Chocolate Apple Protein Bars

I absolutely love chocolate covered protein bars. Sadly, many store-bought bars have less optimal macros; too many聽carbs, too much fat and not enough protein.聽For this reason, I came up with this recipe 馃檪


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Ingredients:

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 340 g (1 1/3 cups) apple sauce (cooked, mashed apples, ideally without added sugar)

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 150 g pea protein powder

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 70 g dark chocolate

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 5 servings no-calorie sweetener (I used sucralose)

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 water


Directions:

1.聽聽聽聽聽 Combine pea protein and the sweetener and mix thoroughly

2.聽聽聽聽聽 Add apple sauce and mix until you get a sticky, homogeneous mixture. If the mixture is too dry (It has to be a bit dry, like the texture of a protein bar), add water slowly until you get the desired texture.

3.聽聽聽聽聽 Separate the mixture into 5 equal parts

4.聽聽聽聽聽 Use a measuring cup to shape the bars; Take a measuring cup (1/3 cup), put a piece of cling film in and fill with 1/5 of the mixture. Compress the mixture firmly inside the measuring cup. Pull on the cling film to remove the bar from the cup. Repeat it with remaining mixture parts.

5.聽聽聽聽聽 Put chocolate on a plate and melt it carefully in the microwave (dont overheat it)

6.聽聽聽聽聽 Dip the bars into the chocolate from different sides until it is completely covered

7.聽聽聽聽聽 Place the bars on parchment paper and wait until the chocolate sets. You can speed up the process by placing the bars into a freezer or fridge

8.聽聽聽聽聽 Keep the bars in the fridge


Makes 5 bars.

Approx. nutritional info per bar:235 kcal/ 14 g carbs/ 26 g protein/ 8 g fat


Need more low calorie, high protein, macro-friendly recipes? Then check out my

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies

Forget meal replacement shakes. Meal replacement cookie is the real thing! You can have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each cookie contains exactly the amount of protein that is required to maximize muscle protein synthesis. Carbs and fat聽are kept reasonably low, so that you can even have it on a cutting diet.


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Ingredients

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 150 g wheat flour

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 150 g pea protein powder

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 100 g crunchy peanut butter

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 tsp. (2.5 g) baking powder

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽200 mg (1 mini scoop)聽sucralose (or any other no-calorie sweetener. However, you will need to readjust the amount)

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 20 g dark chocolate chips (or diced dark chocolate)

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 300 ml (1 1/3 cups)聽water


 

Directions

1.聽聽聽聽聽 Mix all dry ingredients except chocolate chips in a big bowl

2.聽聽聽聽聽 Add water and mix thoroughly until you obtain a dough-like texture

3.聽聽聽聽聽 Add chocolate chips and knead them into the dough

4.聽聽聽聽聽 Divide the dough into 5 equal parts (about 140 g each)

5.聽聽聽聽聽 Roll each part into ball and squeeze them to form cookies

6.聽聽聽聽聽 Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with baking paper

7.聽聽聽聽聽 Bake for 15-20 min at 180 C/ 350 F


Makes 5 cookies.

Approx. nutritional content for 1 cookie: 374 kcal/ 27 g carbs/ 32 g protein/ 15 g fat


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High Protein Low Carb Pumpkin Seed Bread

Do you want to lose fat without losing muscle while eating food you enjoy? If so, then my new creation is right for you: High Protein Pumpkin Seed Bread! It is so beautifully green (the dream creation of every chemist)聽and the macros are amazing: 202 kcal/聽4 g聽carbs/ 31 g protein/ 6 g fat. Another great thing about it is that you need less than 5 minutes to prepare it, as you can cook it in the microwave.


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Ingredients:

  • 30 g fat-reduced pumpkin seed flour (100 g of the flour contains 10-20 g fat and 50-65 g protein, depending on the brand. You can get it from myprotein.com. I got mine from ‘Reformhaus’, a German health food shop chain)
  • 20 g vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 75 ml water
  • spices or no-calorie sweetener (depending on if you want to create a savoury or sweet version. As I like sweet food, I used 2 servings of vanilla FlavDrops from myprotein)

Directions:

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl
  2. Add water and聽mix thoroughly聽(if you use liquid sweetener, add it to the water first)
  3. You should get a kind of very soft bun
  4. Microwave (high heat) for 2-2.5 min
  5. Let the bread cool down, remove from the bowl and cut into slices
  6. Enjoy

Gives 1 serving. Approx. nutritional info per serving: 202 kcal/聽4 g聽carbs/ 31 g protein/ 6 g fat


If you prefer a more cake-like texture and you have some free room in your macros, you could add some wheat flour to the mixture. Then the bread/cake will be more fluffy, with a texture similar to that of a sponge cake.



