Store-bought protein bars can be expensive and full of artificial ingredients, and many of them have an unpleasant flavor or texture. Creating high protein bars at home is easy and does not require expensive or hard-to-find ingredients. Best of all, homemade protein bars can be customized to suit your specific nutritional needs and enhanced with flavor extracts or ingredients to create tasty snacks or meal replacements.
Peanut Butter Bars
Measure out approximately one cup of old fashioned or quick oats into a blender. Process the oats until they resemble flour and then pour them into a large mixing bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups of vanilla protein powder and stir it into the ground oats. In the blender, combine one tbsp. honey, one tsp. vanilla extract, 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese, 1/4 cup water, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Blend the mixture until it is smooth and uniform in color and consistency. Pour this mixture into the oats and protein powder and add one cup of natural peanut butter. Mix everything together until it is well combined. Line a 9-inch x 9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the batter into the pan and refrigerate for at least two hours. Cut into 8 bars, which each supply 300 calories and 24 g of protein. The bars can be cut in half if it's necessary to reach your nutritional goals.
The type of protein powder you use will have an effect on the nutritional content of the finished bars. The peanut butter bars were created by using a 100 percent whey protein powder containing 80 calories per 1/4 cup measure and 22 g of protein. Your protein powder may contain a different amount, so take that into consideration. Whey, soy and egg protein powders can all be used to create high protein bars. Choose a protein powder that tastes good as a simple shake mixed with water for optimal results.
Add your own personal twist to homemade protein bar recipes by adding new flavors and ingredients. For example, any flavor of protein powder can be used with good results. Adding chocolate protein powder rather than vanilla creates chocolate peanut butter bars. If you aren't fond of peanuts, replace the peanut butter with almond, cashew or sunflower seed butter. Flavored extracts are another great way to liven up a batch of protein bars, and you can find many types of extracts such as almond, orange, root beer and coconut in your grocery store. Miniature marshmallows, chocolate chips, dried fruits and chopped nuts also make great additions. The calories in your personalized protein bars can be determined by adding up the calories of all the ingredients and dividing by the number of servings.