EASY PLANT-BASED PROTEIN BITES with Chlorella and Pea Protein

Making sure you get the right amount of healthy protein is challenging. And when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, everything is challenging. (Good grief. Protein? Sounds familiar… do I put it in my hair?) Stocking your fridge with large-batch simple-to-make snacks like these easy plant-based protein bites eases the pain of nothing-is-easy-anymore and combines the need for nutrient-filled snacking and exercise and turns it into a walk to the fridge.

If you can manage it, keep one or two superfoods in your cupboard at a time and alternate them to get a wide array of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals in concentrated doses. In this recipe I chose pea protein and chlorella to add to the mix of nuts, seeds and dates, and I’ll tell you why…

According to my research:

  • Pea protein is a plant-based source of a significant amount of all nine essential amino acids which cannot be produced by the body. Our bodies need protein for healthy bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, hair, nails, digestion, and energy production. And when you are growing a baby inside of you or nourishing a baby with breastfeeding – both which take a huge amount of energy – your need for protein increases.
  • Chlorella, also a plant-based source of protein (as well as B-vitamins, iron and vitamin C), has proven in studies to increase breastmilk components which have an impact on the visual and cognitive development of an infant. Note the immune-boosting wonders of this freshwater algae.

This recipe chucks everything into a food processor and then into a dish for refrigeration. For those who have the inclination and time, it can then be translated into lovely little balls coated in desiccated coconut, cacao powder or ground nuts, but for the rest of us it can be flipped onto a chopping board and cut into bars. And, optional-but-awesome; it takes very little time to melt and pour dark or raw chocolate over the whole gorgeous green thing.

I wish you the very best in finding time to look after you. Remember to ask for help, often.

Candice

PREPARATION THE DAY BEFORE:

Put the sesame and sunflower seeds into a large jar or bowl, add a sprinkle of salt, and cover them with water to soak overnight. Drain and rinse the next day before use.

This is to remove the naturally occurring phytic acid which makes digestion difficult. If, after soaking, you don’t find time to use them right away, refrigerate for a day or two, or spread them on an oven tray and dry them on the lowest heat possible for 12 hours. Store in a glass jar until ready to use.

TIP: if condensation forms inside the jar, return to oven.

EASY PLANT-BASED PROTEIN BITES

Makes: 20-40 bars, or many, many little balls

Equipment

  • Food processor
  • Wax paper (or baking paper)
  • Pan or dish roughly 20x28cm

Ingredients

For the protein bites:

  • 2 cups pitted dates, covered and soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup Drasanvi Pea Protein
  • 1 Tbsp Drasanvi Chlorella
  • 1 cup cashews
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds*
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds*
  • ¼ cup buckwheat*
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut
  • pinch of salt

* or ¾ cup of any one type of seed

Simple Topping Suggestions:

sprinkles of oats, seeds, ground nuts, cacao powder or desiccated coconut

For a Homemade Chocolate Layer:

  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp honey
  • or simply a slab of dark or raw chocolate, melted

Directions

This is a blend, press into a pan, refrigerate and slice kind of recipe. Pretty easy to do, and if you don’t eat them all at once, you’ll have a healthy snack at the ready for a week or two.

  1. Keeping a cup of the soak water aside, drain the dates and put them into the food processor.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and a splash of soak water to the food processor and process until combined, stopping to add up to 1 cup of the soak water half at a time. The final mixture should be soft and malleable, like a sticky dough, but should still hold together.
  3. Line a dish (ours was 22x28cm) with baking paper for easy removal later.

  4. Scoop the mixture into the prepared dish and level it out. Refrigerate for half an hour to harden it.
  5. If you’re making your own chocolate layer, melt the coconut oil in a bowl suspended over freshly boiled water, and stir the honey and cacao powder in. {Or simply melt a chocolate bar in the same way.}
  6. Remove mixture from fridge and choose one of the following steps:
    • Pour melted chocolate over the top and refrigerate for around 10 minutes until the chocolate hardens
    • Top with 1/3 chocolate, 1/3 seeds, 1/3 oats and refrigerate for a few minutes until the chocolate hardens
    • Cover 2/3 of the surface with toppings for cutting into bars, and leave the last third to make into balls
  7. Pull the protein bites mixture out of the dish and onto a chopping board, remove the baking paper and cut into bars, and/or roll into balls and dust with various toppings.
  8. Keep in the refrigerator and enjoy for the next few weeks. 🙂

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