These were some good recipes. Fairly easy to make, not too many ingredients, and they tasted good. But I have to admit, I wasn't crazy about any of them. Luckily for me, I started reading the comments on each of the above sites. LOTS of other people had made them as well and they had tons of suggestions. So I started playing around with ingredients and combinations and baking versus not baking and I've come up with my new favorite protein bar recipe.
A few things you need to know first. These bars are high in sugar because of the dates and raisins. Please keep this in mind. They are not an everyday treat. You could do 2 of them in place of a meal, but once again, I wouldn't do this every day. In my opinion, these would be best immediately following a workout, but I am not an expert. This recipe makes 24 small (2 bite) bars. I'll give nutrition facts at the end. You will need a food processor to make these...a big one, not those teeny tiny ones! Also, I did parts of this in batches because it mixes better. While it is slightly annoying, it is really worth it so don't try to do it all in one batch!
Banana Bread Protein Bars
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 pound chopped pecans (you could use walnuts or almonds)
1/2 pound raisins (I used golden because that is what I had)
1 pound dates
1 cup flax seeds
3.5 ripe bananas (.5 because the other half of the 4th was gross)
3 scoops unflavored protein powder (I use plant fusion)
Preheat oven to 350. Line pan with foil and spray foil with a little oil. My pan was 8" x 11" I think.
Put oats in food processor and pulse a few times until the oats are about half their initial size. (no exact science here, they are just better when a little smaller. You could omit this step) Pour oats into another bowl.
Put pecans in food processor and pulse a few times. I actually did this in 2 batches leaving the second batch in a little bigger pieces. The size is totally your choice. Pour pecans in bowl with oats.
Add flax seeds and protein powder to oat-pecan mixture. Mix up well.
In food processor, put 1/3 of the dates and 1/3 of the raisins. Pulse in food processor until they are chopped and starting to stick together. Put food processor on low and add 1 banana. (I just break pieces off and drop in.) Turn off. Add 1/3 of the oat-pecan mixture. Pulse several times until all mixed together. You will know it is ready when the mixture pretty much stops mixing. Dump this in your pan.
You'll do this 2 more times until all of the bananas, dates, raisins, and oat mixture are gone. My third batch had the 1.5 bananas.
When you've got it all lumped in the pan, take a minute to kind of mix all 3 batches together. Then spread the mixture evenly in the pan.
Bake in oven at 350 for 20 minutes. This leaves them still fairly chewy and bread-like. I would think you could bake longer and get a firmer texture. I really like them at this texture though.
When they are done cooking, use the foil liner to pull them out of the pan. This allows the bars to cool more quickly and keeps them from getting soggy.
I initially cut them to this size, but after calculating the nutritional value, I cut each of these in half to give me 24 total bars...well, minus the ones we had to try! ;)
Nutritional Breakdown: (1 bar = 1 serving if you cut yours into 24)
Calories - 260
Total Fat - 10g
Total Carbs - 36.4g
Dietary Fiber - 7g
Sugars - 20g
Protein - 8g
Yeah, see why you can't have them all day every day?! They are seriously amazing though and a great post-workout treat.
Make, enjoy, and let me know what you think!