One of my favorite things about the holiday season is how it brings me home to see my family more often than any other time of year. Among my favorite things about coming home is (of course) the home-cooked meals my mom makes! I returned from the gym yesterday to a surprise...she tried a brand new nut free protein bar recipe from Real Mom Nutrition that I just couldn't wait to share with all of you!
I'll say right off the bat that this is going to be a staple in my post-workout plan going forward. The bars are fairly simple & only call for a few main ingredients like:
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour, or regular whole wheat flour
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips - with gluten-free options available
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
If you'd like to try this recipe (which I highly encourage), head over to Real Mom Nutrition's website to see how she prepares this post-workout snack!
Avoiding Other Allergens
I know that many of you reading this will have allergens besides peanuts and tree nuts. If you're allergic to wheat/gluten, we work with an awesome company called The Greater Knead that offers top-12 allergen-friendly all-purpose flour that I would recommend for replacing the whole wheat flour. Real Mom Nutrition's website also suggests making egg flax as a replacement and offers advice on the original post.
Adding New Textures & Flavors
One of my favorite things about this nut free protein bar recipe was its texture. The original recipe was soft with just a slight crunch from the chocolate chips. Then, at my mom's suggestion, we decided to experiment with adding other flavors and textures into the mix. We tried a brand new product, called No Nuts Peabutter, that she found in the local grocery store. This was a great addition because it made the bars a bit sticker and added a nice balance of sweet and salty to the already-sweet recipe.
I've also tried Sunbutter before which I would imagine also works well with this recipe!
Plans for Next Time
I've shared a fair amount about my passion for weightlifting before and this recipe is going to be a new regular part of my plan. I'm always looking for creative and healthy ways to include more protein in my diet and one idea my mom and I plan to try is adding protein powder into the bars. The goal would be to get an additional 15-20 grams of protein per serving. I usually prefer vanilla protein in my shakes, but for this recipe, I think chocolate would go best because it already has the chocolate chips inside.
Eating Healthy AND Allergy-Friendly
One of the struggles I've been fairly vocal about from my personal life is my difficulties finding healthy post-workout meals when most protein bars and powders contain top allergens like peanuts, tree nuts, egg, and/or gluten. I've also noticed the trend getting even worse amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic. Supply chain management is getting more and more complicated for food manufacturers and I suspect this is why many of the brands I used to trust have started adding "may contain" warnings to their packages.
One of the goals behind AssureTech's Allergy Store is helping introduce other allergy reactors to the healthy, safe-to-eat, & allergy-friendly options that exist. If you're not a chef (I'm certainly not!) and are looking for nutritional snacks, my personal go-to protein bar has become No Nuts!.
If you're allergic to nuts, dairy, egg, or gluten, I love this brand and think it's worth trying! I was very excited to introduce them to the Allergy Store this past summer and even had the chance to sample each flavor during the course of my weekly workout regimen.
Always Room for More
What are some of your favorite allergy-friendly protein bars and/or recipes? We're always excited to share new and delicious options with our audience. And if you have a favorite brand that you'd like to see make it onto the EpiCenter App's Store, share it in the comments below. We'll be sure to reach out to the company!