Last Minute Protein Energy Bars & Creamy Holly Nog Smoothie

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IMG 4728   Last Minute Protein Energy Bars & Creamy Holly Nog Smoothie

It’s the day after the American Thanksgiving and I’m sure the last thing anyone wants is an energy bar.

However, it’s also Black Friday in the US and I figured maybe you could use some energy after all! There is very little that could pull me out of bed at midnight to enter long, cold line ups for hours on end, but these bars could just about do it.

I actually whipped up these bars because we’re leaving on a vacation tomorrow. I always like to bring some type of energy bar with me when I go away and stash a couple in my purse when we’re out walking around. If I find myself without any vegan options, I have a bar that will hold me over until my next meal.

IMG 4735   Last Minute Protein Energy Bars & Creamy Holly Nog Smoothie

I’ve never made an energy bar quite like this before. I added protein powder to rev up the protein in these bars, making sure they would give me sustainable energy when out and about. I wasn’t really sure what they would taste like with 1/2 cup of protein powder, but I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome!

I made two batches, on the left, using 1/4 cup protein powder and on the right, using 1/2 cup protein powder.

IMG 4742   Last Minute Protein Energy Bars & Creamy Holly Nog Smoothie IMG 4810   Last Minute Protein Energy Bars & Creamy Holly Nog Smoothie

The bars using 1/2 cup protein powder were a bit more dense and the batter was drier, but otherwise I didn’t notice much of a difference taste-wise. Eric tried the bar on the left and he said he couldn’t even detect the protein powder at all. My suggestion is to use a very mild-tasting protein powder. I loved using Garden of Life Brown Rice Protein Powder as it has a fairly neutral taste and it’s not sweetened. Just make sure whichever protein powder you use, it tastes good because you will taste it in the bars if it has an “off” flavour. Of course, you could also skip the protein powder all together if you prefer.

If you cut 10 bars out of the batch, each bar has about 8 grams of protein when using protein powder such as this one below (17 grams protein per scoop).

IMG 3809   Last Minute Protein Energy Bars & Creamy Holly Nog Smoothie

These no-bake bars take just 5 minutes to throw together…love that.

IMG 4725   Last Minute Protein Energy Bars & Creamy Holly Nog Smoothie

I added a very THIN layer of melted chocolate on top of the bars and then chilled them in the freezer for 10 mins.

IMG 4727   Last Minute Protein Energy Bars & Creamy Holly Nog Smoothie

I also made these nut-free, using the amazing Sunbutter sunflower seed butter! I found it at Whole Foods and it’s almost an exact knock-off of Trader Joe’s sunflower seed butter (or maybe TJ’s is a knock-off of this stuff!). Either way, it’s amazing stuff. If you haven’t tried lightly sweetened sunflower seed butter, you really must. It’s ultra drippy and smooth.

IMG 4811   Last Minute Protein Energy Bars & Creamy Holly Nog Smoothie

Feel free to use any kind of seed or nut butter you prefer, but if it’s not very drippy you will probably have to add a bit more syrup. I also tried the bars (batch #2) using almond butter and it was also good, but I still preferred the sunflower seed butter.

IMG 4796   Last Minute Protein Energy Bars & Creamy Holly Nog Smoothie

IMG 4800   Last Minute Protein Energy Bars & Creamy Holly Nog Smoothie

A couple weeks ago, I bought this new Holly Nog (vegan egg nog) that I picked up at Loblaws. It’s just 60 calories per serving and has a simple ingredient list. I’m really impressed by the flavour of this nog…it’s amazing! The only thing it’s lacking is a really creamy texture, but for 60 calories a serving I figured I could work with it to make it into the nog I dreamed it would be…

IMG 4383 thumb   Last Minute Protein Energy Bars & Creamy Holly Nog Smoothie IMG 4384 thumb   Last Minute Protein Energy Bars & Creamy Holly Nog Smoothie

(click to enlarge)

I blended a half cup of Holly nog, 1/2 cup almond breeze, a frozen banana, nutmeg, and cinnamon and I was absolutely blown away by the outcome. It was exactly the texture I was looking for with the wonderful nog flavour that I love so much!

This is what a picture looks like when the drink is SO good, I can’t even wait to snap the photo!

