A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Healthy Whole Grain Peanut Butter Protein Soft Pretzels

As a self proclaimed and obvious foodie, it's normal to expect a gift from me in the form of food.  For Mother's Day, it was no different; I cooked something for my awesome mom.

I always want to find something I know she will love because she means a lot to me and I love her dearly.  She has raised me by herself and I will forever owe her my respect.

My love for pretzels came from her love for pretzels, I'm sure of it, and I wanted to make some homemade soft pretzels for her Mother's Day gift this year.  I already made tasty chocolate no-bake protein cookie balls with this recipe for her, but felt like she deserved something more.

I was inspired to do something with a couple yeast packets that were lying around, and after seeing homemade pretzels on Pinterest a few days ago, I knew what to try and make.  These were perfect to bring over when Kelley I visited her this weekend and she was pleasantly surprised/happy to receive.

Soft pretzels are a comfort food for me, but it's difficult to find ones that are healthy enough to eat.  Use this recipe to create sweet, savory, or spicy soft pretzels that are high in protein and whole grain and low in fat and sugar.

Whole Grain Peanut Butter Protein Soft Pretzels
by RC Liley
Ingredients (12 large soft pretzel)
  • 2 C warm water
  • 2 C whole grain spelt flour; another flour can be used, but I can’t speak to how it will turn out
  • 1 C peanut flour
  • 1C vanilla or unflavored protein powder (I used stevia sweetened vanilla egg white protein)
  • 2 tbsp corn meal (for rolling dough; you can use more spelt or whatever flour you have too)
  • 1 tbsp (1 1/2 packets) active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp honey or agave nectar
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 C baking soda
  • coarse salt for sprinkling; you can omit if watching salt intake
  • Optional: Add a stevia packet for a sweet pretzel, 1 T cumin and garlic for something savory, or 1/2 t cayenne for spicy pretzels
In a bowl mix yeast with 1/4 C warm water and let sit 10 minutes until it starts to foam (the yeast is alive!). Once it’s foamy (will be a distinct yeast smell), add the rest of the warm water, spelt and peanut flour, the protein powder, and honey or agave.
Mix dough into a round ball (it will be sticky; wet your hands a little to make mixing easier), cover with a towel and set aside in a warm place for 40-60 minutes. The dough will rise to at least double in size while sitting. After sitting, knead dough adding 1 tbsp of corn meal or flour at a time until its not too sticky and dough pulls away from the bowl. Form into a ball again, cover, and set aside for another hour to rise.
Align an upper and lower rack and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Knead the dough another 5 minutes to work out the air and divide into 4. Divide each piece again into 3 and roll each third to about 24″ long and twist into pretzel shape (or roll into balls/sticks for another, easier way to enjoy). With 2 parchment lined baking sheets, lay each pretzel down until all are shaped as desired.
Bring a medium or large pot of water to a boil and dissolve the baking soda. Drop pretzels into the water two at a time, cook for a minute, remove with a slotted spoon and place on your baking sheet. Repeat process for all pretzels and sprinkle with coarse salt (if desired) before they dry.
Place one sheet on the top rack and the other on the bottom of the oven and bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown; switch sheets half way through for even browning. Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks.
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The process might seem daunting, but it's actually fun going through the steps and making different pretzel shapes.  I like dipping pretzel in mustard or a peanut butter and yogurt dip, so the sticks worked better for me; plus they're easier.
My failed attempt at a heart for mom....

Mother's Day has passed, but at least my mom still has these tasty and super healthy pretzels to eat at home and work...hopefully thinking about how wonderful her oldest son is!!

Q: What do you like to put on your pretzels?  Something savory like mustard, or a sweet like peanut butter and honey?

I like both, so I eat them both ways; it's a win-win!


  1. Yumm!! I must make these! I love putting yellow mustard on my soft pretzels.

  2. Love this, such a great idea! :) I'm a big fan of pretzels and PB so I know I would love these. I pinned them to Pinterest as well. ;)

    1. Thanks, Shannon, always appreciate the support! I could live off of pretzels and PB (sometimes mustard) for a long time! But I like veggies too much. Maybe carrots and PB too....that's a great combo.