Grain Free Granola Bars, aka Low Carb Protein Bars for Weight Loss

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Here’s my latest and favest recipe to make when I travel. It’s for grain-free granola bars. Well, they aren’t really “granola” because there are no oats. A better name is “low-carb grain-free protein bars for weight loss.” We had a lot of road trips this summer to Utah, in May, June, July and September. For every trip, I made up a batch of these bars. I ate them in the car instead of the crackers, fruit, veggies, and bagels I bought for the kids. They can handle a lot more carbs then I can as they are growing children and don’t have insulin resistance like I do which makes it easy for me to gain weight. I learned about this from the Trim Healthy Mama authors.

These  bars are inspired by the Praline Protein bars on p. 391 of the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook. The only problem with that recipe is that it doesn’t make very much, only 5 bars! I always quadruple the recipe so I can make a whole cookie sheet full of bars. That gives me enough to eat on the trip up for two meals and snacks, the trip back, and then have some leftover after we get home. I eat these for breakfast and lunch, along with yogurt as we travel. They totally satisfy me so that I don’t eat those carbs.  Once I hit dinner time, then I do eat some carbs as part of my dinner. These bars are considered FP, or Fuel Pull, which means they are low in carbs, low in fat, and have a moderate level of protein. So that means they are kind to your blood sugar and especially good to eat if you gained a few pounds the day before (ahem) and want to lose those pounds. Yep, after losing 70 lbs. I weigh myself every day so I can watch it and stay under an upper limit I have chosen for myself. This always seems to happen right before I leave on a trip! So I eat these bars along with yogurt, for my FP breakfast and lunch while traveling, then for dinner I will have an E, or high carb meal, and it works like  charm. The next day I will have lost the weight!

And now without further ado, the recipe:

4 c Trim Healthy Mama Pristine whey powder (I know that’s a lot, so if you don’t have 4 cups you can substitute oat fiber which is much cheaper. Sometimes I will do 1 c whey and 3 c oat fiber or some other variation of the combo of whey to oat fiber, depending on what I have on hand. Or I will sub collagen powder for whey powder if I am low on whey)

1 c collagen powder

1 c whole foods sweetener of choice (for THM people that would be Gentle Sweet, or you could use honey, maple syrup, or sucanat if you don’t have Gentle Sweet)

1 tsp Real Salt

1 T plus 1 tsp  coconut oil or butter

1 tsp of caramel or maple extract

1 c water

1 c chopped pecans (if you don’t have a food processor to chop them you can grind up in your blender in small amounts at a time)

Mix up the dry ingredients then add the wet ingredients. If it’s too stiff, add more water until it forms a stiff but pliable mixture. Taste the mixture and add more sweetener or salt to get to the sweetness you like. To be truly low carb bars, use the Trim Healthy Mama Gentle Sweet.

Line a cookie sheet with wax or freezer paper. Put the mixture on top of the paper. Put another piece of the wax or freezer paper on top and then roll it all out with a rolling pin to about 1/4 inch thick or whatever your desired thickness is. Enlist the help of your 16 year old muscly football player son to do this. If the residue left in your mixing bowl looks fossilized, as my sister-in-law calls it, put the bowl to soak in water to make clean up easy. Ideally, you will have added enough water that the mixture comes out without leaving a residue. Cut with a pizza cutter into bars.

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Wrap individually in the wax or freezer paper, taping the paper closed. Store in a ziploc bag in the fridge overnight so that they are chilled and extra firm in the morning when it’s time to grab and go on your trip! When I’m driving I keep these in the pocket of the door of my Toyota Sienna, which is the best family car ever. Sometime I will have to blog about that!

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Do have someone else unwrap the bars for while you are driving. Enjoy your trip with these bars! I plan on going on some hikes this fall with these bars in tow. They are such a great food for being on the go!

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