Daily Archives: January 4, 2011

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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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)



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.


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!


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!