Monday, January 11, 2016

Reduced Carb Peanut Butter Bars

The first time I made these bars I used a recipe found at the Southern Plate website. They were phenomenal, so addictive. I've thought of them often since cutting back on sugars but couldn't think of what would work best to bulk up the peanut butter base in place of all that powdered sugar that was in the original recipe. Sure it was no hard task to find a low-carb recipe, just do a quick search yourself and you will find an unlimited number of "Reese's" type of recipes. My trouble was in choosing just one that sounded like it would be "the best". At some point I just had to pick one (well, okay, two) to try and so I combined Low Carb Yum's and one from Linda's Low Carb site. I adapted the recipes to my preferences and to what I had in my pantry and the following recipe is the result.

Reduced Carb Peanut Butter Bars
(adapted from Low Carb Yum and Southern Plate and Linda's Low Carb Menus & Recipes)
1/2c butter, melted
2/3c unsweetened, unflavored whey protein powder
2T ground golden flax
1/4c Stevia In The Raw powder
1/4c powdered xylitol
1/4t pink sea salt
2tsp vanilla extract
1c chunky peanut butter
6oz dark chocolate pieces
1T coconut oil

Melt butter in pan, remove from heat and add vanilla. Let butter cool as you combine protein powder, flax, sweetener and salt in a bowl and mix together. Add peanut butter to melted butter and combine. Then stir in dry ingredients. Spread into a wax paper lined pan (I used an 8x11) and put in refrigerator to chill. Meanwhile, put chocolate pieces into a microwave safe dish (I use my glass Pyrex measuring cup) along with the coconut oil and microwave only until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Pour over the chilled peanut butter layer and place back into the refrigerator to set up completely. Keep in fridge or freezer.
Couple of notes: The butter is salted as I rarely buy unsalted. The protein powder is Jarrow Formula brand. I'd far prefer Jay Robb's but it wasn't in my budget. Whatever protein powder you do use, keep in mind that you will likely be able to taste it a little in the end product. My peanut butter was a combination of a natural one and a generic, typical shelf-stable one. For chocolate I used part of an 85% dark chocolate bar and some Hershey's dark chocolate chips. So, as you can see, it's a fairly flexible recipe. Also, these cannot be stored out at room temp as they are still too soft even with the addition of the flax. I would describe it as a soft fudge when refrigerated and perfection when frozen. I cut mine into about 50-60 cubes and eat 2-4 at any one time - four seem to make a snack bar size.

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