Listen, I’m not going to beat around the protein powder bush here. I’m not one to beat, punch, strangle, or assault any bushes (I think I’m missing the point of the word “beat” in this context? Or I’m just anti-plant violence? Probably?). So here’s the straight up warm handshake directly to the bush (nope, I definitely understand idioms): one time I tried a vegan protein powder and I gagged. I actually, honest to bush god, gagged. I spit it out. Probably into my hand, I don’t know, my memory sort of fades to a better, safer, less-blechhh inducing place out of self-preservation. This vegan protein powder that shall not be named (let’s be honest, it could have been any of them) put a pretty big damper on my interest in vegan protein powder. And I had such an interest! I did!
So why the fuck should this matter to anyone but me? Why can’t this be my little vegan protein powder secret? Like that kid in the movie Powder, Powder, why didn’t I just sweep it under the rug? (I never saw Powder but I’m pretty sure that’s the gist. Lots of clean up. Very dusty.)
Well, just like most professional sports statistics of the 21st century should be marked with an asterisks (oh Arod, I thought you thought better of yourself), so should – and is – every mention of protein powder as an ingredient in my recipes. You can always *use vegan protein powder to keep this vegan! but in reality, all I can say is god help you if you do.
Until I got some samples of Amazing Meal from Amazing Grass (so, that’s a brand name!) in a festive Christmas’s-a-comin sparkly green padded envelope. And let me tell you, Christmas did a come to this little Jewress. Because, with my expectations literally in the toilet (I was prepared this time), I tried this stuff and…it was good. It was actually good. Sure the Orange Dreamsicle Green SuperFood powder was green but it actually tasted like the delicious fucking creamsicle of my dreams AND its grassy green tones mixed with almond milk shone through my clear shake bottle, proclaiming to the world/subway: this girl is one of them health folks who drinks goddamn green shit every morning and good Christ she’s taking straight up swigs! (Apparently I suddenly live in the country bumpkin drawl-speaking area of Brooklyn?)
Amazing Meal comes in a variety of flavors: Original, Cafe Mocha, Chocolate Infusion, Vanilla Chai Infusion, and Pomegranate Mango Infusion. I made different variations of bars using all of the flavors and they all worked surprisingly well. Each serving is 90-110 calories with 10g of hemp and rice protein, 6 grams of fiber, and 9 grams of carbs. Not too shabby for vegan protein powder. It’s all plants, fruits and veggies, hence the super totally appetizing green coloring*. The Green SuperFood samples I got were surprisingly great too. Everything from Amazing Meal is gluten-free and according to their website, they absolutely DON’T (their caps, not mine) use Siberian Ginseng if you give any shit whatsoever about that or something.
*My only complaint is that when you use green powder to make protein bars, your protein bars will be green unless you blanket them with nuts and things. So I highly suggest you blanket these with nuts and things as my recipe suggests/insists. Let’s just say green protein bars might not impress aforementioned fellow subway riders and/or most people.
But what I’m mostly getting at is that I’m impressed. And just like no athlete ever, this recipe needs no asterisks. Ok, maybe one or two athletes. Fuck, WNBA players should get performance enhancing drugs for free straight from their water fountains. Enhance that. I beg you.
AMAZING MEAL NO-BAKE PROTEIN BARS
makes 6 bars
- 1 serving Amazing Meal Protein Powder (Original, Vanilla Chai, Chocolate, or Mocha all work well)
- 28g roasted unsalted peanuts
- 28g unsalted walnuts, divided
- 28g unsalted almonds, divided
- 28g pumpkin seeds
- 20g gluten-free oats
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter, divided
- 2 ounces unsweetened vanilla almond milk, divided
- 20g extra dark chocolate
- ½ teaspoons vegetable, canola or grapeseed oil
- coarse salt
Make protein bars, not not-protein bars…
Line a baking dish and use part of the pan or bread pan and use all of the pan or whatever with some wax paper.
In a food processor, coarsely chop all the peanuts, half the almonds, and half the walnuts. Hand mix in 2 teaspoons of maple syrup and ½ ounce almond milk. Spread this mixture into your prepared pan in an even layer. For easier smoothing out, place another sheet of wax paper on top of the mixture and use a spoon or the butt of your palm to spread the mixture. I hope that makes sense. …to anyone other than myself. Toss your pan in the freezer for an hour or so.
PROTEIN POWDER LAYER:
In a food processor, combine the protein powder, powdered peanut butter, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1 teaspoons of maple syrup, and 1 ounce of almond milk. Puree it all. Hand stir in the oats. Take the pan out of the freezer and spread the protein powder mixture on top of the first nutty layer. Use the same wacky wax paper sandwich technique to spread it evenly. Put back in the freezer. Go workout or something. The bars will wait. They have no choice.
Coarsely chop the rest of the almonds and walnuts in a food processor. Combine with the last tablespoons of maple syrup and peanut butter and ½ ounce almond milk. Remove the pan from the freezer and do your spreading thing one last time. Freeze that shit.
Press the pumpkin seeds into the top layer of the bars. Sprinkle with some coarse salt. Cut the bars into 6 even parts and separate them in the pan. Freeze for another 30 minutes or something.
Microwave the chocolate and the oil in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. Remove. Stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds. Remove. Stir till smooth. Use a spoon to flick some chocolate over the top individual bars. Freeze until you’re ready to eat them. All of them. At once.