side.  Ranked 2nd

I have enough to share if you want to pop over for tea and protein bars!

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