Strawberry Ripe Protein Bars

Strawberry Ripe?  Don’t you mean Cherry Ripe?  Don’t you have a thing for Cherry Ripe?  Bounty Bars.  You also like those, right?

Yes, I do have a thing for Cherry Ripe and Bounty Bars … oh wait, you read the blog!  😉   But it’s really hard finding freeze-dried cherries and I just wanted to make something with strawberry.  So I made strawberry ripe protein bars instead.  Or strawberry bounty bars.  Of course, you can make a variety of fruit flavoured coconut bars with this .. so long as it goes well with coconut and chocolate 🙂

These are really good.  REALLY GOOD.

I just wanted to show you that you don’t need flavoured whey to make a great fruit flavoured whey bar.   Sure, you get some extra natural sugars from the fact that these are real strawberries and not artificial strawberry flavouring.   Maybe that doesn’t matter to you.  It matters to me.  I know that it matters to a lot of you too based on the comments you leave on the blog and on the FB page.  It’s all a matter of personal preference but I’m willing to go for real fruit flavour over the fake stuff any day 🙂

Freeze dried fruits are a fantastic invention.  Pulverised, you can use them to flavour anything you like, without adding a lot of calories.  You also get all the micronutrients trapped in the fruit.  They are great as a snack on their own but I love using them to flavour desserts, creams,  protein cheesecakes, protein shakes, and even macaron shells.  I also like making protein bars with them.   I always buy unflavoured protein powders because I prefer to flavour my own, according to whim.  The thought of a large bag of one flavoured whey would freak me out.  It is so limiting!  Along with cacao, spices, lucuma, and other flavourings, freeze-dried fruit, ground to a powder, is a fantastic way to make flavouring your own protein powder easy.  Bonus points for adding extra nutrition, if like me, you care about that stuff.

Let’s hop to it cos these bars aren’t waiting around for anyone 🙂

You can use whatever protein powder you like for these.  I chose my favourite whey protein isolate but whey protein concentrate or casein should work really well too.  Rice protein would also work although the flavour might be a little overpowering.

I used almond milk, just because I prefer it to coconut milk.  You can use any milk you like.  I prefer to use a non-dairy milk so that I can keep this out of the refrigerator longer when I take them to work or if I’m out and about.

Oh yeah, they’re gluten and can be made lactose or dairy free.  There are no tree nuts and they’re OK if you are on a low FODMAP diet, like me.

Enjoy!

Makes 4 large or 8 small bars

Ingredients
60 grams freeze-dried strawberries (I used Absolute Fruitz)
60 grams unsweetened shredded coconut
60 grams unflavoured whey protein powder (I use this one)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I used this one)
60 millilitres unsweetened coconut or almond milk (I used almond milk)
80 grams dark chocolate (I like 100% but anything above 70% is good)

Directions
Place the strawberries in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground.  Add the coconut and whey, and vanilla, and process until the mixture is fine but not totally ground to a flour.  There may be small pieces of berry or coconut.  This is great as it adds texture.

Add the coconut or almond milk and process until the mixture starts to come together.   Line a bar tin with silicone paper and press the mixture evenly into the tin.  Cover and refrigerate until it firms up.  Alternatively, you can just divide the mixture into 4 or 8 equal portions and form in to bars.  Place on a tray, lined with silicone paper, and refrigerate until they firm up enough to coat.

Place the dark chocolate into a plastic bowl and microwave for about one minute.  It might need another 15 seconds or so.  Stir the mixture until melted.  Keep stirring the mixture as it cools slightly.  You can also melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water (a bain marie).  Once melted, remove from the heat and stir until it cools slightly.

Coat each bar in the chocolate and set on to a tray, lined with silicone paper, to set completely.  You can set the bars at room temperature or place in the refrigerator for ten minutes or so until the chocolate sets.

Now, you can temper the chocolate well and coat the bars with a smooth finish if you are like me and prefer them this way.

Not everyone really cares about that so you can just spoon or spread the chocolate on to each bar to coat, for a rough finish, like the bars below.  Does it make a difference?  Well, sure, they look a little different but tastewise?  Slightly different texture for the chocolate but basically the same.  Of course. 😀

Feast your eyes on the strawberry coconut and chocolate goodness.

Strawberry Ripe or maybe even a Strawberry Bounty Bar?  You decide.  Either way, they taste fantastic!

Macronutrient Profile
I’ve included macros based on the recipe as stated and using the ingredients I have specifically used.   I based the chocolate macro counts on Lindt Excellence 85%  as it is an easily sourced dark chocolate and strikes a balance between the 100% and a mellow 70% 🙂

If you use a 100% cacao, the fat will creep up slightly and carbohydrates and sugars will decrease a bit.  So I used the 85% as a guideline for the 70% – 100% range.