High Protein Low Carb Pumpkin Seed Sponge Cake


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Ingredients:

  • 30 g fat-reduced pumpkin seed flour
  • 20 g vital wheat gluten
  • 15 g wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 100 ml water
  • no-calorie sweetener (I used 2 servings of vanilla FlavDrops from myprotein)

Directions:

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl
  2. Add water and聽mix thoroughly聽(if you use liquid sweetener, add it to the water first)
  3. You should get a mushy mixture like the one in the picture below.

    File_000 (13).jpeg


  4. Microwave (high heat) for 2-2.5 min.
  5. Let the bread cool down, remove it聽from the bowl聽by turning the bowl. The cake may stick to the bowl, so loosening it聽from the bowl using a knife helps.

    File_001 (1).jpegFile_002

  6. Cut it into slices and enjoy 馃檪

Gives 1 serving. Approx. nutritional info per serving: 258 kcal/聽14 g聽carbs/ 32 g protein/ 6 g fat


Need more low calorie, high protein, macro-friendly recipes? Then check out my

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High Protein Breakfast Cereals

Breakfast cereals are a great option for a quick and easy breakfast… only if most weren’t full of sugar, had a sufficient amount of protein and had less of the crappy ingredients. There is only one way around it: Do it yourself! 馃檪 This cereal recipe is full of protein, full of fiber and of course, absolutely delicious!


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Ingredients:
– 150 g oats
– 100 g rice protein
– 50 g pea protein
– 150 g VitaFiber
– 33 g coconut oil
– 1 tsp. (5 g) xanthan gum
– 5 servings (as directed on the package) non-calorie sweetener (I used vanilla FlavDrops from myprotein)
– 150 ml water

Optional: 1-2 tsp. cinnamon


Directions:
1. Combine all dry ingredients and mix well
2. Add melted coconut oil and mix well (I used hand blender with dough hooks for mixing)
3. Add water slowly and continue mixing until a cereal-like texture is formed
4. Spread the cereals on a baking tray lined with baking paper
5. Bake at 200C/ 400F for 20-30 min until golden brown (take out every 5-10 min and stir)
Makes 5 servings.


Approx. nutritional composition per serving: 349 kcal/ 25 g carbs/ 28 g protein/ 9 g fat/ 31 g fiber

Tip: I add chia seeds to the cereal mixture after baking to enhance the satiating effect of the cereals (they soak and create more bulk) and increase my omega 3 fatty acid intake. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential and super important 馃檪

Air, Water & Fiber – secret ingredients for leanness

I am cutting. Do you know what this means? It means hunger, aggression and never ending cravings鈥t least for most people, but not for me. When I am on a weight loss diet I am never hungry…well almost never, unless I screw up my meal timing, because I am too busy doing science 馃槢

Do you wonder how I manage it not to be hungry in caloric deficit? – It’s all about the right food choices. I know what you think now, we heard it 1000 times; eat veggies, don’t eat junk food, reduce sugar and all the other blablabla鈥

Now hold on for a few seconds and think about it. What do most of the usual recommendations have in common? There are two major things: reduce calories and increase food volume.

There are 3 ‘magic’ food components that can do both – air, water and fiber (and you can get them for (almost) free! you don’t need to pay lots of money for fancy, useless fat burners). Air and water have zero calories. Fiber has a few, however, much less than other nutrients, as it isn’t broken down by our bodies. Our gut bacteria use fiber as energy supply and convert the leftovers into short chain fatty acids that are taken up by our bodies to support many important processes; increased satiety is one of them. Fiber is great!

For this reason, fibrous vegetables and low-sugar fruits are great food choices when you want to lose weight. Of course, you already know that fruits and veggies are good for health and weight loss.

What I want to show you are some unconventional foods that reduce hunger and help you to make your weight loss diet more sustainable.
I love fat-reduced coconut flour! It has 40 g fiber per 100 g! That’s a lot, for this reason it is super satiating. The residual macros aren’t too bad either, about 20 g of each, carbs, protein and fat.

