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Homemade Protein Bars

Homemade protein bars quickly became my saving grace when I began working full time and had to leave my house so early in the morning that the sky was still dark and starry and my motivation to cook a healthy breakfast was at an all time low. Protein bars are delicious, healthy, and incredibly easy to make, as many recipes don’t require baking (just refrigerating) and few ingredients, thus resulting in an easy clean up too!

Start with Base

My favorite protein bar base is steel-cut oats (dry) but you can also use quinoa or brown rice. For whatever ingredient (oats, quinoa, etc) use 2 cups. Oats are high in fiber, which keeps you full, and quinoa is loaded with all 12 amino acids, making it a complete protein and perfect base for your bars.

Add the Protein

I highly recommend using 1 ¼ cup of Whey protein powder. Although it’s calorie dense, it tastes delicious and provides the same amount of protein as a chicken breast in just one scoop. You can choose from a variety of flavors like vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter, etc.

Make it Stick

Your bars will need something sticky and substantial to hold it together – this is the perfect opportunity to add a cup of peanut butter to your protein bars. Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein and healthy fatty acids, so don’t fret over the high calorie and fat content – it’s all good for you (in moderation, of course). In addition to the peanut butter, I recommend adding 3 tablespoons of honey to increase the hold and flavor.

Splash in Milk

You’ll need some sort of liquid to mix everything together. I use ½ cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but you can also use soy milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, rice milk, or cow milk.

Time for the Toppings

If you prefer a bit of crunch, I recommend adding a handful of chopped nuts or seeds to your protein bars. If you prefer a softer texture, you can add raisins/craisins or dried fruit (apricots, blueberries, figs).

No matter what variations you use, these bars will be packed with protein from the oats/quinoa/rice, protein powder, milk, peanut butter, and nuts. Mix everything together and press the mixture very firmly into a greased pan. Refrigerate for a few hours before cutting into squares and serving! Enjoy!

Words by Kristina S. // Photography by Ashley Sharma.

© 2015 Reef Magazine.


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