Bars are your best bet for protein on the go: no messy powders to mix, cups to fumble with or questions about how much you’re getting. They come in every flavor imaginable, and the price is usually right. But there is one drawback. Next time you unwrap a store bought bar, take a look at the label. Chances are, you can’t pronounce all the ingredient names. And if you try to count them? It’s pretty likely you’ll reach 10, if not 15 or 20.
For cleaner, healthier protein bars, why not make your own, using raw organic protein powder? Here are three recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less:
1. Peanut Butter Protein Bars
¾ cup oatmeal
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1-½ cups unsweetened applesauce
2 scoops Garden of Life RAW Organic vanilla protein powder
½ cup powdered peanut butter
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 8” x 8” pan with coconut oil. Blend all ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour mixture into prepared and bake 25 to 30 minutes. Let cook and cut into bars.
2. Peanut Butter & Chocolate Protein Bars
Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Prepare 9” square or 9”x13” baking pan with baking spray. In a food processor or blender, pulse oatmeal to a flour texture; transfer to bowl and add oatmeal, cinnamon and protein powder. Mash bananas and mix in the peanut butter until blended. Add wet mixture to dry and mix well. Mix in honey and egg whites, then milk. Pour mixture into pan and bake 15 to 20 minutes.
3. No-Bake Oatmeal-Peanut Butter Protein Bars
2 cups quick-cooking oats
½ cup natural peanut butter
4 scoops protein powder, any flavor (vanilla spiced chai is a good call)
1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
½ cup water
Walnuts, almonds, pecans, cranberries, raisins or goji berries (all optional)
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and knead to combine. Line a square baking pan with parchment paper. Spread dough into pan using a spatula. Freeze for 30 minutes. Remove and cut into squares.
IFBB figure professional Melissa Transou, a fitness expert, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports and nutrition needs of women and female athletes exclusively for Vitacost.com. Learn more about Melissa in this recent RXMuscle.com spotlight article, connect with her on Facebook or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.