However, you can’t have it all. Preparing food with coconut flour is a bit tricky, because of its high fiber content and its chalkiness. My solution to this problem is xanthan gum (have I already mentioned that I love it?). Whenever I use coconut flour for my recipes, I combine it with xanthan gum, which gives a more sticky or creamy texture.

Check out what I use coconut flour for:

Breakfast bowl – Super satiating, delicious and has pretty decent macros: 283 kcal/ 15 g carbs/ 32 g protein/ 10 g fat/ 18 g fiber

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Breakfast bowl – high protein & fiber @macrosorcery

 

 

Recipe: Mix 33 g coconut flour, 33 g white hemp protein, 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum & 1 serving vanilla FlavDrops (from myprotein) and top with 100 g strawberries (<- low-sugar fruits, lots of water, fiber and not too many calories *hint* )

Quick bars – amazing as a quick meal and a great option for traveling (you don’t want to eat all the crap you usually get on the way, really). You can even dice the bars and use them as breakfast cereal replacement (don’t forget to top with strawberries, strawberries are great! 馃槈 )
Approx. nutritional info: 267 kcal/ 10 g carbs/ 33 g protein/ 10 g fat/ 15 g fiber

bars blog
Quick protein-fiber bars @macrosorcery

Recipe:
Ingredients: 300 g white hemp protein (you can use green hemp if you add more cacao powder), 250 g coconut flout (fat reduced)鈥, 25 g cacao powder, 10 g xanthan gum鈥, a pinch of salt鈥, no-calorie sweetener (optional, but recommended) & 650-750 ml liquid
Directions: 鈥1. Mix all dry ingredients鈥 2. Add water slowly why mixing the mixture with a hand mixer鈥 3. Knead the mixture with you hands until it gets a sticky-ish texture 鈥4. Divide in 8 equal portions 鈥5. Compress and wrap the bars: Put some cling foil into a measuring cup, put in one mixture portion, press firmly, take it out (just pull up the cling film) and close the cling film

Ok, got it. It’s not too hard to increase fiber and water content of my diet. But how the heck do I get air into my food?
Also for this I have a solution: my zero calorie fluff. As I already mentioned above, xanthan gum is great! It is great for creaminess, stickiness and for creating air in water emulsions (have I ever mentioned that my PhD was on creating emulsions 馃槈 ). Xanthan gum allows you to create air bubbles that are surrounded by water = fluff. What you eat is basically air and water! What you need now is adding flavor to your zero calorie fluff (eating just air and water is somehow boring in my opinion). This is how my beloved zero calorie coffee fluff was born!

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Zero calorie fluff @macrosorcery

You will find the detailed emulsification protocol in my new recipe book. -> Coming out very, very soon! To stay up to data, subscribe to my email list (if you haven’t yet).

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Sucralose, Stevia & Co – I love you, my sugar babies

Hey you, what’s your take on no-calorie sweeteners?

do they help you or do they kill you?
do they make you lose weight or gain weight?
do they reduce cravings or do they produce cravings?

But first, if “kill you” was your answer to the first question, there is one thing you should know: There is no solid evidence that artificial sweeteners are harmful to humans.

聽聽 聽Just a kind reminder, we aren’t rats! We are NOT rats! The studies that suggested that artificial sweeteners to be harmful were conducted on animals.聽

Are artificial sweeteners healthy? Well, I guess it depends on your definition of health. If you struggle with the issue on how to define “health” (I know, it is a highly philosophical question that concerns some pubmed warriors after reading thousands of abstracts), there is one thing you can be sure of; some sweeteners are definitely healthier than sugar for your teeth.
Erythritol, I love you, my sugar baby鈥..oh sugar baby鈥.

As I write for my macrosorcery blog and not my sciencestrength blog,聽 I don’t want to dig deep into research literature and do a scientific discussion about health effects of various sweeteners. There is plenty of info available on no-calorie sweeteners (however, choose your sources carefully, no woo pages, please).

Here I want to explain some real-life related no-calorie sweetener issues.

So let’s start:

I am sure you have heard before that no-calorie sweeteners make you gain weight, right? Hmmm鈥.but most artificial sweeteners have no calories. Where does the weight come from?

