Maca Pumpkin Protein Bars
I’m sitting here on Halloween while adorable trick-or-treaters ring my doorbell. “Pumpkin season” is more than half over, and I just realized that I have yet to post my recipe on Maca Pumpkin Protein Bars. I’ve been working on them ever since Trader Joes restocked their shelves with pumpkin puree, and I finally have the taste and macro nutrients down! Now, I am not a calorie counter, but I do realize the importance of getting in proper nutrition after a good workout. So when I’m on the go, 4 of these yummy bars are perfect for after a workout at the gym. Or I will eat 2 of them as a treat with a little homemade almond butter on top. I’m sure you peanutbutter lovers out there might like topping them with creamy pb instead. Either way, they fulfill my love for pumpkin without throwing me off nutritionally.
These bars also have maca root powder which has been said to have the following benefits. I’m haven’t done a ton of research on it yet so who knows. But hey, it tastes good so here is a list of some of the claimed benefits of maca:
1. Increase of stamina and energy
2. Increased libido
3. Memory enhancement
4. Hormone stabilizing
5. Increase muscular strength? (that’s what “they” say)
Not a fan of maca or just don’t have any? No problem, just replace the maca with more oat flour (4 TBS)
If you like things sweeter I STRONGLY recommend you add more honey. Or, try my favorite pumpkin bread sweetened with dates! YUM! These bars are not super sweet if you are used to the traditional pumpkin breads out there. But if you are looking for a tasty pumpkin snack after a hard work out… look no further.
Here is the recipe:
This Recipe Make 16 bars
- 3/4 cup oat flour (I blended just over 1 cup of oats in my food processor to get this)
- 4 TBS maca powder (you can omit maca powder and substitute more oat powder instead)
- 3.4 cup Great Lakes beef collagen (the stuff in the green can)
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 TBS raw honey (add more if you like it sweeter but this will effect the nutrition info listed below)
- 1/2 tsp liquid stevia (feel free to omit if you add more honey)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1TBS cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, dash of cloves (or you can just add about a TBS pumpkin spice if you want)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder (preferably aluminum free. I make my own: see notes below. **)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Coconut oil for greasing pan (I buy Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions <– see notes below *) However, if you are trying coconut oil for the first time and are looking for a less expensive brand you may want to try this brand from amazon.com. Tropical Traditions is by far my favorite brand though.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Grease a 8 inch square Pyrex dish with coconut oil.
3. In a medium size bowl mix all your dry ingredients (oat flour, maca powder, beef gelatin, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt).
4. In a large bowl mix all your wet ingredients. Beat 3 eggs, then add pumpkin puree, honey, stevia, vanilla extract.
5. Add your dry ingredients to your wet and mix thoroughly.
6. Pour mixture into Pyrex pan then place in the preheated oven.
7. Cook for 18-20 minutes. Check occasionally to see if it’s done (when toothpick comes out clean). Don’t overcook… they taste better if they are not overdone and dry.
8. This is the hardest part… allow them to set in the fridge for an hour or more. Of course you can cut them once they have cooled a little and eat them right away. But they have a better texture if you let them set before cutting them and eating them. Cut them into 16 bars. 2 bars equals 1 serving. I eat 2 with some almond butter if I’m just snacking or I eat 4 of them if recovering after a workout.
Nutritional Info for 2 bars (I eat 4 of these after a workout):
Fat: 2.6 g
Protein: 14.3 g
Here is a link to my favorite pumpkin bread if you are looking for something sweeter. Just add a bit of beef gelatin to this recipe as well if you would like a little protein packed snack.
And I just can’t help but share a photo of my Halloween cuties!
*Some of the above links are affiliate links. Click here to learn more about affiliate links.
**I make my own baking powder, and it’s super easy. Just mix 2 parts cream of tartar to 1 part baking soda (for example 2 TBS cream of tartar with 1 TBS baking soda). I usually make a cup of it and store for later.