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Fruit ‘N’ Cereal Protein Squares: Lemon Ginger (Gluten Free)

These fruit ‘n’ cereal protein squares are not your typical protein bar. Light, chewy and fruity, they require no protein powder whatsoever. The perfect light snack that will satisfy your hunger and your sweet tooth. You’ll never guess the secret ingredient…

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Confession (actually, no). Non-confession: I don’t use protein powders. 

a) I’m not a smoothie fan. If I was, I could see my use of protein powders potentially heightened. 

b) I once went on a whey kick when I worked at a restaurant that served health smoothies/juices and I had the worst bloating and weird smelling gas I’ve ever experienced. TMI? 

c) A tub costs how much!?

d) Do people legitimately find the vegan powders taste good?

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Okay. I know the answer to that last one is, “yes,” or at last mixed in with all sorts of fruity goodness I know they can be perfectly edible. And, really, all the power to you if you are a protein powder enthusiast. I’m not here to knock it. Just to say I’ve never been a fan. 

I also know there are tonnes of delicious and fun baking recipes out there that use protein powders. They all look glorious. I’ve just always been a little wary of the protein powder craze. If you aren’t body building or running marathons, it could potentially be a little bit of protein overload, no?

I apologize. Let’s move on. 

ONTO other forms of protein!

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When I first came across a “protein cereal bar” in a hippy dippy cafe, I asked what the “protein” component was. To my astonishment, the good looking hippy replied, “tofu man! silken tofu!”

… and the heavens opened….

(and not just because of his beautiful…beautiful… dreads. I <3 hippies). 

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DING. Why didn’t I think of that? I’ve definitely learned by now the diverse wonders of silken tofu. I mean, its the base ingredient in my ultimate favorite dessert pie, after all. Steph actually had a wonderful post a while back about the many different uses of tofu. It truly is a magical ingredient thanks to its undetectable flavor and ability to blend in and hide itself amongst any ingredient list. Not to mention, 7 g of protein per 100 grams. 

And unlike protein powders….. one single ingredient. 

Protein Squares without protein powder! You'll never guess the secret ingredient. #healthysnacks… Click To Tweet

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I was pleasantly surprised when these cereal based protein squares turned out so light. Not heavy or chalky like so many other bars out there. These are chewy and sweet – thanks to the dried fruit and natural sugars – stay together remarkably well thanks to the tofu, and last for weeks.

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Now you can totally use plain silken tofu for your protein squares, OR, you can have a little bit of extra fun and use one of Sunrise Soya Food’s dessert tofu flavors. These are super inexpensive and come in individually portioned packs of two (150g each).  They are made with non-GMO soybeans, no preservatives, natural flavors, and only 4-6 ingredients. That’s what I like to see. 

I picked up the almond flavor, but my spidey sense sees there is a banana and coconut variety that would also work very well. I already can’t wait to start experimenting with more flavors and mix up the ingredients. I went with lemon ginger this time because, if you haven’t noticed, it’s kind of a new favorite of mine. Not a lemon ginger or apricot fan, though? How about banana chocolate chip? Or coconut cranberry? So many options. 

silken-tofu

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If you’re in need of a new snack, granola type bar or breakfast on the go, whip up these fun fruit ‘n’ cereal protein squares. And get creative! Note: I was not compensated in the least for my testimonies to Sunrise Soya Foods. This is simply a product that I’ve enjoyed using and want to share their mandate for non GMO vegan foods. 

Fruit 'N' Cereal Protein Squares. Light, chewy and sweet. Perfect for on the go snacking.… Click To Tweet

Fruit 'N' Cereal Protein Squares: Lemon Ginger (Gluten Free)

Yield: 16 squares

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups large flake rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened puffed grain cereal (rice puffs, millet puffs or wheat puffs if not gluten free)
  • 3/4 cups dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp gluten free all purpose flour (sub regular if not gluten free)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger or 3/4 tsp dried ginger
  • 150 grams (1/2 cup) silken tofu - flavored or plain*
  • 2 Tbsp egg whites, whisked
  • 1/2 cup honey, maple syrup or brown rice syrup
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Optional: 1/4 cup sliced almonds**

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Spread oats (and almonds, if using) on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes, watching carefully so that they don't burn, until golden in color. Transfer to large bowl. Add in puffed creel, apricots, flour, salt and ginger.
  3. In a food processor, blend together tofu, egg white, honey, oil, vanilla and lemon zest until smooth. Pour tofu mixture into dry oat mixture and fold until all is combined.
  4. Spread mixture back onto parchment lined baking sheet (it will not cover the entire pan unless you double the recipe, so simply spread out into about 1/2 inch thickness and smooth out edges manually).
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until firm and edges are golden brown. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

Notes

*If you use plain silken tofu, you may opt to add an extra Tbsp of sweetener. The dried fruit and honey do a very good job of sweetening the bars themselves, but a flavored tofu would give it that extra bit of sweetness. **substitute any other chopped nut of choice, as well as any other dried fruit of choice.

