Welcome to protein week! Featuring homemade no-bake chocolate peanut butter protein bars today… and chocolate banana protein muffins on Thursday!!
I know it may seem that – given the extraordinary amount of cheese that makes its way into my recipes – I am not the most “health-conscious” of recipe developers, and so a protein bar recipe may seem out of character. But I am a firm believer in having a healthy relationship with food – one which looks at the whole picture: how food makes you feel, how it helps you move, how it affects your energy. I eat food that feels healthy to me. Some days, cheese feels healthy because it makes me happy. And I think happy is a type of healthy.
I think it’s really important not to treat food as something to be resisted, or something that you deny your body. I’ve never been a dieter. But I still recognize the importance of balancing my diet – in the sense of paying attention to my macro-nutrient ratios. Especially as someone who doesn’t eat meat, making sure my protein intake is sufficient is really key. And even more especially when I’m going to the gym or running regularly. There’s no point working out if you don’t give your body the nutrients it needs to sustain itself and grow stronger!
But it can be really hard when I’m busy to incorporate all the protein I need. So, last week, I went on a bit of a homemade protein snack binge. And I am totally sold! This recipe involves no cooking whatsoever – you just mix the ingredients, chill, and voila!
I’m going to be perfectly honest and say that this is not the most delicious recipe. BUT store-bought protein bars are far from delicious, contain a lot more gunk than this recipe, AND are super expensive!!! So this is a great inexpensive and natural substitute. And if you eat the bars chilled, they’re actually quite good. I just pretended they were brownies while I was eating them.
Both these bars and the muffins I’ll be sharing in a few days make really good afternoon snacks while you’re at work. When you hit that 3:00pm slump and need energy to make it to the end of the day, one of these is a great, super healthy boost of carbs and protein.
Homemade No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars
Servings: 12-16 bars
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 4 scoops chocolate protein powder (I used Genuine Health Vegan Proteins Plus Double Chocolate)
- 3 cups oats
- 1 cup skim milk
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Note: This recipe measures protein in 30g scoops – this may need to be adjusted if your protein comes with a different sized scoop.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the peanut butter and protein powder until well mixed. You want the protein to be fully incorporated into the peanut butter to prevent any clumping when you add the milk later.
- Stir in the oats until they are coated evenly. Add the milk, maple syrup, and vanilla, stirring until the mixture forms a thick batter. This may take a while! It will be an arm workout.
- Line a 9×13 baking dish with plastic wrap and spread the mixture evenly across the bottom of the dish. Smooth out the top, then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Once solidified, slice into 12-16 bars and wrap for individual snacking! Tastes best served cold.