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!
© 2015 Reef Magazine.