Friday, May 21, 2010

Homemade No-Bake Protein Bars

My biggest chore these days is eating enough. I know it sounds silly, but any pregnant woman will tell you that eating for two is a full time job! And it's not just eating enough, it's enough of the right stuff. The hardest thing for me, eating-wise, is ingesting 100 grams of protein a day. If you're wonder just what 100 grams of protein looks like, I just might be able to create a visual for you. Imagine, one huge chicken breast, one hamburger, two hard boiled eggs, a bowl of cottage cheese, a bowl of yogurt, two cheese sticks, and a glass of milk. Every. Day. And that's not even counting what I have to eat in the way of vegetables, fruit, and whole grains!

Before I got pregnant I didn't eat breakfast. For lunch I usually ate some pasta (which has no protein in it unless you buy whole wheat, which I didn't) or a sandwich. And for dinner I might have some sort of chicken and vegetable dish. I just didn't eat very much! And I certainly didn't eat much protein because of my issues with dairy and because (good) meat is expensive.

And the thing is, I really do have a sweet tooth. But I can't justify eating snacks without protein in them. So lately I've been looking for ways to make sweet protein packed snacks. This protein bar/cookie recipe, based on a basic no-bake cookie formula, is one of my experiments. Each cookie has 5 whole grams of protein in it, making it an easy way to shove in some extra protein AND satisfy that chocolatey craving...

Homemade No-Bake Protein Bars

In a sauce pan combine the following ingredients over medium heat:
3/4 - 1 1/2 c. sugar I used 1 1/2 cups last time I made these, but they were plenty sweet and could easily do with as little as 3/4 cup.
4 TBSP cocoa powder
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. butter

Boil for two minutes, remove from heat and add:
3c. oats
2 TBSP vanilla protein powder
1/2 c. peanut butter  One could up this to 3/4  to 1 cup for some extra protein.
1 c. peanuts I used peanuts because they're cheaper than almonds. I might try them with the latter in the near future, though.

Then, drop heaping tablespoons of the mixture onto parchment paper and let cool. Alternatively, one could also spread the mixture on the parchment and cut into bars after cooling. I store these in a ziploc bag on the counter, but I'm thinking about making a couple of huge batches of them and sticking them in the freezer.

These really  do taste great, more like cookies than a protein bar. My brain was totally tricked into thinking I was eating empty chocolatey calories! Which was pretty much exactly what I want in a good snack.

7 comments:

  1. Stephanie McAllisterMay 21, 2010 at 10:51 PM

    where do you get vanilla protein powder?

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  2. Wow...that's a lot of food. I'm officially in awe of your diet, now:) Keep on eatin'!

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  3. @Stephanie - I bought mine on amazon because it's cheaper on there. But you can buy it at places like GNC or any grocery store than at has a health food/vitamins section. Even Trader Joe's carries it!

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  4. Stephanie, she's talking about that protein drink stuff that body builders use. Well, not just body builders. You will find it in the section of the store where they have the protein bars, energy bars and vitamins. I recommend avoiding the soy protein types and choosing the whey protein, especially if you are going to feed them to men and boys. Soy contains a lot of phytoestrogens that can affect the manly parts. :D Also, many cancers, like breast cancer are estrogen-fed, so it isn't the healthiest stuff for women either.

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  5. It's awesome how yummy the food you made seem to sound. I really would love to try a few dish :)

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  6. I made these today and they are yum! I used 3/4 c. fluffed brown sugar, increased the protein powder and peanut butter, and added vanilla.

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  7. These got really dry and crumbly, especially after several days, so I just poured the crumbs and pieces into a bowl of milk. This is pretty much the best cereal ever.

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