For a while now, I've been experimenting with differing recipes using protein powder. I absolutely adore baking (as you might have guessed), but with a gym-obsessed boyfriend with a sweet-tooth who moans about the amount of sugar and fat I'm tempting him with, I decided to try and find alternative 'healthier' recipes. Switching up ingredients for healthier versions is fine, but when it comes to baking with protein powder, everything just goes wrong. There's something about it which just makes the texture take a turn for the worse, not to mention the taste of chocolate flavoured powders within baking! After having a search around online, I found this recipe which I have made the tiniest tweaks to. The results? Finally a baking recipe including protein powder which doesn't make me look like the world's worst chef! With Valentine's Day coming up, I put a romantic twist on these and cut them into heart shapes (heads up- these make a great thoughtful little gift for any gym-loving partners in your life!), but any other time of the year, just cut into squares and enjoy.
300g oats (I used Mornflake Superfast oats but any porridge oats will do)
60g whey protein (I used MyProtein in vanilla flavour)
2 small bananas
2 tablespoons peanut butter (I used Whole Earth smooth organic peanut butter)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (Aldi do a great one for a fab price)
3-4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon chopped hazelnuts
1 tablespoon chopped almonds
50g dark chocolate chips (the original recipe says to use raisins- I changed this for my chocoholic other half!)
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
1 tablespoon milled seeds (optional- I just love chucking this Aldi favourite into any bake!)
30g dark chocolate, melted (optional- I drizzled this on top)
1. Firstly, preheat your oven to 180°C and line a baking tin with some grease proof paper.
2. Melt the peanut butter and coconut oil together. I did this in using a low heat in the microwave which took a couple of minutes, stopping every 30 seconds to give it a stir.
3. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas until they are completely mushy and look rather unappetising. Stir in the melted peanut butter and coconut oil concoction and mix together.
4. Add the oats, nuts, whey protein and chocolate chips (plus the optional honey and seeds if you want to add them) and give it a good mix, making sure everything is combined together well and there is no powder lurking at the bottom. Tip in the water just to make the mixture not so dry and give it a last good mix. The mixture shouldn't be too dry but not overly sticky. If it's too dry, add a touch more water, if too dry, add more oats until you get the perfect consistency.
5. Spoon this mixture into the baking tin. This will require a lot of spreading and compacting; make sure that the mixture is evenly spread across the tin and use the back of a spoon to firmly squish the oats down and smooth down the top. Pop this in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the top goes a lovely golden brown colour.
6. Place the flapjacks on a wire rack to cool down; this will take a good 10-15 minutes. Once they are sufficiently cooled, cut into square chunks. Or, if you're romantic like me, use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut the flapjacks into cute love hearts for a Valentine's Day gift.
7. The flapjacks are good to go now and this next step is completely optional. I then placed the heart flapjacks into a baking tray covered with grease proof paper (the same that was used before in the tin) and melted some dark chocolate. Using a spoon, I drizzled zig-zags of chocolate across the flapjacks and left this to set in the fridge. As you can see, chocolate work isn't my forté but it's the taste that counts!
These are a fantastic snack for gym lovers and the oats make them really filling, not to mention satisfying any sweet cravings! You can always try replacing the protein powder with plain flour if you want to test out this healthier sweet recipe without having to buy whey protein. The recipe makes around 20 flapjacks, depending on how you cut them (remember, they are quite chunky and can be stodgy so I recommend smaller bites!), and based on this the macros per flapjack are:
Have you ever tried baking with protein powder? Are there any healthy baking recipes that you love? I'm always on the look out for new things to bake so do let me know!