Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Neopolitan Protein Squares





You know.


This summer hasn't been much of a summer for me.


I guess that's the really sad part of not being a student anymore. Summer really doesn't mean anything special anymore.

I am actually just as stressed and then some as I would be in any other season.


And as for the WEATHER?


Pshhhhhh.


Get outta here with that. It's been either too cold or too hot or stormy or sometimes all three in the same day.








And the overall lack of ice cream in my life is pretty devastating.


I don't...'cheat' much in the formal sense on my diet. But ICE CREAM?!?!?!? If that isn't the most magical food item on this planet, then I just don't know what to say.



Sorry, kale.








I just don't have those ice-cream-needing experiences.

No pool days or leisurely afternoons at the beach. No fun dates down by the lake front.


No music festivals. No trips out with the kiddos warranting ice cream.


HOW DO I ADULT? I HATE DIS!






So it appears my old age has robbed me of all potential interactions with Mr. Ice Cream. His sweet seductive siren call to my belly and emotionally unstable heart have been for naught.



So what can I do?





I mix...da ice cream.... wif da....PROTEIN BAR?!???!!


Genius.


But what flavour? All of them.


Neopolitan has always had a soft spot in my heart.


My grandparents would always buy a huge rectangular tub and keep it at their house for us in the summers. Grandparents always have ice cream, don't they?


And I think foreign grandparents always have the big tubs of neopolitan. It's how they roll. Trust me, I have done my research.


Since my grandfather has been sick I have been having a burning desire for some nostalgia. Back to a time when life was so simple and happy all of the time.


Never more than now have I wanted to go back.


So while I can't do that. I can get a little bit of that flavour without all the guilt or long journeys to the beach ;)




Neopolitan Protein Squares

Yields 16 Squares

Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, High Protein, Vegan Option 

Ingredients:


For Strawberry Base:

  • 1 1/3 cup oat flour 
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder of choice
  • 1/2 cup honey, agave or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup nut butter of choice (neutral butters work best! Cashew or macadamia nut for example)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, pureed



Vanilla Cream Layer:


  •  1/2 cup cream cheese (or vegan alternative)
  • 3 tablespoons raw coconut butter (or white chocolate), melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons liquid sweetener of choice depending on preference of sweetness




Chocolate Ganache Layer:

  • 1/2 cup chopped chocolate of choice (dark, milk chocolate, etc)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream or heavy cream 



Directions:



  1. Mix all dry ingredients for the strawberry base in a large mixing bowl and set aside
  2. In a small saucepan combine sweetener, butters, puree and oil until fully combined, set aside when finished
  3. Pour  sweetener/butter/puree mixture over dry ingredients and stir thoroughly, If your dough is too dry -- add a tablespoon at a time of almond milk or water until you can get a large ball of dough 
  4. Press dough into an 8x8 pan lined with foil or plastic wrap 
  5. Set in fridge for 15 minutes before adding the vanilla layer
  6. For vanilla cream layer combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix until you have a smooth slightly runny mixture
  7. Pour vanilla layer over strawberry layer and allow to set another 30 minutes before adding chocolate layer
  8. To make ganache, melt chocolate in the microwave with the coconut oil -- spread over bars and top with additional items such as chopped chocolate, sprinkles, etc. if desired!
  9. Allow to set in the fridge until chocolate is firm to the touch -- slice into 16 bars and serve!
  10. Keep leftovers in the fridge for 5-7 days




And don't they just LOOK like a party???





So bright, soft and creamy with a bright note from the strawberry.







Sorry to all of my other beloved protein bars -- but these are FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!







They remind me of long walks and laughter. Of sunshine and tanlines.


Of experiences that feel so far away from me right now.









Because to me. In my life. Right now? Food is pretty much the only kind of happiness I am looking for!






If you have an ice cream lovin' pal -- they will love you forever for these.





Seasonally appropriate, sweet, high in protein, gluten free. BOOM!





Pack them to a picnic or pack them with you when you are forced to be trapped into an office all day and need to pack a bit of sunshine.



As I am sure is evident, I am really really desperate for taking a step back and reminiscing on my golden years.


What does ice cream mean to you? What is the flavour that you hold most fondly in your heart and your belly?


Happy Ice Creaming!


XO


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