Calgary has been smoked out for the last few days, the forest fires from Washington creeping up and settling like smog over the city. We actually witnessed one of the fires in its early stages while driving through Montana a couple of weeks back with my parents (visiting from NZ). It was unreal. A massive plume erupting from the mountains, forming a giant cauliflower of a cloud and casting orange, pink and grey hues over the sky.
I feel for those living in or around Washington. The air quality is bad enough up here, with an increase in emergency room visits and warnings to avoid strenuous activity outside.
Seeming as the running and cycling are on a bit of a hiatus, I’ve been playing around with Protein Pow’s Protein Bars. The Matcha Green Tea Protein Bars I made last time were such a hit. I wanted purple ones this time so I replaced the strawberries with blueberries and made a ‘jelly’ of raspberries and blueberries (without the raspberries the blueberries tend to be very grey) to dollop in the centre of each one. I also always double this recipe so I get a whole bunch for keeping in the freezer.
Blueberry Protein Bars
Makes 6 – 8 small bars
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
3 tbsp coconut flour
2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder (I use New Zealand Whey Pro Series)
1/4 cup milk (almond or regular)
1 tbsp coconut oil
small handful each of raspberries and blueberries
dash maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp dark chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp dark cocoa powder
1 x 30g scoop whey protein powder, chocolate
In a food processor, blend together blueberries, coconut flour, protein powder, milk and coconut oil until it comes together. Add a little more coconut flour if mixture is too sticky or a dash of milk if it doesn’t bind. Tip mixture out onto baking paper and, using wet hands, press into a rectangular block. Refrigerate until firm. Using a warm, sharp knife slice the block into 6 or 8 bars. Place in freezer until firm.
In a small saucepan, heat the berries until they begin to stew. Add a dash of maple syrup and stir until mixture boils and becomes thick. Transfer to bowl and let cool. Bring the bars from the freezer and dollop a small spoonful of filling onto each one, spreading it out over the bar. Return bars to freezer.
Rinse the saucepan, then return to stove to warm coconut oil and chocolate until melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa and chocolate protein powder. While topping is still warm, dip the cold bars in, turning all over until bar is completely covered. Repeat with remaining bars and top with blueberries. Store in the fridge or freezer and remove 10 minutes before eating to defrost slightly.