Pumpkin Protein Bars

Happy Saturday! It’s a beautiful day here in Vegas. Colby is working on his first editorial law review assignment. For once, he doesn’t need to be on the computer, so I’m taking this rare opportunity to use our laptop. It’s a great day to be blogging outside!

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I wanted to share my latest food obsession with you today. Pumpkin protein bars are not what I expected. When I heard about the recipe from my fitness instructor, I was expecting something dense and rubbery like a power bar. Instead, these bars are light and fluffy like pumpkin spice cake! They are very low in calories and fairly high in protein.

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I have made them several different ways. The recipe calls for whey protein, but soy protein and hemp protein have worked well too. Instead of buying oat flour, I just grind up quick cooking oats in the blender until they turn into a powder. I haven’t tried substituting the baby food apples for regular applesauce, but I’m sure that would work just as well. Here’s the breakdown:

Pumpkin Protein Bars (adapted from Jamie Eason’s recipe)

Ingredients:
½ C Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1- 4 oz. jar baby food applesauce
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground clove
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large egg whites
1- 15 oz. can of raw pumpkin
2 C oat flour
2 scoops vanilla whey protein
½ cup almond milk
½ C chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350.
Spray a 9 X 13 Pyrex dish with non-stick spray.
Combine first 11 ingredients and mix well.
Add the final 3 ingredients (4, if adding walnuts), and mix until incorporated.
Spread batter into the Pyrex dish and bake for 40 minutes.
Makes 24 squares.

Nutrition (without walnuts): 1 square = 47 calories, .7 g fat, 8 g carbs, 3.7 g protein
Nutrition (with walnuts): 1 square = 63 calories, 2.3 g fat, 8 g carbs, 4 g protein

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These are almost too good to be true! I’ve been having two squares with my mid-morning coffee at work for the past week. They have just the right amount of sweetness and pack lots of satisfying pumpkin flavor. Enjoy!

PS- I just started blogging about a month ago, but I’m excited to start on a big project to celebrate National Nutrition Month with Healthy Aperture, Swanky Dietitian, and Carlene’s Figments. I’ll keep you posted!

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