So I may have just created my most favourite protein bar (sorry don't tell the other protein bars here). As some of you may already know my love for all things mint chocolate runs deep. Almost as deep as my love for chocolate and peanut butter. Are there any other mint chocolate fans out there? Come on, show me your hands!
The best part about these bars is how they really aren't as indulgent as they sound. I used a handful of ingredients including quick oats, medjool dates, a touch of maple syrup, and chocolate whey protein isolate + some mint and caramel extract. That's the main make up of the bars, plus a bit of water to bring the bars together. No added sugars except the 1 tablespoon of maple syrup...you know how I roll.
One thing you will notice is that they have 20 grams of sugar, but that is due to the medjool dates (a fruit). So I wouldn't get too worried about it. Just think of these as a treat or healthy dessert with some added protein. Not an everyday thing.
These are so soft and chewy and UGH so good. You'll want to keep some stashed in the fridge for "emergencies". The actual bars come together quite quickly, they just need a little time to set up in the fridge and then you can cut them.
Then it's time to dunk them in melted dark chocolate with a dash of mint extract. However if you prefer them aú natural I would totally understand. No judging here ;)
Now go make them!
Mint Chocolate Protein Bars
(makes 6 bars)
- 2 cups (160g) quick oats
- 9 medjool dates (about 156g with pits removed)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp pure peppermint extract
- 1/2 tsp caramel extract
- 1/4cup (31g) North Coast Naturals chocolate iso whey protein powder
- 100g 70% dark chocolate
- 1/4 tsp peppermint oil*
- In a food processor, mix together all filling ingredients (from dates to chocolate protein powder), stopping as needed to scrape down the sides.
- Transfer the dough into a small rectangular baking dish lined with parchment paper (I used a 7x5 baking dish). Anything of a similar size like a plastic storage container will also work. Press the dough down firmly to shape for cutting into bars. Place the dish in the fridge for 30 minutes or longer to let them firm up.
- Cut the block of bars into 6 and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- When ready to coat melt the dark chocolate in a small heat proof bowl set over a pot of water on low heat; make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Once the chocolate is melted stir the peppermint oil in until smooth.
- Dunk each bar into the melted chocolate with tongs or two forks, let the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl then set back on lined baking tray. To add a special touch, drizzle the top of each bar with a bit of the remaining chocolate.
- Place the tray in the fridge until chocolate is fully set.
- Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
*Do not try to stir peppermint extract into your melted chocolate or it will clump together. It is the alcohol in the extract that makes this happen. This is why I used peppermint oil instead. You can find peppermint oil at any baking store like the Bulk Barn and even Walmart.
For one bar: 285 calories, 7.5g of fat, 3.7g saturated fat, 46g of carbs, 5g fiber, 23g sugar, 23mg sodium, 9g of protein