I love to travel! I love exploring new places and trying new restaurants that are "known for" in that specific area, but I do not love airports or the usual airport food! I do not travel as often as I would like, but when I do I always make sure I bring my own healthy snacks for the plane ride and stock up my suitcase with my favorite go-to meals on-the-go! I am traveling this week for a Childhood and Adolescent Obesity and Weight Management Training Program in Indianapolis, Indiana and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity for me to try out a new homemade protein bar recipe and take a batch with me on my trip! I also thought this would be a great opportunity for me to share this recipe with you for this week's Recipe Feature!
Recipe Feature: Homemade Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Protein Bars
Now, who doesn't love peanut butter and chocolate? And these two lovely ingredients are even better when combined with only 4 other main ingredients that you probably already have on hand in your pantry and refrigerator. Another plus - these 6-ingredient protein bars take less than 25 minutes from start to finish and you know exactly what you are putting into your body since you made them in your own kitchen! And the BEST part is the nutrient profile of these tasty bars, with nearly 8g of lean protein, 15g of hearty carbohydrates, and 9g of heart-healthy fats (for 1 of 12 bars)!!
Have I convince you yet? Ok, ok... here is the simple recipe!!
Ingredients: (makes 8-12 bars, depending on how thick you cut them)
- 1 cup plain Rolled Oats (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free)
- 1/2 cup Coconut Flour (Again, Bob's Red Mill)
- 1/2 Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder (I used BioChem Vegan)
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 cup Natural, Smooth Peanut Butter (I used Skippy Natural)
- 1/3 cup Maple Syrup (I used Log Cabin Lite, with no HFCS)
- 1/2 -3/4 cup Water (in 1/4th-cup increments, as needed, depending on protein powder)
- 1/4 cup Chocolate Chips (optional, but highly recommended! I used Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips, allergy-free)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8x8 inch baking pan with olive oil spray or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut flour, protein powder, and sea salt.
- Top with peanut butter and maple syrup. The batter should be slightly sticky, but not wet. Add in the water (in 1/4th-cup increments) as needed to achieve the right consistency of the batter. You want it to be sticky and wet, but not soupy!
- Add in the chocolate chips and fold into batter to combine evenly.
- Spread out the batter in the baking pan using wet hands. Be sure to pack in the batter tightly and ensure top is flat.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes (or until edges are slightly brown), then remove the pan from the oven and let the bars sit for 20 minutes before removing from the pan.
- Cut into 8-12 even bars and ENJOY!
** You can wrap each bar individually and freeze the bars for easy grab-and-go snacking and the bars will store for several months. I usually wrap the bars in plastic wrap, place them in a zip lock bag and store them in the freezer. When I need a quick pick-me-up, I grab one from the freezer and I am good to go! I take them with me on long car rides, airplanes, or just carry one with me at all times... because you never know when hunger will strike! **
There you have it - the super simple recipe for these super delicious - and nutritious - Homemade Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Protein Bars! Trust me, these tasty little bars are exactly what you need to fuel you for your upcoming trip and won't leave you feeling bloated and lethargic like most commercial protein bars (that are full of fillers and other chemicals)!
So what are you waiting for? Head to your kitchen and get to baking. Your taste-buds will thank you (and so will your stomach)!
Happy baking, friends! And have a great week ahead! I know I sure will on my trip to Indy with some of the best like-minded dietetic interns (and friends) I know!