Recipe by Joy McCarthy, author of Joyous Health: Eat and Live Well Without Dieting
Photography by Paul Buceta

The protein-to-flavor ratio on these babies gets our seal of approval. Not only are they made with mouth-watering, satisfying ingredients like almond butter and shredded coconut, but they score big points in both the muscle-building and muscle-repair departments with every bite. They’re perfect for breakfast or as a pre- or post-workout snack, and they also freeze beautifully, so you can make a batch for the week and know that you have something healthy to reach for when a craving hits.

CHOCOLATE PROTEIN SQUARES

Prep time: 15 min  •  Total time: 40 min  •  Makes 20 servings

3 cups raw oats (soaked for 2 hours to
increase digestibility), or quick-cooking rolled oats
(do not soak)
• 1 cup chocolate plant-based protein powder
• ½ cup sunflower seeds
• ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
• ½ cup dark chocolate chips or raw cacao nibs
• ½ cup chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans

• ¼ cup coconut sugar
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 cup almond butter or sunflower seed butter
• ¼ cup coconut oil
• ½ cup almond milk
• 2 Tbsp real maple syrup
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

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1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13×9-inch baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, combine oats, protein powder, sunflower seeds, coconut, chocolate chips, almonds,
sugar and cinnamon; mix well.
3. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt almond butter and coconut oil. Add to dry ingredients;
add almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir until fully combined.
4. Pour batter into the baking dish and press it down evenly with wet hands. Bake for 15 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Cut bars into your desired size and transfer them to a
greased cookie sheet. Bake for another 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.