You know what I like? Protein bars.
You know what are too expensive to buy regularly? Ponies.
And protein bars.
Seeing as I can’t make my own ponies (I don’t want to talk about it) I’m going to make my own protein bars (I’m going to want to talk about it).
This is a fun recipe because it’s super sticky and tasty and peanut buttery and sticky. I love sticky things! said no one ever! Just kidding though. I really do love this sticky creation and sticky things in general. (Gum! I like gum!)
Making protein bars involves my favorite kind of Whole Foods Adventure (WFA): The Bulk Aisle Expedition. The bulk aisle is my favorite aisle. I know, I know, the pet food/baby food/yogurt/all natural dish detergent aisle is full of exciting twists and turns (pureed organic carrots and peas for Junior AND Mr Pugsly’s Peanut Butter Dog Treats for your jackass dog side by side? Finally!) but hear me out. Instead of buying an $8 bag of almonds, I can get all the sprouted almonds I actually need (I need sprouted almonds) and have any intention of using for about $1. Or 75 cents worth of shaved coconut. 90 cents worth of raisins? I’ll take it. I love it. I love it so hard.
So this recipe includes my personal bulk aisle finds but it’s open to your own bulk aisle interpretation. Just try to stick to the lower carb fellas and add a good protein or two or three.
Plus Lily’s Dark Chocolate Sweetened with Stevia is not only an awesome idea, it tastes just like normal dark chocolate. But smoother. And better for you. And all things good. So it makes a great chocolate topping for these bars. Thanks Whole Foods! Take all my moneys!
If you’re not into no-bake bars, have no fear. You can bake these and still end up with a tasty treat, albeit a different tasting one. The baked bars have more of a banana taste while the no-bake version is definitely more peanut butter heavy. It’s all about what you’re craving in a bar.
They are just so, so, so good raw.
NO-BAKE PROTEIN BARS
makes about 8 good sized bars
inspired by the Union Square Whole Foods Bulk Aisle
- 66g protein powder of your choice (like always, I used MusclePharm Vanilla Combat Powder, a whey based powder. Use a soy powder or something along those lines to keep it vegan!)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tablespoons flax powder
- 5 tablespoons peanut butter at room temperature (I used a combination of 2 types: 3 tablespoons Naturally More Peanut Butter Plus Flax and Omega 3 + 2 tablespoons Peanut Butter and Co. Crunch Time Chunky Peanut Butter)
- 75g very ripe banana, mashed
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 15g (1/2 oz) sprouted almonds, broken up into chunks (curious about sprouted almonds vs raw almonds? So was I! Read about the health benefits of sprouted almonds.
- 10g goji berries (NOTE: If you’re going to bake them, skip the goji berries. They do not bake well.)
- 10g raisins
- 2/3 of an 80g bar of Lily’s Dark Chocolate Sweetened with Stevia (optional)
Optional add-ins and toppings:
- sliced almonds
- shaved coconut
- unsweetened shredded coconut
I hope you’re ready for a workout or at least a forearm experience:
FOR BOTH BAKED AND NO-BAKE VERSIONS
In a large bowl, whisk together your protein powder, salt, and flax powder. Add the peanut butter and start mixing and mashing. Add the coconut oil and stir. Getting sticky, yeah? We’re just getting started.
Add the mashed banana and stir it together some more. Stir in the oats. Stir harder. This is a workout. Earn those No-Bake Protein Bars! Man, you’re toned. Way to go.
Add the almonds. Stir! Add-in the raisins and goji berries or whatever you chose to add in. Stir! This is harder to stir than that cocktail you’ve been nursing since you were 3 drinks past your limit and you don’t know what to do with your hands other than hold the straw and try to stir your drink nonchalantly because you are not at all drunk, no way, not you. WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE.
Spray a baking dish with baking spray and lay down some parchment paper so that it covers the whole bottom and about 1/4″ up each side. Mash down your mixture evenly into the parchment papered dish.
NO-BAKE BARS continue here: Cover and put in your freezer. Take out after an hour or overnight or whatever and cut into even bars. If you’re coating with chocolate, melt your chocolate either in a double boiler or carefully in a microwave. Spread on top of your bars. Top your bars with whatever your heart desires. May I suggest shredded coconut and/or slivered almonds and/or love?
Store in the freezer. Or just eat them all.
BAKED BARS skip to here: If you’re so inclined, bake these suckers in the parchment paper lined baking dish at 350 for about 18-20 minutes. Let cool. Cut into even bars. Cover with your chocolate and toppings. Freeze overnight. This is crucial for baked bar goodness. Enjoy!