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Dec 05

Pumpkin Protein Bars

Get “pumped” up.

Maybe not quiiiiite as pumped as Hans, Franz, and Arnold.

 

Weights are my winter my focus though.  When you are lifting weights, you need to take in enough protein to build muscle and achieve that toned look.  (Click here for more on Building Muscle/Protein Intake

Getting enough protein is sometimes hard to do on a diet that is plant-based.  No worries.  I baked my way to getting protein… and it even involves pumpkin!  Bonus: they are low sugar.

 

 

These pumpkin bars are easy to make – just one bowl and you’re done.  They are extremely moist (thank you, pumpkin).  If you like a more “cake-like” bar, just add more flour.

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that the bars freeze really well.  Unbelievably, I think they got even better post-freeze with a quick 20 seconds in the microwave.

 

 

I cut mine up in to pretty small squares.  I did the nutritionals for one square, but I eat 2 at a time.  That’s 5g of protein for 100 calories and <3g of sugar.  Perfect for a little pre-workout fuel.

Recipe at the bottom!

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My ankle has been jacked up (yep, that’s the technical term) since the Thanksgiving Half Marathon so I’ve been loyal to my commitment not to run. :)  Of course, since I can’t run I really WANT to go for a run.  *sigh*

I did try something new this week – spinning!  I did it once before in high school and my butt was so sore after I swore I’d never do it again.  10-ish years later, the pain is butt a memory (haha) and I got back in the saddle.  It was so much fun!  The hour flew by – we had sing-a-longs, did “hill” intervals, sprinted it out, and did something called jumps.  I can’t wait to do it again!

 

Workout Recap (11/28-12/4)

  • Monday – 30 mins stationary bike intervals, Biceps/Back, 100 push-ups
  • Tuesday – My Favorite Intervals, Ab Ripper X, 100 push-ups 
  • Wednesday – Tris/Chest/Abs with trainer, 100 push-ups
  • Thursday - 100 Workout, Kickboxing 
  • Friday - Shoulders, Bike intervals, 100 push-ups
  • Saturday – Spinning, 100 push-ups
  • Sunday – Elliptical intervals (1 hour!), Glutes, 100 push-ups

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Pumpkin Protein Bars

Adapted from this Jamie Eason LiveFit Recipe.

  • 1/4 C xylitol
  • 1/4 C NuNaturals Baking Fiber Blend
  • 1 – 4 oz. jar baby food prunes
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2 C pumpkin puree (or 1 can)
  • 1 C quick cooking oatmeal
  • 1/2 C chickpea flour
  • 1/4 C coconut flour
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • ½ cup almond milk

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare large Pyrex (9 x 13).

Combine all ingredients in large bowl.  Spread evenly in pyrex and bake for 20-25 mins.

Makes 26 squares.

Note: You could use apple sauce or date paces in place of the prunes.

Approximate nutrition per square: 50 calories, 0.7g fat, 9.6g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 1.4g sugar, 2.5g protein

***

I have a case of the Mondays.

Do you spin?

What is your favorite thing to eat before and after a good workout?

 

32 comments

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  1. Matt @ The Athlete's Plate

    You know I love spinning :)

  2. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    I actually don’t find it hard to get enough protein eating a plant-based diet – as long as you have good variety it adds up pretty quickly. Either way, the bars do look yummy and I love food you can wrap up and take to go! I could have used one of these on Saturday night when i was staving and my only option was an iceberg lettuce salad – mmm….water. ;)

  3. Lisa ♥ Healthful Sense

    I love these pumpkin bars — they look so moist like a piece of cake!!
    Have a wonderful Monday! These would be perfect snacks at work =)

  4. Allie @ PickyEatingRD

    I don’t spin very often at all. I actually believe it is the instructor that can make or break the class. I was finding that if I didn’t go to a great instructor I was disappointed in the workout. I guess that is probably true with every class but I found it related more specifically to spin for me.

    1. Laura

      I can definitely see how that would be true. I feel that way about kickboxing – I have 2 instructors I’ll go to.

  5. Hayley @ Oat Couture

    I went spinning once when I was about 14 and turned green at the gills after the hour was up… shoulda just taken the beginners class like advised, tut tut. Haha! Those pumpkin bars look like the shizz!

  6. Kiri W.

    These look great! Haha, If you ever reach Arnold-dimensions, I demand silly pose pictures! ;) (Did you know he’s dubbed in German movies? We can’t take the Austrian accent seriously…)

    1. Laura

      If that happens, I will for sure post them all over the place. LOL!

