Protein bar recipe: when you know that you shouldn’t snack on candy bars

I’m the first to admit that I have a sweet tooth (my husband just came backIMG_20161013_082943.jpg from Costco, and my candy SHELF in the pantry has been replenished), but these homemade protein bars have been a great alternative to eating candy bars when I’m hungry.  Below is my go-to protein bar recipe.  There’s room to add or change some of the details according to your preferences. If you don’t take anything else away from this post, here’s my contribution–please consider never rolling another protein ball again.  Save yourself a ton of time and just press the “batter” into a pan, cut squares, and refrigerate.  🙂

I double the recipe and most of the time my husband and I go through both batches in a week.  If you don’t eat a double protein bar platter in a week like me (ha!), you can freeze what you don’t eat and save yourself the time of making weekly batches.

First, mix these ingredients:

  • 3 c oats
  • 1 c flaxseed
  • 1 1/2 c almond butter, peanut butter, or any other nut butter (below I have hazelnut butter and peanut butter)
  • 1/4 c coconut oil
  • 2/3 c honey
  • ~1/4 c chia seeds (optional)
  • 6-8 scoops of protein powder (this ends up being about 1 1/2 c of protein powder.  Below I mixed vanilla whey and chocolate creatine)

Save these ingredients for later:

  • 12-16 pitted dates
  • ~1/2 cup dried tart cherry
  • ~1/4 c cocoa nibs (optional)
  • Can also add coconut flakes or any other healthy goodies

After mixing the ingredients, divide the contents (because a double batch does not fit in the processor) and put in the food processor.  Blend and then add 6-8 pitted dates and about 1/4  c of the tart cherries. The dates and cherries help hold the bars together.  You can substitute with something else, but make sure that its consistency is on the sticky side.

Once blended, press into a pan.  I like to use a ziplock bag on my hand instead of using a spoon.  I also started pressing bars into the pan instead of rolling into balls because it saves a ton of time and stores nicely.

img_20160911_151140

Next add cocoa nibs (of course this is optional).  I like to blend mine to chop them into smaller pieces.

Once you have the first half of the batch pressed into the bottom of the pan, you can go ahead and cut the squares or wait until later.  Add wax paper on top.  Blend the other half of protein bar mix and press on top of the wax paper.  Add the second portion of cocoa nibs on top and cut into squares.  You now have two layers of protein bars in one pan, thus saving time and space.

If you cut the bars into 6×10 portions for each batch, each bar is ~50 calories and 3 g of protein.  Refrigerate or freeze the bars and enjoy!

img_20160911_152553

(If you want to see pretty pictures of food (and tasty recipes), I suggest you check out Katie’s blog.)

Do you have a favorite special ingredient for your protein bites?

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