IMG 4793   Last Minute Protein Energy Bars & Creamy Holly Nog Smoothie

I can’t control myself around this stuff. A proper photoshoot will likely never happen. This is as good as it gets.

Oh wait, I just remembered I did take a photo of it a couple weeks ago! Here it is…before guzzling!

IMG 4484   Last Minute Protein Energy Bars & Creamy Holly Nog Smoothie

Creamy Holly Nog Smoothie

Yield: 1 serving

  • 1/2 cup Holly nog (or try coconut milk nog)
  • 1/2 cup almond breeze
  • 1 peeled and frozen banana
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, or to taste

 

1. Blend and enjoy!

~~~

Updates:

In case some of you didn’t see all my crazy updates/messages/panic attack yesterday, I found a discrepancy in my gluten-free pie crust recipe (thanks to Jesica for letting me know!). I said to pre-bake the crust at 350F and 425F, when it should be 350F and NOT 425F. Please accept my apology! I felt so horrible all day yesterday. The recipe is now updated to reflect 350F. I will be quadruple-checking my recipes from now on…

I’ll be back this weekend with photo clues of where we are travelling…I’m excited to see if some of you will be able to guess it right away. I might have to make it challenging.

Up, up, and away…

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{ 120 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie @ Shining From Within November 25, 2011

mmmm! love quick protein bar recipes.
i’m guessing you’re coming to the states ;)

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 25, 2011

These bars sound awesome Ange! I too have been experimenting with some protein bar recipes because I want to take some to Milan with me over Christmas, but I’ll add this one to my list as well. Happy travels and I can’t wait to see your trip photos!

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga November 25, 2011

The bars look awesome. Oats, chocolate, and sunflower seed butter…3 of my all-time faves! I love making bars, balls, bites and cookies :) with any of them. Your bars look great and firm enough to take as a travel-snack and like they’ll hold up which is great.

I hope you have safe travels and you’ve clearly got great snacks to munch on :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2011

Yea I think the protein powder does a great job at firming them up! :)

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table November 25, 2011

Having been shopping on Black Friday, I can tell you that shoppers NEED these bars. And that I will never shop on Black Friday again. :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2011

haha you are a trooper!! I wish I could have sent you some of these bars…

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Lys November 25, 2011

These bars look so yummy! I’m still a little bit nervous about buying protein powder as it’s a bit of money for a tub/jar, but these bars are slowly convincing me it may not be so bad. :)

Do you have a preference between the Holly Nog and the So Delicious Nog? Is the Coconut one a bit too coconuty? I’m holding a holiday party next Friday and would love to try one of these brands out, but two friends of mine hate coconut so the So Delicious is making me double check. Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2011

I actually haven’t tried the coconut one yet, but I’ve heard it’s really good!

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Rachel November 25, 2011

The So Delicious definitely has a coconut undertone. I like it better than any of the other nog’s I’ve tried but if someone doesn’t like coconut they might not like it.
Might be interesting to give it to them without saying it has coconut (provided they are not allergic, of course) and see if they notice? lol

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Maria @ Sinfully Nutritious December 12, 2011

It has a definite coconut flavor. It is delicious, but not quite as “noggy”.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 12, 2011

that was my perception too (I tried it while in NYC)

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Cait's Plate November 25, 2011

Anything that has Sunbutter in it is A-OK by me! :) These look delicious Angela.

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Morgan @ Life After Bagels November 25, 2011

I think I need to get some rice syrup … I’m such a maple syrup junkie but it’s true, my bars never stay together that well with it

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MAURA November 25, 2011

Just wondered if anyone knows a good spot to get protein powder in New Brunswick? I have looked everywhere and the brand here is soooo expensive! Any ideas? Or any great spots online to order it that isn’t over the top in price? Thanks ladies!

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Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner November 25, 2011

Ohh, wow.. I can’t WAIT to try those protein bars!! they look sooo good.

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Amanda November 25, 2011

I’ve been on the lookout for a simple homemade protein bar recipe for my husband. I’m definitely going to give this a try!

I recently made a similar smoothie with some coconut milk nog, frozen banana, and pumpkin pie spice. It was wonderful! Here’s the recipe if you want to check it out:

http://www.picklesnhoney.com/2011/11/22/eggnog-smoothie/

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2011

Mmm that looks amazing! :) Does the nog have a strong coconut flavour?