Now think hard. When was the last time you have taken a big spoon, dug it deep into a container with sweetener, have taken a big heaped spoon out, put it delightful into your mouth and enjoyed it to the full?
So, when was the last time? You can’t remember? Oh, you have never done it before? – That’s it!

Most of the time you don’t eat plain sweetener. You add it to food, and food is what adds calories to your budget. Even if the food you choose is not high in calories, stuff adds up!
Many small pieces make up a big piece, many, many crumbles make up a cake, many, many low calorie food portions add up to lots of calories.

The psychological issue many people have is that they assume that if something has fewer calories, they can eat more of it. But at the end, it cancels out:

a small amount of high calorie food = a lot of low calorie food

But what about sweetened drinks, such as artificially sweetened soft drinks? They have basically no calories.

And this when the craving issue becomes important. Do no-calorie sweeteners reduce craving or do they produce cravings?

Does this sound familiar to you: When you eat a lot of sugar, you also crave sugary food. Then you decide to reduce or to eliminate all the sweet junk from your diet (new year resolutions *wink, wink*), then, after a few days of suffering and painful withdrawal you suddenly stop craving sugar.

The majority of people love the sweet taste, that’s the way we evolved, that’s what we got used to growing up (just think of kids rewarded for good behavior with cookies) and that’s what signals “REWARD” to our brains.

No-calorie sweeteners are sweet (I know, it’s obvious). Why should we stop loving the sweet taste just because it comes from a sweetener that has a different chemical structure than sugar?

You crave what you eat! If you consume a ton of sweet stuff, you carve sweets. If you don’t like it, break this habit.

As with everything in life – common sense is the key.

“The dose makes the poison”鈥
鈥 or the dimension of your sweet cravings.

Enough blablabla? You want to see what sweeteners I use for my recipes? Here we go, enjoy in moderation 馃槈 sweetener chart

Top 5 essentials for diet-friendly recipes

Eating cake every day and looking lean at the same time?

You want it.

I want it.

Everyone wants it!

The only problem is that the nutrients that make cakes, doughnuts and basically all dessert so delicious, are sugar and fat. Sugar and fat give food the amazing taste, sugar and fat make us feel good when we eat it, but sugar and fat are actually the ingredients most people want to avoid for their sake of the own health and a hot body.聽 Do you see the problem?

Do we really need to decide on what is more important for us, delicious desserts or looking good?

No, the genius solution is to replace the “bad ingredients”* by those that are good for your goals (a hot body, baby!) creating low-calorie & high-protein junk food 馃榾

Does it sound like magic, a dream, something from another world? – not with macrosorcery!

Curious where I get my ideas for macrosorcery recipes? Just in case you didn’t know, I am a trained synthetic chemist – the modern version of a wizard! I created fluorescent neurotransmitters for medical research, synthesized anti-tuberculosis drugs and worked on molecules to fight cancer.

My “healthy junk food”* experiments are easy-peasy compared to my previous research projects.

So, let’s get started…here I am going to share my top 5 essentials for macros-friendly replacements with you:

  1. Non-calorie sweeteners: Do you remember, I mentioned above that sugar makes food taste good? Non-calorie sweeteners mimic sugar’s function (making food sweet) without adding calories. This is ideal for diet-friendly recipes. The type and the amount of the used sweetener depends on the individual taste and the recipe you want to use it for. I will address this topic in a blog post in the future.
  2. Flavoring: Flavoring drops, liquids and powders are amazing for giving foods the desired taste. You can create food with caramel flavor without actually making caramel using tons of sugar and butter. Just a few vanilla flavor drops make cakes, creams and pancakes taste great. Of course, the best thing would be to scrape out a vanilla pod. However, who has the time and patience to do it every day (also, it is more expensive than flavor drops/liquids)? By the way, be careful when selecting your flavorings. Sometimes it takes some time to find a product that tastes really good. My favorites are vanilla, chocolate, toffee and white chocolate flavor drops from “myprotein”. Also, Dr. Oetker flavors are usually better than other brands.
  3. Cacao powder: It is amazing to mask all the non-tasty ingredients, such as green hemp protein with its earthy taste. Also, it is great to satisfy the cravings of chocoholics without adding lots of calories to the energy balance due to excessive chocolate consumption. I use plain cacao powder without added sugar (the cacao powder for baking). It also has reasonable macros with about 10 g carbs, 20 g protein and 20 g fat per 100 g. I even use it as additional protein source.
  4. Xanthan gum: Guys, xanthan gum is amazing! It is like a gift sent from cooking gods! Xanthan gum is a thickening agent and can replace fat. It is often used in food industry to thicken low fat sauces and puddings. Also, xanthan gum is great for gluten-free baking as it acts as a binding agent too (basically, it can replace gluten). When you use xanthan gum for your recipes, add just a tiny amount (~1g per serving), too much will result in a “flubbery” texture. Another important note: don’t dump a container with xanthan gum!! It’s really painful to clean it up. When xanthan gum gets in contact with water it becomes soapy and slimy.
  5. Protein powder: Protein powder is great for fixing the biggest macros mistakes. If you don’t know how to balance and fit your macros, check out my sciencestrength blog post on this topic. As some of you may know, I really dislike protein shakes, I make protein desserts or protein cakes instead. Honestly, why drink a shake if you can eat a cake? I will put in a great protein cake recipe in my upcoming summer recipe ebook.

