Apparently the whole veggie craving was short lived. Not even a week after being back from vacation and I’m baking cake bars. Notice the first 2 words of these bars though. That’s my excuse.
In the spirit of amping up my protein intake a little as I embark on the NROLFW plan, I decided to bake. I wanted something snack like, high in protein and of course tasty. I remembered a recipe Mama Pea had done awhile back for high protein cherry berry cake and used that as inspiration but made quite a few modifications/additions based on what I had in the house and what I wanted in these. At approximately 10 grams of protein and 250 calories a bar, I’m pretty happy with the outcome.
Best part about this recipe is that it took a total of 20 minutes of prep work before it went in the oven and that includes pictures. Normal people don’t take pictures of their food.
The least stressful way to bake in my opinion is to get everything out before you start mixing and measuring things. Messy hands + cabinet handles = dirty kitchen. I didn’t always do this and would run back and forth between the fridge, pantry and spice cabinet like a lunatic.
No rocket science going on in this recipe. Mix together all wet ingredients in one bowl, mix all dry in another, combine. If Ginger had opposable thumbs I’m pretty sure she could do it.
Are you talking about me woman?
Doesn’t that look appetizing? I promise it tastes good in the end.
Here’s a do as I say, not as I do warning. If your frozen berries have a bunch of ice on them try and actually have the foresight to thaw them out unlike what I obviously did. I’m pretty sure this made the batter a little more watery than it should’ve been. My solution was walnuts. I needed more of something dry and since I had already put the flours away at this point I went for the nuts (TWSS).
And into the oven it goes…
Am I the only one that still flips the oven light on and stares at their baked goods as they bake? Please say no. When I see that baby rising, I get this feeling of pride that it actually worked! (again TWSS…couldn’t resist, sorry)
In seriousness though, the house will smell amazing while this bakes. The almond extract and almond butter in this recipe make for some delicious aromas. Almond extract is hands down my favorite. Vanilla pales in comparison to the flavor of almond. Don’t skip it if you have it.
About 30 minutes and a toothpick shellfish fork check later they’re done.
I bought flat toothpicks by accident last time and they are completely useless. I’ve been using these guys for bake checks ever since. They work just fine!
I hate that my kitchen doesn’t get good sunlight in the late afternoon/early evening. So yes, that is my dining room rug. I run around the house chasing natural, diffused sunlight. Our deck is actually the best place for photos because it’s almost never in the direct sun but is still bright enough for good pictures. The only problem is, the way our property is situated we have 5 neighbors. Yes, 5. I didn’t even know that was geometrically possible before we bought this house. Our lot is like the shape of Nebraska but turned on it’s side. I’ll wait until you have that visual…
That’s at least 5 sets of eyes on me taking pictures of my food. It’s awkward. I’ve already caught one of the kids staring through the fence of his pool at me while I snapped away at the coconut carrot salad. Right now I still only have a point and shoot. I’m eyeing up a DSLR so I can only imagine the awkwardness then when it’s REALLY obvious that yes, that is a camera in my hand and yes, that is food I’m photographing.
Want to see the whole scene?
Somebody’s no dummy. Sunshine and proximity to cake. She’s tempting me to leave the room with those eyes. “Go ahead, get another prop, see if those are still there when you come back”.
Berry Almond Walnut Protein Cake Bars
Makes 9 bars (depends how big or small you cut them )
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup regular milk (I used 1%)
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (I can never find WW pastry and always use regular WW, if you have pastry go for it. It comes out fine with regular)
- 1/2 cup spelt flour
- 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder (I used whey)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 cup frozen berries (I used blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first 8 ingredients in a small bowl, whisk until mixed thoroughly. Combine next 8 ingredients in large bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until combined. Carefully fold in berries and walnuts. Grease a cake pan (I used 9X9) and pour batter in. Bake for about 30 minutes. let cool before cutting.