Strawberry Ripe? Don’t you mean Cherry Ripe? Don’t you have a thing for Cherry Ripe? Bounty Bars. You also like those, right?
Yes, I do have a thing for Cherry Ripe and Bounty Bars … oh wait, you read the blog! ;-) But it’s really hard finding freeze-dried cherries and I just wanted to make something with strawberry. So I made strawberry ripe protein bars instead. Or strawberry bounty bars. Of course, you can make a variety of fruit flavoured coconut bars with this .. so long as it goes well with coconut and chocolate
These are really good. REALLY GOOD.
I just wanted to show you that you don’t need flavoured whey to make a great fruit flavoured whey bar. Sure, you get some extra natural sugars from the fact that these are real strawberries and not artificial strawberry flavouring. Maybe that doesn’t matter to you. It matters to me. I know that it matters to a lot of you too based on the comments you leave on the blog and on the FB page. It’s all a matter of personal preference but I’m willing to go for real fruit flavour over the fake stuff any day
Freeze dried fruits are a fantastic invention. Pulverised, you can use them to flavour anything you like, without adding a lot of calories. You also get all the micronutrients trapped in the fruit. They are great as a snack on their own but I love using them to flavour desserts, creams, protein cheesecakes, protein shakes, and even macaron shells. I also like making protein bars with them. I always buy unflavoured protein powders because I prefer to flavour my own, according to whim. The thought of a large bag of one flavoured whey would freak me out. It is so limiting! Along with cacao, spices, lucuma, and other flavourings, freeze-dried fruit, ground to a powder, is a fantastic way to make flavouring your own protein powder easy. Bonus points for adding extra nutrition, if like me, you care about that stuff.
Let’s hop to it cos these bars aren’t waiting around for anyone
You can use whatever protein powder you like for these. I chose my favourite whey protein isolate but whey protein concentrate or casein should work really well too. Rice protein would also work although the flavour might be a little overpowering.
I used almond milk, just because I prefer it to coconut milk. You can use any milk you like. I prefer to use a non-dairy milk so that I can keep this out of the refrigerator longer when I take them to work or if I’m out and about.
Oh yeah, they’re gluten and can be made lactose or dairy free. There are no tree nuts and they’re OK if you are on a low FODMAP diet, like me.
Makes 4 large or 8 small bars
60 grams freeze-dried strawberries (I used Absolute Fruitz)
60 grams unsweetened shredded coconut
60 grams unflavoured whey protein powder (I use this one)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I used this one)
60 millilitres unsweetened coconut or almond milk (I used almond milk)
80 grams dark chocolate (I like 100% but anything above 70% is good)
Place the strawberries in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the coconut and whey, and vanilla, and process until the mixture is fine but not totally ground to a flour. There may be small pieces of berry or coconut. This is great as it adds texture.
Add the coconut or almond milk and process until the mixture starts to come together. Line a bar tin with silicone paper and press the mixture evenly into the tin. Cover and refrigerate until it firms up. Alternatively, you can just divide the mixture into 4 or 8 equal portions and form in to bars. Place on a tray, lined with silicone paper, and refrigerate until they firm up enough to coat.
Place the dark chocolate into a plastic bowl and microwave for about one minute. It might need another 15 seconds or so. Stir the mixture until melted. Keep stirring the mixture as it cools slightly. You can also melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water (a bain marie). Once melted, remove from the heat and stir until it cools slightly.
Coat each bar in the chocolate and set on to a tray, lined with silicone paper, to set completely. You can set the bars at room temperature or place in the refrigerator for ten minutes or so until the chocolate sets.
Now, you can temper the chocolate well and coat the bars with a smooth finish if you are like me and prefer them this way.
Not everyone really cares about that so you can just spoon or spread the chocolate on to each bar to coat, for a rough finish, like the bars below. Does it make a difference? Well, sure, they look a little different but tastewise? Slightly different texture for the chocolate but basically the same. Of course.
Feast your eyes on the strawberry coconut and chocolate goodness.
Strawberry Ripe or maybe even a Strawberry Bounty Bar? You decide. Either way, they taste fantastic!
I’ve included macros based on the recipe as stated and using the ingredients I have specifically used. I based the chocolate macro counts on Lindt Excellence 85% as it is an easily sourced dark chocolate and strikes a balance between the 100% and a mellow 70%
If you use a 100% cacao, the fat will creep up slightly and carbohydrates and sugars will decrease a bit. So I used the 85% as a guideline for the 70% – 100% range.