      I think I had heard that before… too bad they didn’t do that in America. ;)

  7. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat

    Spin is definitely my favorite cardio – I do about 3 classes a week! Ankle injuries are the worst – I hope yours isn’t as bad as mine was! I only started running again after about 8 months, and after 2 miles it’s still painful.

    You’re my pumpkin recipe soulmate, if there is such a thing.

    1. Laura

      Oy… that’s what happened to me two years ago. Hopefully we’ll stick to being pumpkin soulmates and not ankle injury soulmates. xoxo

  8. sportsglutton

    Those pumpkin bars might taste great, but the Hans and Franz reference at the beginning made my day. :-)

  9. Carol @ LuckyZucca

    Yum!! And… I definitely laughed out loud at all your puns. Good ones!

  10. Caroline

    Love pumpkin, and these bars must have been fantastic! I’m not sure if I’d be able to manage my portion control though. They look too yummy!

    1. Laura

      That’s why you cut them small – seconds and thirds are totally acceptable. :)

  11. Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers

    Those looks great, but with those nutrition stats, they sound even better. The baking bug bit me this weekend, but I didn’t give into it. (I’m really trying not to eat 10000000000 Christmas cookies this year). This sounds like a great substitute.

    By the way – yes! I <3 spin – so long as I have a good instructor.

    1. Laura

      Thanks! They aren’t super sweet/cookie-esque, but I think that makes them more perfect when surrounded by constant goodies. Loved them pre-workout!

  12. Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family

    Spinning scares me…I have yet to try it out of fear and a sore butt. However if those pumpkin bars were my reward MAYBE I would give it a shot.
    Did you make it to the post office today with your cookies? I had to wait a hella long time but I did make my way through the line.

    1. Laura

      Oh, it WILL hurt your butt. However, if the seat is adjusted properly it won’t be unbearable.

      I did make it! The line was out of control!

  13. Heather @ girlyeverafter

    OMG how did you take my picture after BodyPump without me knowing? hahaha I wish;) I’ve been focusing more on weights and yoga recently since running and cardio isn’t too fun in colder months. But I have found spin to be really fun the past few weeks.

    1. Laura

      Haha – I’m stealth with my iPhone camera.

  14. briarrose

    I can always use more recipes that involve pumpkin. ;) Great low sugar recipe.

  15. Maggie @ kitchie coo

    I love spinning! It is so great for cross-training and when you’re injured…although I say that and haven’t been in months. Sigh.
    I am really curious to try these bars, they look perfect. I am a big fan of snacks I can freeze and eat on the run.

    1. Laura

      Same here – I think they freeze so well because they are so moist. No drying out in the microwave re-heat!

  16. Alexa @ Simple Eats

    I’ve been wanting to try spinning! It’s supposed to be an awesome workout!

  17. Christin@purplebirdblog

    I love that there are baby food prunes in those bars!!! You had me at pumpkin and protein!!

  18. (what runs) Lori

    Oh my goodness- do you take a day off??? Wow. I’d be exhausted! lol 100 push ups every day? Aren’t you sore?!?! I have been doing push ups every other day. It’s kinda cool being able to do more and more with less effort. Although, when my weak chest is sore, it’s almost impossible.

    I LOVE Jamie Eason, She’s amazing. LOVE your bars! Pumpkin anything is great.

    1. Laura

      Sometimes! Or I just do the elliptical. It’s a nice low-impact “break.”

      I definitely recommend the push-ups. You don’t get sore after a while and it’s the best/easiest arm-shaper around!

  19. Lauren @ vegology

    Ooh spinning is fun, I’ve been meaning to start classes again. I did think I was permanently damaged after the first class I ever took, but it definitely got better with practice. I love treating myself to a smoothie after a good workout.

  20. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.

    I used to love spinning until I hurt my knee, now the only bike I can stand to use is is a recumbent! These pumpkin bars look tasty and even better that they are also healthy and packed with protein!

  21. Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

    ahhh i HAVE TO MAKE THESE! i just drooled a little bit! and its like 2 in the morning! crap! bedtime! =)

    1. Laura

      Lay off the coffee! ;)

  22. E @ Act Fast Chef

    Wow! These look amazing. I love pumpkin, so I will have to give these a try!

  1. 2014 Healthy Meal Plan: WEEK 22 | Half Size Me

    […] Pumpkin Protein Bars (from Sprint 2 The Table) […]

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