Simply Switch: Protein Bars

Back in the day, I used to work a 9-5 office job. The same rigid office schedule many of you are familiar with. Five days of work followed by two days off. During that period of time, I became accustomed to doing all of my week’s food preparations on Sundays. Three, four, five dishes would come out of my kitchen. It was my favourite day of the week :)

But then I moved to Toronto, got two jobs that have me working any of the seven days a week anywhere from 6am to 10pm. Suddenly, my neat little food ritual fell by the wayside. I found myself grabbing anything and everything that would settle my rumbling belly.

Well no more.

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In those days, I made a batch of homemade protein bars every single week. Old readers will remember flavours like dark chocolate s’mores, PB&J and apple cinnamon. But lately I’ve been relying on store bought bars to fuel me through my day.

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At the start of the month, I laid out four Simply Switches I’ll be making in the New Year. But it goes beyond just those four. I want to consciously make healthy switches all year! Starting with being a little more conscious of the processed snacks I put in my body.

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I opted for a batch of my Maple Cinnamon Oat Bran Protein Bars. I like these because they’re baked and stable at room temperature.

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I picked up a canister of InterActive Absolute Vegetarian protein powder today. Unflavoured, so all it contains is isolated soy, pea and hemp protein with bromelain.

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I tweaked the original recipe a little because I apparently also have issues following even my own recipes.

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I got this two-sided rubber scraper at the Foodbuzz Festival and LOVE it! One end is teeny-tiny and the perfect size for scraping out peanut butter jars. Butter knives never get it all.

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The pivotal moment is when you add the water to the mix. I add it a quarter cup at a time, until the mixture is juuuust sticky enough to stick together. You’re better off stirring away and getting an arm workout in to get all the dry bits mixed up.

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I add raisins for fun. But if you’re scared of raisins, you can add any dried fruit you fancy! I bet dates or coconut would be good too.

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Maple Cinnamon Oat Bran Protein Bars:

  • 2 cups oat bran
  • 1 cup protein powder (anything but whey. Preferably unflavoured, can be vanilla, just add less sweetener)
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup sugar free syrup (I do this to keep the sugar down, but you can omit and add 2 extra tbsp of maple syrup)
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup water (it varies depending on the protein powder you use)

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Directions:

Mix together the oat bran, protein powder and cinnamon until combined. Add peanut butter, egg whites, syrups, vanilla extract. Slowly add water 1/4 cup at a time while stirring until mix is sticky but not goopy. Flatten into a square baking pan and bake at 350F for 25 minutes or edges are slightly browned.

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They’re a little denser in calories (230), so you could always cut them down to 10 pieces for lighter bars. Each one of the eight bars also has 23g carbs, 5g fibre and 20g protein. They also make part of a great grab-n-go breakfast!

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Feels nice to have homemade bars on hand again. Not to mention much cheaper! I may not be able to prepare all my food on Sundays anymore but it’s nice to know I’ll have snacks to power me through my next Sunday shift at the running store ;)

 

Question of the Day: What’s one healthy simple switch you’ve done lately? Share your Simply Switch here and you could win a really nice gift basket!

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Posted on January 4, 2011, in Recipes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Those look awesome! I actually have three or four of that kind of spatula that I LOVE. They are heat resistant for high temps, and feel so good in your hands. I found one at TJ Maxx (not sure if you have that in Canada!) and it was only 3.99!

  2. dude. you used to be the bar QUEEN.

  3. bar as in food.. not to be confused with an establishment where you go to get sloshed ;)

    p.s. did you get your mail OK? i sent you something and i want to make sure it didn’t get lost!

    • Bahaha, I was always too cheap to get sloshed at bars anyways ;)

      Yes I got my mail and thank you!! Soso cute. It’s displayed proudly on the top of my living room bookshelf :)

  4. these look great! i love making homemade bars, so much better than the store bought ones :)

  5. “In those days, I made a batch of homemade protein bars every single week. “–
    YES I REMEMBER THOSE DAYS!
    I was living in my house in Phoenix and you were making bars. And I was making dessert balls and bars, too. I had time on my hands and your bars were inspiring me back in the day :) they still are…but i dont have time these days.

  6. oh this nearly looks like bread, seriously yummy!

  7. I never knew you made homemade protein bars! These look delish! Thanks.

  8. rebecca thomas

    I’ve forced myself to relax about school. I push myself a lot harder than I should and eventually collapse once or twice every week into anxious tears. I started to do this a bit early for new year; a couple of months ago. I’m in school because I love it and should take absent supervisors in stride.

  9. Sweet! I was just thinking about making up a protein bar myself! Thanks for doing the leg work for me ;) I’ll try these out for sure!

  10. These look awesome! I remember you always making bars- I need to try them myself! I am terrible at relying on store bought. I have been adding veggies to my breakfast for an extra dose of healthy goodness- it’s been awesome!

    xo

  11. These look great!!!! Question: Why any protein but Whey? Just out of curiosity.

    Jen

    • Whey powder doesn’t heat well. It turns baked goods really dry and hard! Soy powder is the best for baking and is the closest consistency to flour :)

  12. I can’t do soy, but I could most certainly use that nut butter picker-upper. How cool is that?

    This “switch” might sound lame, but I switched staying stuck in my daily routine and instead went out and met a friend last night. It was fun, it was relaxing and it wasn’t exercise. While some switches can be uncomfortable, this one was perfectly timed.

  13. Yum they look fab, I so need to get back to making my own protein bars too. I have gone veggie, stopped any sugar other than fruit and stopped caffeine for january! x x

  14. I’m with you….Sundays were my food prep and favorite day! For the past few months I’ve been sucked in with the holidays and have been eating out, eating desserts, eating too much!
    This week I starting cooking meals ahead of time again…feels good!

  15. THOSE LOOK SO GOOD!! i am making those for sure…why not whey protein in the mix? I have other kinds but I was just curious!!!

    • Whey protein doesn’t heat well. Anytime I put it in something I bake or cook it turns dry and hard. Soy protein maintains the texture of flour much better :)

  16. i know what you mean! since starting my new job i’ve been eating rubbish and i’ve worked out about once in the last 4 months!! it’s time to get myself together, this recipe will come in handy! Thanks! :)

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