Protein bars are a convenient source of muscle-building nutrients, but they often come packed with unwanted ingredients. Some mass-market companies load their bars with chemicals to optimize shelf life and taste, says Men’s Healthnutrition advisor Mike Roussell, Ph.D. “When you make your own, you can leave those things out in favor of healthy whole foods as ingredients.”
Here are four of Roussell’s fast, easy recipes for at-home protein bars. Grab your favorite whey protein powder and make one at a time to taste, or cook up a whole batch to save for later.
Mounds of Joy
2 Tablespoons (Tbsp) coconut milk
1 1/2 scoops of protein powder
1 Tbsp flaxseed meal
Unsweetened cocoa powder, as needed
How to make it: Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a bowl. Lightly spray a piece of tin foil with non-stick cooking spray, and add the chocolate/flax mixture to the foil. Use the foil to form a bar shape. Remove the bar from tin foil mold, and lightly dust with unsweetened cocoa powder.
Fat: 12 grams (g)
Cherry Almond Bar
5 scoops vanilla protein powder
½ cup egg beaters
½ cup almond meal
¼ cup sliced almonds
1 ½ cups of frozen dark sweet cherries
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp almond butter
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon (tsp) vanilla extract
How to make it: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dice up cherries and place them on two layers of paper towels in a bowl. Let them sit for 30 to 40 minutes, allowing the cherries to thaw and some of the water and juice to drain out. (This can be done ahead of time). Mix the cherries with the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Spray a baking pan with fat-free cooking spray. Pour protein bar mixture into the pan. Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until cooked through; do not overcook as the bars will be too dry.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites
3 scoops chocolate protein powder
¼ cup flaxseed meal
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1 Tbsp honey
How to make it: Thoroughly mix all the ingredients in a bowl. (Add a little water if necessary.) Use a Tablespoon to form half-spheres, and place the bites in the freezer for 2 hours before eating. (If time is an issue, you can eat them right away—but they taste better when they’re frozen.)
Honey Oat Bars
2 cups oats
3 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/3 to 1/2 cup water
1/3 cup peanut butter
3 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
How to make it: Thoroughly mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Add extra water if necessary to get the right consistency. Line a baking pan with tin foil. Add the oat mixture to the baking pan, and firmly press evenly until covering the bottom of the pan. Cut into 8 equal bars. Remove the bars from the baking pan by lifting out the tin foil.
Source: Men’s Health
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