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen November 25, 2011

I refuse to do the Black Friday thing but these bars still sound good to me :) Have fun wherever it is you’re going!

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Kalli November 25, 2011

These bars look so good. Thank you for the protein suggestion. Also Angela, do you think they would be good without the chocolate? After celebrating thanksgiving for over a week now I am feeling like I don’t need anymore chocolate! Have a wonderful trip wherever you are going!

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Kaila @healthyhelperblog! November 25, 2011

YUM! Vegan nog sounds delicious! I wish I could find that around me!!!

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Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count November 25, 2011

The bars look great. When you say “brown rice crisp” do you mean cereal? Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2011

Yes I do…will add it to clarify thanks!

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Lia November 25, 2011

You know, I ended up bprebaking it at 350 anyway, just cause I was doing 2 pies at once, so it was all good here, butthanks for correcting it. They were great!

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Jen b November 25, 2011

Hi Angela
These look great, what could I sub for brown rice crisp??
I want to make these ASAP!
Thanks
Jen

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2011

Hey Jen,

You can sub regular Rice crispies cereal or maybe some kind of puffed cereal like puffed millet?

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Jessica November 25, 2011

OMG, these look so good. Might be worth bundling up my 6 month old and 3 year old to hit the store fort brown rice crisp cereal! Where is the picture of the new haircut???

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2011

I’ll post one soon! heh

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Andrea November 25, 2011

These definately look like a good bar recipe! I just bought a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Hemp Protein Powder, which is a powder I haven’t tried before. I am assuming it’s flavor might be too strong for these bars, but I’ll just have to wait until I try the powder out. :)

On another note, I made your recipe for the Pumpkin Butter Swirl Bread using butternut squash puree! I only made a couple changes (used all-purpose flour [I can't find spelt flour in stores for the life of me], instead of using 1/2 c. of maple syrup, I used 1/4 c. and used 3/4 c. of sucanat] and the bread rose very well and tasted amaaaazing. I took it to my dad’s for Thanksgiving and secretly did NOT want to leave it there! I will be making that again for sure :)

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Mary November 25, 2011

I am leaving for Loblaws immediately!

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Corinne @ RI Nutrition Housecalls November 25, 2011

These bars look great! I love making my own no-bake bars- I don’t usually add the protein powder like you did though- nice idea. I’ve been experimenting with my recipe for awhile now and I’ve discovered the secret ingredient to making them stick together and firm up perfectly in the fridge is to coconut butter to the wet ingredients. Sooooo good! Check out my recipe at: http://rinutritionhousecalls.com/?p=131

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2011

Oh man coconut butter is genius! I have never tried that, but will have to!

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Tiffany@FindingK November 25, 2011

I love your blog! I have made a few of your recipes and they are delish. I just started a blog and hope it’s OK to link to you. Cheers!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2011

Thank you Tiffany! Be my guest :)

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Tiffany@FindingK November 25, 2011

Thank you! I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 32 yrs old so you’re vegan lifestyle is very interesting to me. I try to follow “clean” eating these days. I’m just starting my blog, but plan on expanding upon my experiences in this dept. Any advice is welcome. Cheers!
findingk.blogspot.com

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 25, 2011

I am obsessed with that sunflower seed butter! It tastes really amazing used in a savory stir fry sauce.

Also these bars look great! I’ve been wanting to buy some protein powder to make my own protein bars, since all the packaged ones contain nuts of some kind. I can’t wait to try these!

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Katrina November 25, 2011

These bars sound lovely! I’m in Canada so energy bar posts are fine with me :)

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Moni'sMeals November 25, 2011

These look like the best bars I have ever seen. I would do anything for one! PLEASE. :) Energy now, please….:)

I am eating left over pumpkin pie for breaksfast instead. Thanks for thinking of all of us. No Black Friday shopping for me….what a NIGHTMARE! YUCK! ;)

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Robin November 25, 2011

Sooo Ange—I made the pumpkin gluten free pie with the 425 oven and. . . . it totally turned out! I did have to put the foil ring to keep it from burning, but it turned out great. Seriously! I loved that crust! Thank you:)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2011

I’m happy to hear that Robin!