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11 Comments

Filed under All Recipe Posts, Protein, Protein Bars, Special Diet

11 responses to “Strawberry Ripe Protein Bars

  1. Anne

    Could this recipe be made with fresh strawberries? Would it be necessary to make additional changes to the recipe?

    • Hi Anne,
      yes, you could make these with fresh strawberries. I haven’t done so yet but would advise that you could leave out the coconut/almond milk as the pureed berries would add enough moisture to bind the whey and coconut. I would probably add a few berries and just add one more at a time to the food processor until the mixture just comes together. As the size of berries varies so much, err on the size of caution.
      I used freeze dried berries as this allows us to make these bars all year round even when they are not in season. If you make these with fresh fruit, they become more perishable out of the fridge.
      Let me know how you go. I’m going to use fresh as well in the next batch now that our local ones are in season and sweet 🙂

  2. These look amazing! I love freeze dried fruit, as it still manages to retain a lot of the flavour and it travels easily (and doesn’t have to be put in the quarantine bin at the airport!).

    • Thanks Sarah!
      Yes there is a lot of good in freeze dried fruit! Retains a lot of the nutrients too so all good.
      I made the bars with the freeze dried fruit because it makes them less perishable out of the fridge and also means you can make them year round. 🙂

  3. Anon

    There’s more carbs & fat in these bars than protein! The saturated fat and sugar content are irresponsibly high! These are dessert bars. Don’t try to pass them off as health foods.

    • OK, as this comment comes from an anonymous source, I’m not sure whether it’s genuine or just heckling, but in good faith …

      I would challenge your assertion that these are unhealthy dessert or candy bars. It’s just wrong. They contain no added refined sugars and no fats that are bad. If you believe all saturated fats to be detrimental to health, then I suggest you are largely misinformed?

      1. The carbohydrates in these bars are primarily sourced from the strawberries, with a contribution from the coconut and chocolate coating. The sugars are naturally occurring sugars, overwhelming from the berries with a portion from the coconut. To assert that these are unhealthy is to suggest that eating fruit is unhealthy. Carbs are not demonic.

      2. The fats in these bars are derived primarily from the coconut with an amount also coming from the chocolate coating. This is why the level of saturated fat is high. However, coconut fats are largely medium chain triglycerides with a high lauric acid content. These are consistently shown to be heart healthy as well as providing a number of other health benefits, including assisting in the metabolism of fats in the body. The saturated fat in the chocolate is primarily from stearic acid, another fatty acid that has been shown to be quickly converted to monounsaturated fat in the body and has health benefits. It is found in beef, and in most nuts, seed and oils of vegetable origin. Not all fats are bad. Saturated fat is essential for a healthy balanced diet. Like all things, it should be consumed in moderation. These bars are hardly intended to be scoffed by the batch. They are a healthier treat that provides some quality macro and micronutrients.

      3. A serving of these bars (2 small or 1 large) delivers 16.9g of protein. By comparison, a standard cherry ripe, about the same serving size, delivers only 2g of protein. Your average candy bar is typically lower in protein and high in refined sugars and trans fats. I fail to see how you can possibly classify these in the same category.

      QED

      Thank you for stopping by to leave a comment. It’s easy to think that these are just another candy bar on the face of it. To some extent, that’s a measure of success. They look and taste really good but are hardly as bad for you as a candy bar. For that matter, I suggest they are better than most commercial protein bars, unless you like your list of ingredients to contain substances that may decrease the fat and sugar content but leave you wondering why you are eating food made in a test tube 🙂

      At least these bars are made from real food sources. I’d rather have these as an occasional treat than a commercial bar any day. Each to his or her own, I guess 🙂

  4. Jenna

    I think these bars are great. I’m a big grab-and-go kind of eater. These bars have cleaner ingredients, a better nutritional profile, and are cheaper than other bars I was eating. I usually just dip the bottom in chocolate and drizzle a little on top. Delicious. Thanks 🙂

  5. Pingback: Banana Chocolate Protein Bars | Chocolate Chilli Mango

  6. Paz.

    Do you think these would work with regular dried fruit instead of freeze dried? I’m tempted to make a batch with apricots to recreate a healthier version of the Europe Apricot and Coconut bars, which were a favourite of mine growing up.

    • They might do but the texture will be different. You cannot pulverise the dried fruit and it will be more sticky but should still be absolutely lovely. Just watch teh amount of moisture you add with other ingredients so that you can still form them into bars.

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