Sunday, February 3, 2013

No Bake Protein Barzzz

I've been struggling to bring enough protein packed snacks to school with me. I never know how long I'm going to be on campus, between meetings, clinic and classes, sometimes it just drags on and on and on and on and on and on... where was I? Oh yeah - snacks!! I need to have protein quick to get through the day, but I can only eat so many hard boiled eggs! And I'm a bit of a priss about protein shakes - they have to be ice cold! When I saw this recipe over on the Blonde PonyTail I thought it would be the perfect solution! 

This right here is the one draw back. So much honey. Even as I was making it I thought it seemed a bit excessive. Plus there aren't really enough dry ingredients to warrant the sticky factor of honey. I wish I had considered using less, or calculating calories/sugar ahead of time, but you live and you learn! 

Look at all the lovely protein powder! French Vanilla 25 from GNC. I haven't ever used it before, but I figured if the Blonde PonyTail liked the flavor in her bars, I couldn't go wrong. Plus 25 grams of protein per serving (2 scoops = 1 serving = 200 calories) and only 2 grams of sugar. But like I said, that darned honey! 

Can we talk about how long it took me to find the Chia seeds at Whole Foods today? Haha they were in the most obvious place, but it took me sooo long to meander my way there! They add some more protein, Omega-3's and fiber! Bought some smaller packets because I wasn't willing to commit to the price of the larger bags if I didn't like these bars. 

Look at that full pan of protein goooodnesssss! 

Yum, had to sneak a corner to report to you all! The flavor is good, the vanilla and peanut butter balance each other out well. Because I'd like to snack on these both in clinic and out on long rides/runs, it's better they are on the bland side. Still a bit sweet for me, but the texture and flavor is good. 

Here's the break down: 

Cut into 40 equal chunks, each chunk has 236 calories, 9 grams of protein and 12 grams of sugar. 

Honestly, not exactly what I was expecting. Especially because I get more protein and less sugar from the straight protein shake. I think this is a recipe that has spread around the interwebz and morphed as it's gone. I could understand using that much honey maybe if there were way more dry ingredients being added (nuts, oats, etc.). I found this version of the bars when perusing Pinterest for quotes! It's very similar but no honey, some skim milk instead thins out the mix. Same amounts of everything else. 
{see bottom of post for BOTH recipes} 

Now I can't decide what I want to do. To keep what I've made, or toss it out and start over. I don't want to waste, but I'm not sure I want to be putting that much sugar into my body. Darn! Lesson learned - either calculate caloric content and composition ahead of time, or make smaller initial batches! Thoughts??

Oh you want to know what else has been going on in my culinary world? 

Salmon burger with loads of spinach on a sandwich thin. Plus blueberries. YUM. 

Sparking it up in my new cup. Mr. Muscles over there sure does make for a fun drinking companion! 

Creamy custard oats blended with spinach, topped with peanut butter and granola. Trying to find ways to add spinach (and IRON) to everything. This was ok. Stole it from The Petite Athleat, but neglected to blend in an over ripened banana. Result? Really earthy, spinachy tasting oats. I like spinach, but oatmeal isn't supposed to taste like spinach! 

Besides being sad about the nutritional content of my protein bars, I had an awesome day. Got loads done - took a test for class, completed the week's readings, finalized treatment plans, conference notes, listened to lecture and prepped for therapy sessions. Prepped some other food for the week, cleaned out my car and laundered my scrubzz. As always there are still things left to cross of my to-do list, but I think thats plenty for one day. Yikes, and as I glance at the time, it's suddenly Monday. Sheesh. I have so much to do today I better get to sleep! 

Or on a Monday, or a Tuesday, or Wednesday... really on any day who's name ends in day! Thank goodness tomorrow is an OFF day from training, because it is going to be a very on day in the clinic. I'm talking 8-5:30, proper working hours

I'm trying!! 

Last thoughts of the night, before I hit the proverbial sack. I'm on the hunt for a medal rack to display my bling... I'm liking these two, thoughts? Suggestions? 

As promised here are those recipes: 

HONEY Protein bars: 

2 cups creamy natural peanut butter 
1 1/4 cup organic honey 
1 cup oats 
1/4 cup chia seeds

Pour peanut butter and honey into microwave safe bowl/container. Microwave for 90 seconds. Then mix. Add protein powder, stir. Add oats, stir. Add chia seeds, stir. Press into pan of your choosing, the place in fridge to set. 

Cut into 40 equal pieces - 236 calories, 9 grams of protein and 12 grams of sugar. 

NO Honey Protein Bars:

1 cup oatmeal
1 cup skim milk 
1 3/4 cups peanut butter 
4 scoops (1 cup if 2 scoops = 4 ounces) protein powder 
**cinnamon and sugar to taste** 

Just mix all ingredients together and then press into pan. Let chill for 8 hours and presto - you're ready to go! 

{I imagine depending on the consistency of your peanut butter you may or may not want to zap it in the microwave, just helps with the mixing!}

I'm going to sleep on it, then decide in the morning. Either way look for new takes on this recipe in the upcoming weeks. Gotta nail down a good balance between taste and nutrition! 

xoxo Sweat&Sparkle 

Do you have a protein bar recipe you love? 
What do you snack on? 
Which medal rack should I get?! 


  1. I think you should go for the Keep Running rack because its fun. Good luck with everything !

  2. Whoops... so I messed up the calories, it's only 146 per bar if cut into 40 equal pieces. However, the sugar to protein ratio still favors the sugar. So I think I'm going to toss this recipe and try again! Going to make smaller batches and play around with adding MORE protein powder, less peanut butter and NO honey!