New Year Protein Bars

Protein bars 3Hello everyone and happy New Year! Now that the holidays have passed and the stomachs have been filled, it’s time to stay true to those New Year resolutions. One way to do that is to eat right and be active. How do you eat right you ask? Well, one thing you want to make sure of is to have enough protein to help keep you feeling full for longer periods of time as well as to help maintain those muscles you have throughout your body.

I know, you might be thinking that you already eat a lot of protein throughout the day, but according to acaloriecounter.com, the recommended amount of protein intake per day is anywhere between .8 – 1.5 grams of protein for each pound of body weight (http://www.acaloriecounter.com/diet/how-much-protein-per-day/).
Now, with protein you will want to space it out throughout the day, incorporating some with each meal/snack you consume. While it might be easy to get that protein in your breakfast, lunch, or dinner (especially if you are having our omelet or chicken stir fry dishes 😉 https://sugarspiceandeverythingtwice.com/category/meal-concoctions/), when you reach for that mid-morning snack or mid-afternoon one, you may not be incorporating as much protein as you think.
That’s why we created a fantastic protein bar that will help achieve all of the above!

Ingredients You Will Need:

• 4 Scoops of Vanilla Whey Protein Powder (Our choice is Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey since it’s highly recommended and the flavors are great. Of course, depending on whether or not you can consume milk derived products, you can use an alternative protein source as well as any brand that you prefer)
• 1/3 cup Vanilla Unsweetened Almond Milk (We use Silk Almond Milk)
• ¼ or 4 Tablespoons Peanut Butter (Teddy Smooth Natural Peanut Butter, Salted, is a great choice)
• 1 cup Old-Fashioned Oats (Quaker Oats brand works well for us)
• Flavor/Extract of Choice (For this recipe, we used vanilla extract and mint extract to create a vanilla mint protein bar. You can really use any flavor of your choice as well as any amount – just remember, the more you put in, the stronger that flavor will be. If you are not accustomed to the taste of protein powder, we suggest using more or an extract. So instead of using 1 – 2 teaspoons of extract, having 1 tbsp. worth would be a good amount)

Materials Needed:

• Measuring Spoons
• Mixing Bowl
• Large Plastic Spoon for Mixing
• Knife
• 8” x 6” Square Glass Container (Pyrex is a great brand for this type and can be found almost anywhere including Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Pyrex-Simply-Store-10-Piece-Storage/dp/B00005B8K5), Kohl’s, Macy’s, etc.)
• Measuring Cups – Dry and Liquid
• Small Spatula

The nice thing about this recipe is that all of the ingredients go into the same bowl at once and then just mixed together. However, just to let you know ahead of time, these bars can be sticky so the clean-up may prove to be a sticky situation.

If you purchase or have the Optimum Nutrition protein powder, it will come with a scoop that you will use (always) to measure out the powder. Below is a picture of how much we use for each scoop.Protein scoop amount

So for the powder, you will measure out 4 of those scoops. Next, measure out 1 cup of oats and throw those into the bowl with the powder followed by the ¼ cup of peanut butter. With the peanut butter, you can use a measuring cup or you can use the measuring spoons. With each you will want to take the small spatula in order to remove extra peanut butter. It also will come in handy to take the peanut butter off the spoons and out of the cup. After that, take the liquid measuring cup and measure out 1/3 of a cup of milk and just pour it over the other ingredients. Once all of that has been take care of, you can now add however much extract you like (we personally use anywhere between 1 -2 teaspoons of the flavors we choose).

Protein bar mixture

Take your large spoon to mix all of the ingredients together. This will take a few minutes as the ingredients will create a soft dough form that will require some kneading with the spoon. You can use your hands if using the spoon is not working for you, but be warned, you will find it will start sticking to your hands and then you will want to eat it right there and then.
When all of the ingredients have been mixed very well and no powder can be seen, take the ball and plop it into the glass container. Use the spoon to smush it around to form an even layer covering the entire bottom of the glass. Place in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to mix and to solidify together. This can be for about 30 minutes or overnight.
Protein bar mix pre fridge

This recipe and container size creates 6 bars of equal size with 20 grams of protein per bar.Protein bar mix after fridge, divided

(Excuse the missing corner, we just couldn’t resist performing a taste test)

When you go to bring it as a snack, we suggest wrapping it in plastic wrap and placing in a lunchbox or other form of a food carrier with an ice pack to keep it cool.

Protein bars 2Protein bars 1
Also, if you are a looking for a pre-workout snack to have before participating in a workout that includes lifting some weights, this would be a great choice as well! So in essence, the impact this bar will have on your life will be huge!

So enjoy these bars, have fun creating them, and stay full everyone! 😀

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