Since spring, protein bars have been a staple in our diets. After analyzing labels and tasting different brands, we settled on Quest bars as our go-to source of on-the-run, easy-meal-replacement protein. I almost always have one in my gym bag, my purse and my desk drawer. Phil has one for breakfast every morning.
I might have stumbled onto the right recipe today.
I found this version of a vegan protein bar on fitsugar.com this morning. It sounded pretty simple, and I had most of the ingredients already. These bars were touted as having only 166 calories and 13 grams of protein. Most Quest bars are between 160 – 210 calories and have 20 grams of protein. So while not really equal, if I tweak it right I could probably get it close.
But first, it has to taste good. So I made it as close to the recipe as I could (I am emotionally incapable of following a recipe to the letter.)
First of all, I don’t do vegan on purpose. Some of my salads are vegan, but that’s purely by accident.
Second, the recipe calls for taking a cup of almonds and running them through the food processor until it makes almond butter. That seemed a little nutty to me (pun totally intended) because I had almond butter in my pantry.
The recipe also called for five ounces of a vegan vanilla protein powder. I have a non-vegan vanilla protein powder that I love, so I used a scoop of that.
It occurred to me later that was definitely not five ounces.
But away I went, mixing it all in my Cusinart food processor and it looked kind of gross. It had the consistency of rice cereal treats or graham cracker pie crust dough — an unmanageable blob. But just with a little work with super clean hands, I was able to get it molded into a parchment lined, 8×8 pan.
According to the recipe, you have the option of drizzling melted chocolate over the bars. Optional? To quote Cher Horowitz in the classic film “Clueless”: AS IF!
There is no option when it comes to chocolate. DRIZZLE THAT SHIZZLE wherever you can.
I melted dark Ghiradelli dark chocolate wafers in the microwave, drizzled it and added slivered almonds. Then I covered them and let them get properly set in the fridge.
The bars passed the taste test. They are yummy.
Unfortunately, when I put the ingredients in myfitnesspal app, I only came up with 7 grams of protein and 150 calories. That’s when it dawned on me I needed to add more protein powder. I will correct that mistake next time.
I can already think of dozens of ways to riff on the recipe. It’s quick, easy, no-bake and delicious. It won’t replace Quest bars because of the portability, but for munching here at home, this is a great alternative.