I like to consider myself a protein bar connoisseur. I've had them all: paleo, low-carb, short ingredient list, long ingredient list, list of ingredients I couldn't even pronounce (ick), keto, collagen, and the list goes on. Through all of the taste tests (including lots of half-eaten bars thrown in the trash...shhh, don't tell my mom), I've concluded a few things. Most protein bars could be called sugar or carb bars, is that what we really want? Or even cardboard bars!! I honestly saw a protein bar that had 8 grams of protein. WHAT?! How is that even called a protein bar? AND, they are usually crazy expensive!!
When it comes to my protein bars I want a few things: 1. few ingredients (and preferably ones that I can spell) , 2. higher on protein and 3. lower on sugar.
So with my list of "must-haves", I set out on a mission to make my own bars! I was so nervous to create my first recipe...sure, I'm one of those cooks that kinda-sorta follows a recipe, adds a smidge more of this and that. But for some reason I've held myself back in creating protein bars in my own kitchen. Not today!! (my fist is raised in the air!!) I started with a recipe nutrition calculator, because I knew there were certain aspects that the bar needed to have. Mostly, a pretty good serving a protein. And also, low in sugar. Added ingredients, and took them away. And just like that my bars were born. I'm not bragging, but my first batch was SO good! Try them out and let me know what you think!!! (ok, maybe I bragged a bit, sorry!)
Whole Girl Protein Bars
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (plus more if needed)
pinch of salt
3 scoops of vanilla whey protein
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Blend all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Next add the peanut butter, vanilla, and almond milk. If mixture is too dry, add more almond milk 1TBS at a time until it reaches a cookie dough consistency. Press the mixture into the loaf pan. If you want something extra, add some melted dark chocolate on top. Place in the fridge for a few hours. Cut into 10 bars, and enjoy!!
These bars are the perfect afternoon pick me up, especially after a super intense workout. Because they are dense and full of great fats and protein, they should keep you full for a while!!