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Tell me,

Have you ever used silken tofu in a baking recipe?

Do you enjoy baking with protein powder? 

 

19 COMMENTS

  1. Susie @ SuzLyfe | 11th Nov 16

    I’ve never gotten silken tofu to work for me, but I trust you, and I love this flavor combo!
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Five Easy Ways to Support Veterans on Veterans DayMy Profile

    • Cora | 13th Nov 16

      Really? But its magic!

  2. Sarah @ BucketListTummy | 11th Nov 16

    These look so good, Cora! I wonder if we could find Sunrise Soya in the US? I’m intrigued! I like protein powder for mixing in with my yogurt, oatmeal and in smoothies, but it’s a great reminder that we can still make high protein options without it! I haven’t used tofu in such a way yet but I’m excited to try!
    Sarah @ BucketListTummy recently posted…What To Expect In Your First Marathon (Savannah Rock ‘n Roll Recap)My Profile

    • Cora | 13th Nov 16

      You know I was wondering that as well – though if not, you must have your own silken tofu company that would be equivalent. Its such a magic ingredient!

  3. Heather @ Polyglot Jot | 11th Nov 16

    Yum! This is a great idea! I’ve used silken tofu in a chocolate pudding recipe and in smoothies before but never in a bar form! This looks really good!
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…Foodie Friday: Sweet Roasted Butternut SquashMy Profile

    • Cora | 13th Nov 16

      Yessss in chocolate pudding like in my favorite pie. SO good.

  4. Lyss | 11th Nov 16

    ooo good idea using tofu instead of protein powder!! I’m picky when it comes to protein powder- the only two I really like are sunwarrior and vega!
    Lyss recently posted…Week in Review 11/11/16My Profile

    • Cora | 13th Nov 16

      I know so many people love those two…. still not a preference of mine. Great ingredients though!

  5. Kristy from Southern In Law | 11th Nov 16

    These look delicious! You could never guess that they had tofu in them!!
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recent Things: All Things Sweet and Hoarder ConfessionsMy Profile

    • Cora | 13th Nov 16

      Yup! You’d never know. Sneaky sneaky sneaky…

  6. Emily Swanson | 11th Nov 16

    Woah, I was totally wrong. You used tofu; and I do agree that the biggest thing about protein powders is just that they are expensive. I like Try about Time powders, but they are pretty pricey. So I just use them occasionally… 🙂 These look so chewy and delicious and delightful. <3 Hope you have a super restful peaceful weekend.
    Emily Swanson recently posted…How Truth and Love Affect Elections and Eating DisordersMy Profile

  7. Ellie Pell | 11th Nov 16

    I totally got the same reaction when I tried whey protein powder years ago. I go on and off the powder. Sometimes it’s a nice sweetener to things, especially when I am training hard. Recently though, I’m tending toward more real food in oatmeal and waffles. I’ve been sweetening my oats with bananas or maple syrup rather than protein powder. I think I just don’t want to open another tub right now =P
    Ellie Pell recently posted…5 Essentials To Pack For Your Long RunMy Profile

    • Cora | 13th Nov 16

      You as a big runner – AND vegan – would need that extra protein, so it makes sense as part of your diet. Great that you are still trying to focus on whole foods, though. That’s always the way to go.

  8. Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar | 12th Nov 16

    Ha! No judgment on the protein powder thing. I do have some rice protein in the cabinet, which I mostly use to make Amanda’s protein bars, but I’ve never much liked it in smoothies. Besides, as someone who eats animal products, I figure I get plenty of protein.
    As for these bars, they look delicious! I would have to tinker with them to get them to something my tummy could tolerate–sadly, apricots are high in several different FODMAPs. But way to be creative on the tofu thing! Tofu is such a versatile food. 🙂
    Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar recently posted…What I Ate Election Tuesday (Besides My Fingernails)My Profile

    • Cora | 13th Nov 16

      Yeah for those of us who eat meat it just makes a bit less sense. I think these bars would be high in fructose so yeah, maybe not for you!

  9. Liz | Travelling Table Tales | 13th Nov 16

    These look delicious. I’m not a protein powder fan. I would rather add nut butters to my food. Thanks for sharing. xx

    • Cora | 13th Nov 16

      Ohhh yesss I would choose nut butters over anything else ANY day.

  10. Kate | 13th Nov 16

    Tofu in bars?! So smart! I need to live near your so I can try all your tasty treats. Though you would need to move here. It’s was 45 F tonight and I about died, so I don’t think I could handle your cold. However, these bars make me feel a little otherwse….
    Kate recently posted…Am I rambling? (WIAW)My Profile

  11. My Kind of Marathon: Eating for Performance (WIAW) | 15th Nov 16

    […] without dairy) sounded really good to me and my throat. I used the remaining portion of my almond flavored silken tofu – frozen – and blended it up with a frozen banana, frozen raspberries and a splash of […]

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