These bars don’t last long in our house.
Last fall, I was telling my fiancé about all the protein bars I made on Collegiate Culinaire, so we felt inspired to try an old favorite. I adapted this old favortie from Real Simple magazine with coconut butter and oil to replace the butter, and with vanilla protein powder in place of the flour. I have a few recommendations for these swaps.
First, my all-time favorite coconut butter company is My Coconut Kitchen, and the lady behind this coconut butter will be your new favorite person. Seriously. The ground coconut meat in this butter is so delicious you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful. I only wish I had more available to me in Texas. It’s one of those special commodities I only get when I go home.
Secondly, I recommend using Muscle Milk’s Vanilla Protein Powder. My powerlifting fiancé is the my personal protein expert, and he’s convinced me this brand has the best taste to be offered. Of course, you can use any vanilla-flavored protein powder you like, and I’m sure you’ll appreciate how the smoothness of the vanilla blends well with the sweetness of the jam and the nuttiness of the almonds.
- 1 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
- 3/4 cup vanilla protein powder
- 1-1/4cups raw almonds
- 1 T almond milk
- 5 T coconut butter
- 2 T coconut oil
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2cup strawberry jam
Heat your oven to 350° F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan, or slightly larger brownie pan, with 2 crisscrossed pieces of parchment.
Mix the oats, protein powder, and 1 cup of the almonds in a food processor until ground up a bit but not too much. Add the milk, coconut butter and oil, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix well.
Press the mixture into the prepared pan using a spatula or glass.
Now take the jam and spread it all over, piling it up a bit in some spots if you want the jam to be more apparent like I did. Then drop the remaining 1/4 cup of almonds, scattering evenly across the bars. Pop into the oven for about 35-40 minutes, removing when golden brown and fragrant smelling!
Let the bars cool completely. Lift the paper overhang to slice the clean way on a cutting board, but I’ll be honest and say we didn’t do that. We ate them straight out of the pan when they were warm and gooey.
Did the bars stay as firm as they could have if we’d let them cool before cutting? Probably not. But the warmth of a delicious jam bar fresh out of the oven was too good to pass up. Enjoy.
Storage: place in an airtight container or wrap in plastic. If you have plenty of extras and you don’t want to share, you can freeze the plastic-wrapped for up to a month.
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