About 2 months ago, my husband and I decided to try a mostly plant-based vegetarian diet.  I’ve wanted to eliminate meat from my diet because of the chemicals and hormones that are given to animals to raise them quickly to get to market.  For my husband, his cholesterol was high so we decided to try plant-based foods to eliminate the saturated fat that is found in meat.  We would probably be considered flexitarians rather than vegetarians since we do have meat every now and then, but it’s rare (how frequently we eat it, not how it’s cooked :)).  The problem with eliminating meat is that it’s a great source of protein.  If you don’t know what protein is good for, it helps with weight management, performance and strength, and everyday fitness – things we can all benefit from!  While it’s true that there are plenty of other sources of protein like beans and legumes, we don’t want to eat beans every day.  So we decided to supplement and make sure that we have plenty of protein in our diet.

While in Target doing our regular grocery shopping, we visited the health care section near the pharmacy and looked at all of the different protein powder options available.  There are a bunch of them!  I know that protein is what helps build muscle but we are only looking to supplement our already-healthy lifestyle, not consume mega-doses of protein to bulk up.  We decided to try EAS protein powder since it’s a simple and effective way for us to meet our protein needs.  EAS offers a complete line of powders, bars and drinks so there are plenty of options!

When we were considering purchasing EAS protein powder, we decided that we didn’t want to make shakes every day and would prefer to incorporate it into an actual food.  We brainstormed different ways we would be able to add EAS protein powder into our regular diet and came up with a ton of great ideas that would not require us to even change a thing, except to add a scoop of powder.  My husband has been eating oatmeal every morning so we decided that would be super easy to add EAS to his oatmeal.  He already adds a few nuts for some crunch so EAS just adds an extra boost of protein for his and keeps him full until lunchtime.  I decided that I would get a little adventurous and make some oatmeal bars to have a grab and go breakfast.  These would be fabulous with a cup of coffee in the morning or perfect for a healthy afternoon snack or even dessert.  There’s no excuse to not get enough protein in your diet!  And they are super quick and easy to make.  You can make a batch and have the ready to go for the entire week and don’t even have to turn the oven on!

Here’s all you need to do to make these:

Gather ingredients – applesauce, coconut palm sugar, vanilla, instant oats, unsweetened shredded coconut, EAS protein powder, salt, chocolate chips, all natural peanut butter

In a large skillet on medium heat, add applesauce, sugar and vanilla, stirring until combined.

Stir in oats, coconut, EAS protein powder and salt.  Cook on low for about 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times.  The mixture will seem really dry but it should be!

In a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips and peanut butter on low.  Be sure to stir frequently so it doesn’t burn.

Press 1/2 of the oat mixture into the bottom of a square baking dish.

Pour most of chocolate/peanut butter mixture on top and spread to cover oats.

Top with the remaining oat mixture.

Using the remaining chocolate/peanut butter awesomeness, drizzle over the top. Feel free to get as fancy with it as you’d like!

Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, cut into squares, and ENJOY!

Oatmeal Protein Squares

Ingredients

1 cup applesauce
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups instant oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 scoop vanilla EAS protein powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I use dairy, soy and nut free)
3/4 cup all natural peanut butter

Instructions

In a large skillet on medium heat, add applesauce, sugar and vanilla, stirring until combined.
Stir in oats, coconut, EAS protein powder and salt.
Cook on low for about 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times. The mixture will seem really dry but it should be!
In a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips and peanut butter on low. Be sure to stir frequently so it doesn’t burn.
Press 1/2 of the oat mixture into the bottom of a square baking dish.
Pour most of chocolate/peanut butter mixture on top and spread to cover oats.
Top with the remaining oat mixture.
Using the remaining chocolate/peanut butter awesomeness, drizzle over the top. Feel free to get as fancy with it as you’d like!
Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, cut into squares, and ENJOY!

How do YOU do more with your protein? 

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