Homemade Protein Bars

Last week was our “Transitional Clerkship” for 3rd year – basically an orientation for them to have one last shot at nurturing us before we are sent to the wolves…I am mean wards 😉 A common theme throughout was to make sure to eat – be sure to eat breakfast, be sure to eat protein, always carry a snack, etc… I found it pretty humorous that we need to tell grown adults to eat, but whatever. All of the talk about snacks and high protein got me thinking I should spend some time over the weekend making a new version of snack bars to carry with me. I love my banana bars, but they are a little too sticky for carrying in a white coat pocket and could use a little protein. After a little searching I came up with the recipe. I am pretty happy with it, because I want something that is healthy, filling, and not too sweet (because then I would just want to eat them all!). If you are looking for something a little sweeter, add some extra sugar, as this recipe only calls for 1/4 cup and makes about 24 bars.

banana protein bars (7)

Homemade Protein Bars
Recipe adapted from Healthy Green Kitchen’s Homemade protein bars and my own Banana Bars

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old fashioned oats, pulsed in food processor for a few minutes to make a coarse flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup protein powder (I used 1 cup ground TVP)
  • 1 cup plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup nut butter*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • up to 2 cups of add-ins (nuts, seeds, unsweetened shredded coconut, chocolate chips, raisins, dates, etc…)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9×13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray
  2. Combine oats, cinnamon, salt,  and TVP in a large bowl.
  3. In a food processor or large bowl, combine the yogurt, honey, nut butter, vanilla, and bananas. Mix/process well.
    banana protein bars (3)banana protein bars (4)banana protein bars (2)
  4. Spray a rubber spatula with cooking spray. Set aside.
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Use the prepared spatula to add all the wet mixture to the well. Mix well with the rubber spatula until thoroughly combined- it will be sticky (hence the prepared spatula)!
  6. Fold in any mix-ins you are using.
  7. Spread the mixture into your prepared dish and bake for 15 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven, let them cool a little, and then slice the bars as you want.
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Unbaked Bars

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Baked Bars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*I didn’t have any nut butter on-hand, so I made my own. This is simple if you have a food processor. I used ground pecans in the freezer that I had left over from some larabars I made last winter. Process the nuts or ground nuts for about 5 minutes, until a ball forms and then smooths out. You might be tempted to stop at the ball stage – don’t! Let the processor smooth out the ball to give you a nice, creamy butter.

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