Protein bars have long been a popular source of the macronutrient, especially for athletes and those who tend to be more physically fit. But the truth is, protein bars are for everyone and will benefit all regardless of the type of lifestyle you are living. Because of that, we’ve found a wonderful and easy recipe for protein bars that you can make in your own home using only four ingredients!
Control the Quality of Your Healthy Snacks By Making Your Own
Many of the protein bars on the market today contain some obscure and downright disgusting ingredients, such as high fructose corn syrup. As well, some of the grains used in making health food bars may be genetically-modified. Not only that, but the store bought protein bars are often exorbitantly priced, making the little nutrition they do offer not really worth the high price tag. But you can get around all of this by making your own protein bars. Your body and your wallet will thank you!
The first thing you’ll want to do if you’ve decided to make your own protein bars is select the best quality protein powder. Most protein bars will contain a protein powder and nuts which contain essential amino acids. Amino acids are necessary to replenish, especially if you live a more energetic lifestyle. According to Ready Nutrition, there are 8 essential amino acids and these are critical for our upkeep, and they must be obtained from our food. An amino acid is a simple organic compound containing both a carboxyl (—COOH) and an amino (—NH2) group. A protein powder may or may not (or may partially) provide these amino acids. Of particular importance are BCAA’s(Branched-Chain Amino Acids), such as L-Isoleucine, L-Leucine, and L-Valine. These guys are very important for tissue repair.
There are many types of protein powders that are not specifically designed to replace the amino acids you need. EAS manufactures a protein powder that is nonspecific such as this: you’re getting protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, however, there are four that Ready Nutrition can recommend.
Those protein powders are:
The last one listed will be of interest to those who want raw organic vegetable proteins. It’s expensive, but may the best choice on the list.
You could also consider adding a fifth ingredient to your protein bars, such as nuts and seeds, to really ramp up the nutritional benefits. If you haven’t experimented much with seeds, consider it!
Chia seeds are one of nature’s most perfect superfoods. Sure, they get stuck in your teeth if eaten dry and can become quite slimy when soaked in liquid, but they have very little to no flavor, so if used in a recipe or as a topping, you’ll hardly notice that you’re eating them. Once you frequently start consuming chia seeds, you will quickly notice benefits such as increased energy and digestive regularity. Being an incredible source of fiber, a single ounce of chia seeds has nearly half of the daily recommended requirement of fiber. They have more iron than spinach, more potassium than bananas, and more antioxidant strength than blueberries
Next, are a personal favorite of mine. I rarely have a salad without hemp seeds anymore! These nutritious and healing seeds are starting to be a favorite among vegans and health fanatics, and are often added to smoothies, cereals, oatmeal, and on top of salads. Hemp seeds can also be blended with water to make a nice milk substitute, which is a perfect option for people who have nut and soy allergies, although the flavor of hemp milk is less sweet than raw almond milk or cow’s milk.
Quinoa is also an excellent addition to a protein bar. Quinoa (pronounced keen’-wah) is a high-protein grain that the Incas held sacred, calling it the “mother of all grains.” This ancient grain has had a recent resurgence in popularity because of its excellent nutritional profile, easy preparation, and versatile nutty taste. As Ready Nutrition reported, quinoa is technically a seed rather than a grain, quinoa is made up of 18% protein, supplying 8 grams per cup. It is a complete protein, supplying all necessary amino acids. The superfood is high in fiber, calcium, iron, and phosphorus, as well as a good source of riboflavin, thiamine, and niacin. It’s generally referred to as a grain because of the way it is prepared and used in the diet.
For even more ideas on seeds that can be added and the nutritional punch, they could give your protein bars, read 7 Super Seeds That Will Change Your Life.
How To Make Your Own Protein Bars
Once you’ve decided on a protein powder that will work for you and you’ve figured out if you are adding seeds or nuts to your bars, it’s time to get started! You’ll need:
- 2 cups oats
- 1-2 scoops Protein powder
- 5 tablespoons your favorite nut butter
- ½ cup powdered milk or 1/2 cup of water (if you plan on consuming these in the future)
- Optional: add dark chocolate chips, nuts, or seed, or any of your favorite healthy snacks to play around with the flavor and texture! You can even go the extra step and dehydrate your own berries or fruits to add for an even tastier treat.
Remember, if you are not going to be consuming your protein bars right away, it is best to make them using water, which will not spoil like milk. You could also consider adding honey to these for an extra kick of sweetness if you enjoy your protein bars on them sweeter side. But honey also has some amazing health benefits as well! Honey actually fights against bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus. The latter is the most common bacteria found in the human nasal passages and nose. For the best results, honey should be purchased and consumed as raw as possible, and the darker the better. Dark honey contains more antioxidants, and it is much more effective at fighting microorganisms and bacteria.
So why not grab some protein powder, and try making your own homemade and healthy protein bars today?