I thank the gods for chocolate every day. These days I am even more thankful for chocolate. Because while I am unable to bake anything that I could possibly deem blog worthy in my recalcitrant oven, I can still play with chocolate. Hooray for chocolate!
Well, actually, I’ve been busy with my Easter chocolate selection (yes, I make chocolates, people!) and now I’m about to start my Mother’s Day chocolates. But while I have chocolate on the go, it’s so easy to just whip up some protein bars that I can dip into said chocolate to make something special. No oven required. Blows raspberry at oven.
Now that I am back at the gym (although technically still in the grip of my neverending rehab and wishing I were twenty again 😉 ), my caffeine consumption seems to have climbed somewhat. In my humble opinion there is nothing better as a pre workout stimulant than coffee. Plus, it tastes great. Putting some real coffee into a protein bar just seems too obvious and easy.
I have eaten a lot of these bars in the last few weeks. I thank the gods for coffee too 🙂
Warning: these bars are for serious coffee lovers. Serious. Coffee. Lovers.
So let’s do it!
These are suitable on a low FODMAP or gluten free diet too, so isn’t that grand?
You will find the nutrition profile in the usual spot, below the recipe. Nice macros, yeah? 🙂
This is a very basic recipe. I've played with this recipe a lot in order to come up with a lovely texture, flavour, and to see what optional extras taste great when added in. This is your coffee protein bar canvas to play with so be bold and make them into something awesome! Mind you, I like them plain too as I love my coffee 🙂
You can substitute flavoured WPI in this recipe but I recommend you stick to coffee, chocolate or vanilla for the best flavour match.
How much sugar or sweetener you use really depends on how you like your bars and your coffee. I drink my espresso unsweetened so I like my bars to be less sweet. The small amount of coconut sugar with a pinch of stevia is more than enough for me. But, it's a personal preference. I do like the toffee flavour of the coconut sugar in these bars but if you are accustomed to stevia or other sweeteners with your coffee, that may work for you too.
Do not use instant coffee for these bars. No. Just do not. Ever.
If the amount of coffee is too much for you, please seek medical advice. Wait, no, just reduce the amount and make up the rest with almond milk.
60 grams unflavoured whey protein isolate
30 grams coconut flour
30 grams almond flour (aka almond meal)
14 grams unsweetened cacao powder
20 grams coconut sugar (or other sugar, or sweetener)
60 grams espresso, freshly brewed and cooled
48 grams dark chocolate, with 70% – 85% cacao solids (you can use more or less, as you desire)
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well, making sure there are no lumps.
If including anything extra, add it now.
Add the cooled espresso and mix well. It may seem that there is not enough liquid but there is. Watch the whey work its magic. Use a flat blade knife or spatula to press the mixture until it comes together as a smooth ball. You could also use your clean hands to do this.
Divide the mixture into six equal portions and form into bars. Cover and refrigerate to firm up.
Melt the chocolate in a microwave or in a heatproof bowl over hot water. For best results, cool the chocolate to around 31℃, stirring it as it cools. Dip each bar into the chocolate to coat the base and sides. Drizzle a little chocolate over the top. Let it set at room temperature or refrigerate to set.
Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will last a week or two. Unless you eat them all first.
Feel free to add chopped dry roasted almonds or chopped dried fruits to these bars, as they taste great. Obviously chocolate chips would be good too. But so would some almond extract, rum extract, ground cinnamon, finely grated orange zest, or anything that goes well with coffee!
The macros, below, are for the bars as per the stated recipe. I have assumed the use of a dark chocolate with around 70% to 80% cacao solids.
Any changes you make, please account for those if you are tracking macronutrients. Substituting milk or white chocolate for the dark will obviously change the macros a little, as will the use of sweetener in place of the coconut sugar. Also, if you add any of the optional extras or play with the bars to make them your own (yes, do it!)