Protein Bars, Yay or Nay?
We all have experienced that moment in the day when we look at the clock and it’s been HOURS since our last meal. It is often in this dark time we will turn to processed foods high in carbohydrates to satisfy our hunger and boost our blood sugar levels instantly. You vow you won’t let this happen again so you go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of protein bars to store around the house, your purse or backpack, and the drawer at work. After all, protein bars are healthy right? But are all protein bars created equal? The answer, unfortunately, is NO.
When it comes to protein bars the BEST option is to make them yourself. After all, this is truly the only way to monitor the quality of the ingredients that go into them. (This goes for most food, salad dressings in particular.) Fresh and homemade are ALWAYS best. Premade protein bars from the grocery store can have hidden processed sugar and other artificial flavors which really aren’t doing us justice and certainly won’t get us closer to those new year resolutions. Here is a protein bar recipe that I use which is super simple and requires NO BAKING. These are great for before or after a workout!
Healthy Protein Bars
2 cups or 1 (16oz) jar of Organic Almond Butter (I use Woodstock Brand Crunchy)
1 ¾ cups of honey or agave nectar
2 ¼ cup of Protein Powder (vanilla or chocolate or equal parts) You want to read the ingredients on your protein powder and make sure it’s high quality with little to no fillers. For more information or to shop for good quality protein powders click HERE
3 cups of dry uncooked oatmeal (not quick oats)*
*(you can substitute one cup of oats for one cup of brown rice cereal to add a little crunch)
(other add-ins, roll in coconut, mix in dried fruit and or nuts)
In a microwave-safe bowl, heat almond butter for 90 seconds until it easily stirs, add in honey and mix until combined (not recommended to microwave honey). In a separate bowl, combine protein powder, oats and brown rice krispies and mix together. Add this mixture to almond butter & honey mixture until mixed thoroughly. It will be thick. Press into a 9 x 16-inch pan or roll into balls. Cool for 1 hour or until solid enough to cut into bars. Can be stored in the refrigerator or put in the freezer.
For extra fiber, use ¼ cup of fiber powder and reduce protein powder to 2 cups.
When divided into 24 servings: calories 240, fat 9 grams, protein 13 grams, carbs 24 grams, sodium 98 mg, fiber 3 grams (more if fiber powder is used) sugar 15 grams. To reduce calories, cut into smaller portions and enjoy!