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I don’t know about you, but for me the end of summer/beginning of fall seems to be an incredibly busy time of the year! School is starting, summer is winding down, the holidays are starting to approach – it’s all happening it seems! I feel like I’ve been on the go pretty much 24/7 lately, so making sure I maintain a healthy diet, exercise, and mental wellness is of great importance to me. Having some tasty, simple, and healthy snacks to enjoy on the go is always a great thing, and these chocolate peanut butter protein bars are hitting the spot for me!
I just so happen to be a vegetarian, and finding new ways to incorporate protein into my daily routine is always a good idea. I was really excited to try out Vega Essentials Shakes. It just so happens that they are available at Target – one of my absolute favorite shopping destinations! It never hurts when I can pick up all of my essentials in one trip – this busy girl has to be smart with her time and energy! You can easily locate Vega Essentials products in the Health section near the pharmacy by the vitamins and other supplements.
Vega Essentials Shakes are a great option for me to blend with some unsweetened almond milk as a morning protein shake, but can also be used in other recipes for some oh so delicious treats! I love that I can take on my day knowing that I already have added a good amount of protein into my diet. I appreciate that the Vega Essentials shakes are made from real, whole food ingredients. A serving happens to have 20 grams of plant-based protein and three servings of greens (just to name a few of the awesome benefits). And with no added sugar or artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners, you can really get on board the health train!
When it comes to healthy choices and a healthy lifestyle, keeping things simple is one of the best things I think you can do for yourself. This can apply to food, to a schedule, and more. I like to plan out my daily routine in advance: it sounds silly, but making a list of items to accomplish each day of the week really keeps me in line. I ALWAYS schedule my workouts. I honestly view them as appointments I make for myself – and I don’t miss appointments. I used to be a little more lax about my workout routine, but once I decided to get serious and schedule out my workout times, it really stuck. Joining a group fitness studio like Pure Barre also helped to keep me active. When you are paying for a membership to a studio of some kind, it really keeps you accountable (plus it can be fun)! When I make my daily schedule I also leave myself some room for relaxation (or wiggle room if I need a little extra time for an activity), and make good choices with my meals. Simple ingredients don’t have to be boring – eating clean most of the time is not only a healthy way to live, but it tastes great too. But hey – I get it: sometimes you really need things that are easy and quick. That’s why options like these protein bars are great to have around. They only take a few minutes to put together, and then you’re all set for a week of energy boosting snacks. Done! I have really been making an effort to reduce the amount of prepackaged food items on hand in my house. If I can create a healthy and delicious snack or meal in just a few minutes, why not take that time out of my day? It’s a no-brainer, and my body thanks me in the end!
What I like about these bars is that they are simple to make, the ingredients are straightforward, and they are a great alternative to prepackaged bars. Plus, can you really go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter? I don’t think so – it’s a flavor combination that ALWAYS works! I like making up a batch of these bars, cutting them up, and taking them along with me on my way to the studio to enjoy before or after Pure Barre class. They give me a boost of protein, healthy fat, and have a little sweet kick of goodness from the chocolate. Yum! You just need a little bit of heat to melt your peanut butter and honey, a spatula to stir everything together, and a container to press it all into. Boom. Done. I had this batch created in about 10 minutes from start to finish (15 if you include cleaning up the dishes afterward) – they are that easy.
It just so happens that there is yet another reason for me (and you) to love Target (and Vega Essentials) – you can save $5 through 10/11/15 of Vega Essentials a Target! You can also find more healthy inspiration on the Vega blog, chat with them on Twitter, see their snaps on Instagram, fan them on Facebook, and see what inspires them on Pinterest.
Do you use protein shakes as part of your daily routine? Do you have any favorite recipes you create in your kitchen?
- 1 cup quick cooking oats
- 3 scoops Vega Essentials Shake (chocolate)
- ½ cup crisped rice cereal
- 1 cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- First, line a 9x9" pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Mix the oats, Vega Essentials Shake powder, and the crisped rice cereal in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, add the peanut butter and honey into a small pot on the stove over medium low heat. Stir until the mixture is completely melted and combined. Remove from heat, then stir in the vanilla.
- Next, pour the peanut butter mixture over the oats and gently stir until combined.
- Pour the mixture into the parchment lined pan. Place an additional piece of parchment paper on top of the bar mixture and gently press to fill the pan evenly. Finally, sprinkle the mini chocolate chips on top of the bars and use the parchment to gently press them into the top.
- Place the bars in the refrigerator to set for at least 30 minutes before removing from the pan to slice and serve. Keep any leftovers refrigerated - enjoy!