Before I get into the recipe I just want to share an update to my Hardcore Hottie Finalist post, I finished in second place and although it was a close race, I was edged out in votes by a bit. I really want to thank everyone that voted for me and supported my journey, I am super stoked to have finished so close to first place and congratulate everyone that participated – we’re all winners regardless of placing.
Back to baking. Oh-Em-Gee I just made the mother of all protein recipes. For reals. I’ve always called these cookies haystacks but I guess there’s lots of different names for them. They’re balls of oatmeal and coconut that are covered in a chocolate goo and then they harden up…sorta…so I made a protein packed version that also happens to be FREE OF SUGAR, GLUTEN, EGGS AND DAIRY, huzzah!
They’ve never really been my favourite cookies (actually I’ve never made them once so they’re completely off my radar) but this morning I set out to make a protein granola bar, ended up screwing it up and these were the result. Not bad if I do say so myself. It’s like when Leonardo da Vinci set out to paint a picture of a horse and ended up with the Mona Lisa. Joke. I’m joking.
Start out by mixing together all your ingredients EXCEPT THE COCOA in a bowl. It makes it easier if they’re in order also. You can use a spoon, hand-mixer or Kitchen-Aid, pick your poison. Obviously the power options are easier on the arms but who doesn’t like a good arm workout, am I right?
Mix everything together thoroughly and then sprinkle the cocoa over last and continue to mix.
Normally, you would ball up traditional haystacks and lay them on waxed paper to somewhat solidify but because these are a lot stickier than traditional haystacks, I balled these up and lay them in rows in a greased 13×9 baking dish (you could also do it on parchment paper lined baking sheets) and baked them at 350F for 8-10 minutes and they came out PERFECT. Seriously, perfection.
Protein Haystacks (free from sugar, gluten, dairy and eggs)
Makes 32 cookies
2 & 1/2 cups steel cut oats
1 & 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut, flakes or shredded
1 cup chocolate whey protein powder
6 tablespoons all-natural nut butter, softened (the kind that has ONLY nuts as an ingredient)
1 cup coconut or almond milk (I used coconut)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
I’ve been in the tractor A LOT lately and these along with the Chocolate Protein Muffins have been staples for me this past week. Prepping and planning ahead helps you make great food choices! Happy summer, Kim.