Many people give up on their fitness goals because they grow tired of eating the same meal five times a day, seven days a week. After all, gym-goers seem to associate a "clean-eating diet" with bland, uninspired meals, like plain chicken breast, brown rice, and steamed asparagus.
Here's the thing: satisfying your taste buds and healthy eating are not mutually exclusive. With a little creativity and portion control, there are countless ways to make your food taste good while sticking to your calorie and macronutrient needs.
To get you off on the right foot, we went ahead and crafted a handful of delicious high-protein recipes to try out with the award-winning Authentic Bar!
Ingredients to Make Recipes "Healthier"
Arguably the most tricky obstacle people face when maintaining a healthy diet is learning how to make "clean food" taste good. In reality, you can transform just about any recipe into a nutritious snack, entree, or dessert with a few adjustments; even traditional desserts like pumpkin pie can be "fit-friendly" with subtle ingredient swaps.
Here's a quick overview of why swapping out traditional calorie-dense ingredients can make a significant difference in your diet, especially if you're trying to lose weight:
- Unsweetened Applesauce -> Replaces Vegetable Oils and Butter
- Unsweetened applesauce is relatively low in calories and high in vitamin C. It adds moisture to recipes that would otherwise call for oil and butter.
- The natural sugars in applesauce provide plenty of sweetness when making healthy quick breads, cakes, and many other dessert recipes.
- Applesauce can typically replace oil and butter in a 1:1 ratio in recipes.
- Swapping out ¼ cup of vegetable oil for ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce shaves a whopping 455 calories and 56 grams of fat off a recipe! Impressive, eh?
- Note: swapping out a large amount of butter for applesauce may alter the final recipe's consistency. Experimentation will be necessary in some cases.
- Flaxseed Meal -> Replaces Oils, Flour, and Whole Eggs
- Flaxseeds are a rich source of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids that are revered for their myriad health benefits . Flaxseed meal is useful in cooking and baking since it's a versatile, gluten-free alternative to conventional flour.
- Flaxseed meal can replace oils, flour, and whole eggs in pretty much any recipe.
- In general, 3 tbsp of flaxseed meal can replace 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in recipes.
- When substituting flaxseed meal for flour, reduce the flour content by 1/2 to 3/4 cup and replace with an equal amount of flaxseed meal. Since flaxseed meal is high in soluble fiber, you'll need to add a bit more liquid than the original recipe calls for to get the right consistency.
- If using flaxseed meal in place of whole eggs, mix 1 tbsp flaxseed meal in 3 tbsp water and let sit for a few minutes until it thickens into a viscous, gel-like consistency. This mixture can replace one whole egg and imparts a slightly chewier texture (great for sweetbreads and pie).
- Oats/Oat Flour -> Replaces All-Purpose Flour
- Many baking recipes call for unbleached, enriched flour, but oat flour (a fine powder made from whole oats) can step up to the plate and do the job just as well.
- Oats are high in fiber and iron, and gluten-free oats are a perfect alternative for those with wheat allergy/sensitivity.
- You can make your own oat flour at home with raw quick oats — simply add the quick oats to a blender and grind them up into a fine powder.
- When a recipe calls for 2 cups of flour, try swapping out 1 cup of flour for oat flour. If you replace all of the flour with oat flour, the final product will have a nuttier taste and a mushier texture.
- Stevia and Trehalose -> Replaces Granluated Sugar
- Stevia extract contains two of Mother Nature's sweetest natural zero-calorie sugar replacements, stevioside and rebaudioside A. Unlike many non-nutritive sweeteners, stevia extract is not synthetically produced.
- Trehalose is a slightly sweet, naturally occurring disaccharide similar to maltose that differs only in the position of the carbon-carbon bond between adjacent glucose molecules. The slight change in structure is suggested to give trehalose neuroprotective and possibly metabolic-support properties . In conjunction with a stevia extract, trehalose is an excellent substitute for granulated sugar in many recipes.
- When using pure stevia extract in recipes, note that 1/8th tsp equals the sweetness of roughly 2 tsp of baker's sugar. Trehalose can be swapped for baker's sugar in a 2:1 ratio (e.g. 1 tsp of baker's sugar = 2 tsp of trehalose powder).
