Protein is an essential part to your diet. It keeps you full longer and helps grow and repair muscles, especially when teamed with weight lifting. Protein bars are great–When you can find one without the extra sugar and carbs! Most protein bars that you find in the grocery store or health food store have very frightening nutrition labels. Please be mindful next time you grab a bar for some quick protein power, because you might be consuming the equivalent to a candy bar in sugars and fats. When looking for a protein bar, choose one that has approximately 200 or less calories per bar. Aim for 7 or less grams per fat, but keep the saturated fats as low as possible, healthy fats from almonds or omega-3s are common in protein bars and are good! Your protein and carbohydrates should be at a similar number, ideally around 20. Sugars are an important factor to look into when reading the nutrition label. I usually recommend looking for a bar with as little sugar as possible. Shoot for 7g or less of sugar.
Few of my personal store bought recommendations are:
The Lions Choice Bars- The Lions Choice Superfood Protein Bars
Otherwise, you could simply make your own protein bars! Making your own is great because you can choose your own flavors, you know exactly what is going into the mix, and you can make large batches at a time.
- 1 cup old-fashioned or instant rolled oats
- 1 1/3 cups fat-free milk (may non-dairy milk)
- ½ cup nut or seed butter (almond, peanut, cashew, sunflower) I used The Lions Choice superfood infused PB moon pie flavored (www.thelionschoice.com –use code RXRACHAEL for a discount!)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 scoops (120 grams) of Quest Nutrition Peanut Butter Protein Powder
- 1 packet stevia, or sweetener of choice
- Put Oats into a food processor or blender, blend until a flour texture
- Add your milk, nut butter, stevia, and vanilla to food processor and pulse until fully incorporated. (If you do not have a food processor, you can use a mixer, handheld or countertop)
- Add one scoop at a time of the protein powder and pulse (or mix) until incorporated
- Put parchment paper into a square tin (I used 8×8)
- Pour protein mixture into tin and put into the refrigerator to cool
- Cut into 8 bars and wrap parchment paper around each for a wrapper.
- Store in fridge or freezer