This winter, I am in a bulking phase in preparation for some fall 2017 bodybuilding shows. It’s been about two years of training and learning what my body likes and does not like when it comes to food and nutrition. I’ve learned a lot; a lot to go!
That being said, I was not going to let this Christmas season
1) be extremely structured that I could not enjoy myself with some favorite foods and wine
2) miss the opportunity to try new, protein packed recipes that the whole family can enjoy.
Allow me to present, the White Chocolate Cranberry Bars. I had pinned a recipe a long while ago from the Epicurean Bodybuilder. With a few personal modifications, I’m in love.
The photographs from the original version made them look dry and thick. With my changes, it turned out quite the opposite.
Soft, chewy, moist bars with a light hint of the white chocolate from melted chips and cut up cranberries within the bars. It reminds me a lot of a cake consistency. Yummy!
These are also “flour free” bars. Can you guess what the base ingredient is?
Garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas)! Did you know garbanzo beans are originally from Middle East and India leads the world in total production? In the United States, 2014 had about 280 million pounds of chickpeas, most coming from Washington. Sometime, I will need to travel to PNW, as I have not gotten to experience agriculture out there and think it would be interesting!
These guys bring additional protein and fiber for the bars. You [and your picky family members] would never know that is what is in them. They also take the most time to prepare, as I highly recommend removing the skins for a smoother batter. I found a helpful video on removing chickpea skins here.
Let’s get to it!
White Chocolate Cranberry Bars
Macronutrients for 1 bar if cut into 20 bars: 79 calories/6.6g protein/7.6g carbs/2.5g fat
A high-protein, flour free dessert your inner sweet tooth will love!
- 1 can garbanzo beans, drain and rinse then follow video for skin removal
- 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1 scoop whey isolate protein powder – modified from original. If you want a thicker bar, I’d recommend casein whey. Either will do!
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup apple sauce
- 3 packets Truvia/Stevia (or preferred low calorie sweetener)
- 1 cup cranberries, reserving 1/4 to top frosting
- 1/4-1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 scoop whey protein powder
- 2-3 Tbsp Greek yogurt (I used whole fat in this recipe)
- 3 packets Truvia/Stevia
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spray square metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a food processor, add and blend garbanzo beans, cottage cheese, egg, vanilla, whey, baking powder, baking soda, apple sauce and sweetener until smooth and thick.
- Pour into a bowl. Fold in cranberries. Remember to reserve 1/4 cup.
- Pour batter into pan. Top with white chocolate chips.
- Place into oven and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depend on your oven. Bars will become golden brown and tooth pick should be removed clean when tested.
- Set pan on wire rack to cool.
- While cooling, mix protein powder, Greek yogurt and sweetener to create a clean, protein filled icing! If mixture is too thick, add additional water. If becomes runny, add more whey.
- Place frosting in refrigerator until bars have completely cooled. Then, spread frosting on top and disperse remaining cranberries.
- Enjoy and store remaining bars in refrigerator!