Gingerbread Protein Bars

As a kid, I never liked gingerbread. But now ginger is probably my favorite spice. It’s so funny how our taste buds change as we get older and grow! I made two huge gingerbread houses this past week (one for me, and one for work) and it was so fun. So I thought I needed to do a gingerbread protein bar. The classic flavors of gingerbread are great in a protein bar, because they not only provide amazing flavor, but great nutrition.

Cinnamon is a powerhouse. It’s natural flavor emulates sweetness, it helps to control blood sugar, is an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and can help to protect heart health.

Ginger, my all-time favorite, packs a punch as well. Ginger soothes the stomach and can help with nausea, can help reduce muscle-pain and soreness, improves digestion, and also helps fight colds!

To amp up the nutritional benefits of these protein bars, I also added flaxseed meal for heart health and fiber, oat flour, coconut oil, and nut butter. A little bit of crunchy gingersnaps, white chocolate drizzle, and sprinkles add a fun & festive touch! A little really goes a long way here, so we don’t have to worry too much about added sugars.

I like to keep these bars individually wrapped in the freezer to pull-out as needed. They are perfect to pack part of a lunch or snack on-the-go. They can also be kept at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to two weeks. Each bar has 360 calories, so for me these are a great mini lunch, big snack, or last-minute breakfast. If one bar is too big, each could easily be halves to make 32 total bars.

Ingredients

Crust

-2 cups ground gingersnaps

-0.5 cup melted coconut oil

Protein Bar Filling

-1.5 cups oat flour

-3 cups protein powder

-0.5 cup flaxseed meal

-1 tsp salt

-3T ginger

-3T cinnamon

-3 tsp cloves

-0.25 cup molasses

-1 cup nut butter

-0.5 cup almond milk

-0.5 cup coarsely chopped gingersnaps

-Optional: ¼ cup melted white chocolate & sprinkles

Instructions

1. In a food processor or blender, pulse gingersnap cookies until they form a fine sand-like texture.

2. While pulsing, slowly add in melted coconut oil and continue to pulse until it is distributed evenly.

3. Press the crust mixture into a greased and lined baking dish, and bake for 5 minutes at 350-degrees.

4. While the crust is cooling, combine oat flour, protein powder, flaxseed meal, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves in a large bowl.

5. In a microwaveable safe bowl, heat and combine molasses, nut butter, and almond milk until combined an smooth (approximately 30-45 seconds).

6. Combing wet and dry mixtures, and knead until fully combined and smooth. I find it easier to use my hands during this step, and treat the mixture like a dough. At this point, gently knead gingersnap pieces throughout.

7. On a large piece of parchment paper, roll the dough into a rectangle, slightly smaller than the baking dish.

8. Gently place the protein bar filling on top of the crust, and gently knead and press the dough to cover the entire crust. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

9. Remove the bars from the pan, and cut into 16 even bars. If desired, drizzle with melted white chocolate and sprinkles.

Nutrition Information - Makes 16 Bars

360 calories, 20g fat, 26g carbohydrates, 21g protein

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