Truthfully, I couldn’t make my mind up on the title of this recipe. It’s so much like cake, soft and sweet, I was tempted to call it Lemon Poppy Cake. But with 30% calories from protein (and all the people looking for homemade protein bars) I decided to go with calling them Lemon Poppy Protein Bars. Either way, this is tasty enough to enjoy as a sweet dessert, and healthy enough to enjoy without an ounce of guilt, even for breakfast. This is a strong statement: but I’d even use it for birthday cake.
While writing the answer to the “gluten-free” question I just posted, I remembered that I got a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour from iherb.com during the shopping spree they so generously gave me. So I made two batches of the lemon poppy protein bars, one with regular whole wheat flour, and one with the gluten free. I anxiously waited while the lemony sweet smell filled the kitchen while they baked. And…. they are indistinguishable from the original! I called my husband for a blinded taste test, and he couldn’t tell a difference either. So much for all I’ve heard about gluten-free baked good being so hard to make. (?!) So if you have a wheat allergy or gluten intolerance, you can make these with gluten-free flour with delectable results!
Lemon Poppy Protein Bars
• Cooking oil spray
• 1 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour (or gluten free flour)
• 2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
• 1 cup Splenda granulated or 2/3 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons lemon zest
• 1½ cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt
• ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
• 1 tablespoon canola or macadamia nut oil
• 2 ½ teaspoons lemon extract
• 2 eggs
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat a 9×13″ pan thoroughly with cooking oil spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, whey, Splenda, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and zest; stir to mix.
3. In a separate large mixing bowl, stir together yogurt, applesauce, oil, lemon extract, and egg. Add dry ingredients to wet ones, and stir just until uniformly moistened. Pour batter into pan.
4. Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not overbake. Cool 5 minutes before slicing. To keep moist, wrap each bar in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator or freezer. Microwave briefly to reheat.
Makes 12 servings
Per serving: 125 calories, 3 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 15 g total carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar, 10 g protein, 261 mg sodium.