And here is what you can do with all the 5 ingredients combined: Strawberry-Chocolate-Protein Roll with 32 g protein per serving 馃檪

prtoein cake

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* Disclaimer:聽 I know there aren’t any bad foods per se and that it’s mostly the amount of certain foods consumed that leads to health problems (except if you use cyanide as seasoning). I am a scientist and familiar with the research on this topic. However, from time to time I just want to write something where I don’t need to provide clear definitions for all the terms I use and support all my statements with references in form of peer-reviewed papers…

 

 

Free recipe ebook

Just a quick reminder, have you received your copy of my free ebook yet? It is full of useful tips and delicious, healthy recipes:

  • Doughnuts
  • Pancakes
  • Cinnamon Flower Rolls
  • Blueberry Cheesecake
  • Carrot Cake Cupcakes
  • Chocolate Whipped Cream

All of the recipes are high in protein, without added sugar and contain more fiber than their “conventional” variants!

Sign up to my list and your free copy! Don’t delay!

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Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Staying lean in summer while enjoying ice cream all the time? Does this sound like a dream? – Not with the creations for my new summer project: bikini body friendly recipe ebook for the hot days. Let’s kick off the project with Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream – incredibly delicious, lower in calories and higher in nutrients than conventional ice cream. Try it!


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Ingredients

  • 150 g frozen blueberries
  • 200 ml almond milk (non-sweetened)
  • 1/4 tsp. cheesecake flavor
  • 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 serving non-calorie sweetener

 


Directions

  1. Put all ingredients into a food processor with a s-blade.
  2. Process for 30-60 seconds.
  3. Enjoy 馃檪

 

Approx. nutritional information: 78 kcal/ carbs – 11 g/ protein – 2 g/ fat – 2.5 g

By the way, did you get your free recipe book yet? If not, just subscribe to my list to receive it in your welcome email 馃榾

Gluten-free protein rolls

After a series of experiments I am happy to announce that I finally created a gluten-free protein bread recipe 馃檪 Of course, I took care on a balanced amino acid profile as well 馃槈 These rolls are not as fluffy as my gains rolls, but have a denser, more ‘scones-like’ texture. Just one roll makes a great anti-hunger meal that keeps you satiated and happy for hours 馃檪


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Ingredients

  • 150 g oat flour (you can make it yourself by processing porridge oats with a stick blender)
  • 100 g soy flour
  • 100 g rice protein
  • 100 g pea protein
  • 65 g flax meal
  • 25 g (2 tbsp.) baking powder
  • 10 g (2 tsp.) xanthan gum
  • 2 g (1/2 tsp.) salt
  • 480 ml ( 2 cup) water

 


Directions

  1. Mix all dry ingredients.
  2. Add water slowly and mix thoroughly (use hand mixer with dough hooks if you have one).
  3. Knead the dough by hand until it becomes smooth and sticky. (Important step!)
  4. Shape 7 rolls.
  5. Put them on a baking tray or in a casserole dish and cover it with a second (flat) tray or a lid. Baking in a ‘closed container’ is crucial to prevent rolls from drying out.
  6. Bake for 20-25 min at 200C (400F). Turn after 10 min.

Makes 7 rolls.

Nutritional info per 1 roll: 297 kcal/ C 鈥 22 g/ P 鈥 33 g/ F 鈥 9 g

Tip: You can prep scones at the weekend and freeze them.