/> Clean Convenient Cuisine: Make Your Own Protein Bar!

Clean Convenient Cuisine

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Make Your Own Protein Bar!

I've perused the store numerous times in need of something quick and healthy, and protein bars usually do the trick. Though there are healthy bars out there, most of them come with an ingredient list a mile long. Some have the right amount of protein, but a ton of fat. Some have a ton of fat, but no protein. Some have lower fat and higher protein, but a ton of sugar. Some look good, but are full of cheap ingredients. There doesn't seem to be that perfect ratio of ingredients - until now.

Making your own protein bars allows you to control what goes into them, based on your own personal preferences and dietary needs. And the best part is most of them don't even have to be baked - just refrigerated for a few hours. In our case, Alex and I want something that can be eaten as a snack, has a little healthy fat, a good ratio of carbs and protein, and organic ingredients. As you will note, most of these contain oats, peanut butter and whey, so if you don't want any of these ingredients, play around with different types of protein and nut butters to come up with your own perfect recipe.

No-Bake Energy Bars

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
1 cup crunchy natural peanut butter
1 cup dried, chopped fruit
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup organic honey

Mix all ingredients well and freeze, then cut into bars.

Quick Protein Bars

3 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup skim milk (or whatever milk you prefer)
4 scoops protein powder
dash of cinnamon

Mix until a sticky batter is formed. Use a large spoon to spread the mixture into the bottom of a glass or metal cooking tray sprayed with Pam. Put in the fridge overnight and cut into 8 equal bars.

285 calories, 11 g fat (good monounsaturated fats), 26 carbs, 21 g protein

Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars

1 cup oat flour
1 1/2 cups whey protein powder
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup stevia blend (or organic sugar)
2 egg whites
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9x9 baking pan with wax paper. Combine all dry ingredients in a blender. Process for about two minutes. In a bowl, beat eggs and peanut butter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. With an electric mixer, slowly add the water until dough becomes gooey. Pour batter in lined pan, pressing dough to an even thickness. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool, first on wax paper, then on a plate. Cut into 8 bars.

250 calories, 7 g fat, 24 carbs, 24 g protein

3 Ingredient Protein Bar

1/4 cup natural nut butter
40 ml Half-n-half
25 g chocolate whey protein

Combine whey and nut butter in a bowl. Mix slightly and then add half-n-half. Remove from bowl and shape into a bar!

A Little Bit of Heaven Protein Bar

3 cups organic raw oats
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened organic shredded coconut
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup organic brown sugar
2 cups organic nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup + 2 tbs. raw agave nectar or honey
1/2 cup organic peanut butter or almond butter
1 tsp. organic vanilla extract
1/4 cup organic coconut oil, melted
1 bar of organic dark chocolate, chopped or 1 cup organic dark chocolate chips
1 cup organic chopped seeds or nuts
1/2 cup chopped dates, raisins, figs or other dried fruit (optional)
1 cup vanilla or chocolate whey protein powder (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread a 9x13 inch baking dish with coconut oil or cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients (oats through brown sugar) in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients (greek yogurt through coconut oil). Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined, and then mix in the chocolate. Taste and add more peanut butter, fruit or protein powder. Mix well using clean hands.

Spread the mixture into prepared dish and bake for 15 minutes. Remove, let cool and then slice them. Spread the bars on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 more minutes. Allow to cool and then wrap and store in refrigerator.

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