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Amber K November 25, 2011

Have a great trip! These bars look delicious. I’m still on the hunt for a protein powder that tastes amazing, but doesn’t have any freaky ingredients or items that upset my stomach.

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Char @ www.charskitchen.ca November 25, 2011

I love how easy these bars look! I might make some this weekend just to add to the snacks we keep around the house. Yumm :)

I have to admit I never liked egg nog, so I’m not sure I would care for a dairy-free one. I might try it someday, and when I do I’ll be looking for this recipe! ‘Til then, I love my Christmas-y peppermint mochas :)

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Jenny @ Simply Be...me November 25, 2011

I just discovered sun flower seed butter (Trader Joes brand) and I love it! So creamy and a nice change from peanut butter.

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hannah alehandra November 25, 2011

Safe travels, Angela! The nog looks awesome hehe.xo http://hannahalehandra.blogspot.com/

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laura November 25, 2011

I want me a holly nog smoothie! would be great with some chai too :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2011

Oh that’s a great idea!

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Kit-Kat November 25, 2011

I always loved egg nog before I found out I was lactose intolerant, and also before I became a vegan. Since then, I only add a dash of nutmeg to my soymilk to make a fake nog, or I drink Silk soynog during the holidays (only available during Christmas time).
And I LOVE protein energy bars/granola bars! Oh boy! And I love protein powder too! I use Shaklee protein powder, and that has a HUGE amount of protein per serving (31 grams for 3 tablespoons)…. and it’s vegan! I’m so totally going to make these! Thanks for the recipe! Most “energy bars” don’t have any more than 4 to 6 grams of protein.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2011

I will have to check out that protein powder..I’ve never heard of it before. :)

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Mary November 25, 2011

lol on the gluten-free pie crust recipe. I followed your instructions, but I always watch things pretty carefully when baking/cooking and I didn’t really think much about WHY my crust baked up so QUICKLY. They turned out great! thanks.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2011

Gulp….! I’m glad that you watched the crust. Sorry about the mix up!

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Michelle November 25, 2011

Those look amazing! I’m craving chocolate now :)

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Stacy @ Say It With Sprinkles November 25, 2011

I always have a hard time with granola and oat bars since whether you bake them or not, they always seem to fall apart…so it’s good to hear that the protein powder gives them a little integrity!

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jenna November 25, 2011

Afternoon Angela! I just finished using your recipe for protein bars pretty loosely. I doubled the oats, subbed rice kripspies, halved the liquid sweetener and used maple syrup instead, doubled the nut butter (but I used almond butter plus hot water) and added wheat germ and some nuts. I also made my own chocolate from cocoa powder and coconut oil. They are amazing! Thank you for the inspiration.

I’m not too sure where you’re located in the GTA, but there is a Rawlicious opening in Markham within a week or so if you find yourself in that neck of the woods.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2011

Hey Jenna,

That’s cool I didn’t know another location was opening up for Rawlicious. I still have been meaning to try out the Yorkville location :)

Glad the bars worked for you…great add-ins!

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Em November 25, 2011

Hi Angela! I just love your website! I check it ALL THE TIME. You’ve inspired me to be a vegan too (been vegetarian a yr and two months now). I even brought a vegan cherry pie to Thanksgiving dinner yesterday! :D Keep the posts coming.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 25, 2011

mmm vegan cherry pie sounds amazing! Glad you are enjoying the blog :)

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Lyndsey November 25, 2011

OMG I just made these and they are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!!! YUMM-O. I did not have brown rice crisp so I subbed some Fiber One cereal. Also, used honey instead of brown rice syrup. Sooooo good. Thanks for a great recipe! Definitely a keeper :)

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Heather (Heather's Dish) November 25, 2011

ooooh, the holly nog smoothie is calling my name! so festive and it looks delicious!

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suzanne November 25, 2011

These will be perfect for my kids! I have had the hardest time finding brown rice syrup – do you know of anything else that would work? Maybe I need to break down and order it online…
Can’t wait to try these! Thanks for the great idea!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 26, 2011

I find honey can work in replacement of BRS as it has the same consistency. Enjoy!

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes November 25, 2011

How cool! I need to try both of these recipes! Love :)

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