3 High-Protein Recipes to Indulge Your Taste Buds
The following high-protein recipes put the Jacked Factory Authentic Bar to good use and include several of the "lighter" ingredients mentioned above. In our experience, the hardest part is resisting the temptation to eat all the Authentic Bars before making these recipes!
S'mores High-Protein Ice Cream Blizzard
This satisfying and straightforward high-protein ice cream blizzard is a cinch to make after a hard day's work.
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
What You'll Need (Makes 1 Serving):
All you need is one Authentic Bar S'mores Flavor and half a pint of low-calorie chocolate ice cream, such as Arctic Zero or Halo Top.
- Thaw ice cream until it's soft enough to swirl with a spoon — about 10 minutes.
- While you're waiting for the ice cream to thaw, place an unwrapped Authentic Bar on a small cutting board and use a knife to chop it into 1/4-1/8" cubed chunks. Alternatively, you can use your fingers to break the bar up into small pieces.
- Once the ice cream is soft (but not melting), transfer 1 cup (1/2 pint) into a bowl and top with the Authentic Bar chunks.
- Stir the mixture until the ice cream has a swirl texture.
- Dig in! (Note: You can put the bowl back in the freezer for a few minutes if you want the ice cream to be a bit cooler.)
Calories & Macros Per Serving*:
- 420 calories
- 19 g fat
- 7 g sat fat
- 50 g carb (27 g sugar)
- 35 g net carb
- 24 g protein
*Nutrition facts based on using 1/2 pint of Halo Top Chocolate Flavor ice cream
Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
We've all had that urge to eat cookie dough straight from the wrapper. Unfortunately, conventional cookie dough is loaded with sugar and saturated fat (and not the safest to eat raw since it usually contains eggs). The good news is that healthy edible cookie dough is possible, and it's every bit as satisfying as its traditional calorie-laden counterpart.
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
What You'll Need (Makes 4 Servings):
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 3/4 cup oat flour
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (melted)
- 4 tbsp unsweetened almond milk (or skim milk)
- 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tbsp flaxseed meal
- 4 tbsp trehalose powder
- 1 tsp stevia extract
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 Authentic Bars Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, stir together all ingredients except Authentic Bars using a non-stick spatula or whisk.
- Chop unwrapped Authentic Bars into chocolate-chip sized chunks using a knife. Alternatively, you can use your fingers to break the bars up into small pieces.
- Stir in Authentic Bar pieces. Serve or chill in the fridge for a firmer dough.
Calories & Macros Per Serving (~1/3 cup):
- 415 calories
- 22 g fat
- 4 g sat fat
- 39 g carb (16 g sugar)
- 35 g net carb
- 16 g protein
No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies
When you're in a pinch for time and craving a timeless sweet-and-salt flavor combination, these healthy no-bake chocolate PB pretzel cookies have your taste buds covered. They are perfect for a mid-day snack or dessert!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
What You'll Need (Makes 1 dozen small cookies):
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 2 tbsp flaxseed meal
- 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup almond milk (or skim milk)
- 1/2 cup trehalose powder
- 1/2 tsp stevia extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 Authentic Bars Kitchen Sink flavor
- In a medium saucepan, combine milk, sugar/trehalose, applesauce, flaxseed, and cocoa powder to a boil for one minute, stirring throughout.
- Remove pan from heat, then add peanut butter, stevia, and vanilla extract and stir until smooth.
- Stir in rolled oats, chopped Authentic Bar chunks, and sea salt.
- Drop mixture by spoonfuls onto waxed paper and let cool completely. Cookies will harden as they cool. Store in an air-tight container on the counter or in the fridge for up to five days.
Calories & Macros Per Serving (2 cookies):
- 420 calories
- 13 g fat
- 4.5 g sat fat
- 34 g carb (16 g sugar)
- 29 g net carb
- 12 g protein
Grab a Box (or Three) of Authentic Bars to Make These Delicious High-Protein Recipes!
And there you have it! Three delectable and guilt-free high-protein recipes you can make with the Jacked Factory Authentic Bar to satisfy your cravings.
Don't forget about the ingredient substitutions mentioned above; they will come in handy for future healthy recipes you have in mind.
Now, head to the Jacked Factory store and grab your favorite flavors of Authentic Bars! These protein bars are made with real-food ingredients that don't slow you down. Best of all, they're taste-bud friendly and packed with high-quality whey protein isolate!