Protein Pumpkin Bars

Craving something sweet?  Here’s an old-fashioned recipe with a Fitnfab spin on it!  In the midst of intense training, we’re all looking for ways to up our protein intake.  What better way to do this than with a dessert that will make us nostalgic for our childhood.  Indulge in this yummy dessert without feeling like you’ve completely blown your diet.

Protein Pumpkin Bars

An old-fashioned dessert turned into an energizing treat!

An old-fashioned dessert turned into an energizing treat!

1 cup Egg Beaters

1  2/3 cup Natural Cane Sugar

1 cup Unsweetened Applesauce

15-0z can Pumpkin

1  3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour

2 tbsp Ground Flax Seed or Flax Meal

1 scoop Vanilla Flavored Whey Protein Powder

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Salt

2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Icing:

8-oz package Fat Free Cream Cheese, softened

1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, softened

2 cups sifted Confectioner’s Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

**I think of the icing as a real treat so to make this even less of a splurge cut out the icing completely and top with Vanilla Greek Yogurt.  This will also add more protein to the bars.  I only use the icing for special occasions.  You could also cut the icing recipe in half.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine Egg Beaters, sugar, applesauce, and pumpkin until light and fluffy.

3. Stir together the flour, flax seed, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth.

4. Spread the batter into a sprayed (no calorie cooking spray) 9×13 inch baking pan.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Let cool completely before adding icing or Greek yogurt.

5.  If making the icing:  Combine the cream cheese and butter in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined.  Stir in vanilla and mix again.

Makes 24 bars.

Enjoy!

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