Saturday, November 2, 2013

No Bake Homemade Protein Bars

It's officially the weekend!! While the weather might be less than perfect outside inside it is the perfect time for some homemade goodness.

I grew up eating chewy bars, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Frankly I'm not sure why parents let their kids eat chewy bars though. They are loaded with artificial sugars and chemicals, if you don't believe me take a look at the ingredient list on a box. One of the ingredients listed is citric acid. When was the last time you were baking and had to reach in the cabinet to grab a pinch of citric acid, let me think...hmmm never.

So how do products continue to sell even if they do contain harmful ingredients? One reason is people simply are not aware of what they are consuming, another reason is companies use a technique called leanwashing to make products more appealing. Leanwashing is the practice of making a product look healthier than it actually is through marketing and advertising. It's a common practice especially when marketing food towards kids. Watch Nickelodeon while a show is on commercial break and you will see what I am talking about. 

Anyway, enough about that. In my process of getting rid of processed foods chewy bars went out the window, figuratively not literally of course. However, I am here to offer you a simple, tasty alternative: homemade protein bars. 

You will need:
  • 2 cups oats, I used old fashioned but quick oats also work
  • 1/4 cup PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 cup chocolate Protein Powder, vanilla also works
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, can substitute nuts if desired 
  • 2 packets Truvia (you don't have to include this, they will still taste delicious)
  • 1 large banana or 2 small bananas 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

First, in a large mixing bowl combine oats, PB2, protein powder, truvia, and chocolate chips. Thoroughly mix ingredients. 

Next, mash the banana.

Combine mashed banana in mixing bowl with dry ingredients.

Add in the vanilla extract.

Then, mix all ingredients together. Folding the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients works best. 

Once all the ingredients are mixed together press "batter" into an 8x8 or a 9x9 pan, depending on how big or small you want your bars. 

Press the "batter" flat in pan and refrigerate for one hour.

After cool, cut into bars. I cut mine into four rows of three bars each. Keep bars in an airtight container and refrigerate for optimal freshness.  

Nutrition per serving (one bar=one serving, based on 12 bars):
Calories: 85, 128 for a pan of 8 bars
Carbs: 14
Fats: 2 grams
Protein: 5 grams
Sodium: 21mg
Sugar: 4 grams

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