What to do when new is not improved.

Recently many of my favourite products have been either discontinued or 'reformulated' or given a new recipe or changed so much so that the new version is nothing like the old version. Don't get me wrong, I love change. I love new landscapes, new countries, new languages, new foods, but there are some things I wish could stay the same. 

Why do companies do this?  And why all my favourites at once? Profits I guess. Or just for the sake of change.

Which products am I lamenting? Well, my favourite go-to lipstick that I've worn for 10+ years. It's a pretty shade of neutral peachy-pink from Revlon - Blushed.  I went to fetch a new one and almost overnight it had vanished in the shops and online.  

The second recent disappearance is my absolutely most favourite lip-gloss. Again, I've worn it for years. Rimmel's cheap and cheerful 'Non-Stop Glamour'. They still offer this colour, but in another formula and it's just not the same.

The upside of these lip products disappearing is that it will make me switch to 'greener', healthier options- but first I have to find the right colour and formula -  I'm getting close, but details are for another day. 

The third product is the one protein bar that worked for me. Arbonne made a protein bar that in terms of flavour, texture, minimal sweetness, and the ability to actually serve as a meal substitute in a pinch was perfect.  They were pricey, but worth it. Last week I noticed that I was down to the last couple of bars. I keep one in my purse and one in my gym bag at all times since I often forget to eat.  As I went to re-order a couple of boxes I discovered that they had changed, dramatically. The new recipe didn't seem to be even remotely close to the original. I'm not even going to try. 

Hunting for a new bar supplier involves suffering through reading countless labels, and not even being tempted to see how they taste. You may be surprised to learn how many of them have way too much sugar -  making them more like a candy bar with a bit of protein added.  Too many of them include Palm Oil.  I simply refuse to knowingly purchase products containing Palm Oil due to the devastation wrought upon the environment in general and upon the Orangutan population specifically. 

Instead, I decided that I'd better make my own from now on. They won't be quite as portable as the manufactured ones in their sealed packages, but I will know every ingredient and can control the contents.  The recipe I came up with is quite similar in taste and texture to my original favourites that I discovered years ago when we lived in Vancouver.  I have no idea what company they were mady by, but the Arbonne ones were really close.  

These little power balls are similar in taste and texture to what I am used to. They're easy to make requiring no special tools. Here's the recipe for you. I hope you like them. 

Here they are! Some I rolled in organic cocoa powder, others were rolled in ground almonds. 

Here they are! Some I rolled in organic cocoa powder, others were rolled in ground almonds. 

CMB's Vegan* Protein Bars

Yield: approximately 380g to make 19 balls each weighing 20g. 

Ingredients

1/4 cup organic crunchy peanut butter (just peanuts) 

1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds

2 tbsp mixture of chia seeds/buckwheat/hemp seeds

1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds

1 scoop Progressive Brand Harmonized Vegan Protein - dark chocolate

1/3 cup raisins

2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast

2 tbsp maple syrup 

6 dates chopped and soaked in enough water to cover

1 tsp organic cocoa (Green & Black's organic cocoa is fab!) 

2 tsp cooking or fancy molasses

Extra cocoa powder or some ground almonds to roll the balls in. 

Method:

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. If you want a smoother texture you could use a food processor.  Mix all the ingredients together in the order listed adding just enough of the water from the dates to give a nice moist consistency. Not too wet, just enough to allow the ingredients to stick together when the dough is squeezed and rolled into a ball. 

If your dough becomes too sticky, use some ground almonds or a bit of extra cocoa to tighten it up. 

Shaping:

Break off pieces of the dough - about the size of a small walnut.  Roll the dough into a ball between your hands.  Roll the balls in either cocoa powder or ground almonds. Store in an airtight container.  Or shape into larger bars (40g each) and wrap in cling film. Keep them in the fridge until needed. 

2 - 3 balls substitute for 1 average sized protein bar.

I'll work out the calories at another time and will post the details.  

*Vegan due to the type of protein powder used, and the lack of honey. 

Play with the ingredients a bit - substitute almond or walnut butter instead of peanut butter. Add currants or dried cranberries instead of raisins. Don't have the chia/buckwheat/hemp seed mix? Substitute with just chia seed, or just hemp seeds. Substitute honey instead of maple syrup and/or the molasses.  Play with your food. As long as you keep the ingredients as raw and organic as possible, it can't go too far wrong! 

I broke one open so you can see the seedy goodness! 

I broke one open so you can see the seedy goodness! 

As with all protein bar type supplements, be sure to drink plenty of water with them,  they are quite concentrated.  

Have a beautiful day, 

Coryna