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HomeOnline LibraryArticlesNutrition Programs › Homemade Protein Bars for Serious Athletes

Homemade Protein Bars for Serious Athletes

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by Mike Mahler

Virtually all of the protein bars on the market are garbage. Loaded with sugar, artificial ingredients and low quality proteins, you might as well eat a Snickers bar--which is probably a better nutritional than most high-priced protein bars. The only worthwhile protein bar I can think of that is the Organic Food Bar, which you can find at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods Market and online. Still, even these are high in sugar and nowhere close in quality to the homemade protein bar recipe below. These homemade protein bars that are influenced by a recipe that I picked up from John Berardi are nothing less than super meals--extremely healthy and perfect for hard-training athletes--I eat them everyday and know that you'll like them as well.

Here are the ingredients you'll need:

1. Protein powder

Use your favorite protein powder. I highly recommend Pure advantage Pea protein and Growing Naturals rice protein. I use both myself.

2. Almond butter

Loaded with protein and healthy fats, almond butter tastes great and binds the other ingredients together. You can also use any nut (or seed) butter you like: peanut, macadamia, cashew nut butters or hemp, sunflower or pumpkin seed butter. I prefer almond butter and this is what I mainly use.

3. Spices

Spices can turn good meals into great meals. I typically add ginger, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon, which, besides tasting good, work to stabilize blood sugar and are anti-inflammatory.

4. Ground flax seed

Ground flax seed is good stuff. Besides providing a nice dose of fiber, it contributes magnesium and improves the good-to-bad estrogen ratio by clearing out harmful estrogens, such as 16-hydroxyestrone, and increasing the healthy estrogen, 2-hydroxyestrone. It also adds a nice texture.

5. Sweetener

Since the bars taste good without it, adding sweetener is optional; however, most people will prefer a sweeter bar. The only sweetner I recommend is Stevia. 1 teaspoon goes a long way so do not over do it with Stevia.

6. Almond Milk

Also optional, since you can use plain water to mix everything up, but I think almond milk adds an especially nice flavor. I use unsweetened Almond Breeze, which you can find at most grocery stores.

Here are the recipes:

Protein Bars

Vanilla Pecan Cookies

2 scoops of Vanilla Protein Powder and 2 scoops of Chocolate Sunwarior Protein Powder (60 grams of high quality protein and iron)
3 tablespoons of almond butter (good protein, fat, and magnesium)
3 tablespoons of flax powder (Omega 3, fiber, increases ration of good estrogens to bad (2 hydroxy estrone to 4 and 16 hydroxyestrone)
1/4 cup of pecans
1/4 cup of Gogi berries (High in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Iron)
1 tablespoon of ginger powder (immune system, stomach health, and digestion)
1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice (loaded with healthy spices)
1 tablespoon of cinnamon (increases insulin sensitivity and glucose regulation)
1 teaspoon of stevia
1/2 cup of water (if too dry add more water)

Preheat oven to 425. Mix everything in a bowl with a spoon until a thick paste forms. Divide into eight parts, then shape into cookies. Place on cookie sheets and bake for 15 minutes.

Total Nutrition Profile (all eight cookies) :

Protein: 83.5 grams

Carbohydrates: 69.5 grams

Fat: 33.5 grams

Nutrition per cookie:

Protein: 10.4 grams

Carbs: 8.6 grams

Fat: 4.1 grams

Vanilla Almond Protein Bar

4 scoops rice protein, vanilla

2 T almond butter

2 T ground flax seed

1 and 1/2 cup of water

1 T ground ginger

1 T ground cinnamon

1 T pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon of stevia

Preheat oven to 425. Mix everything in a bowl with a spoon until a thick paste forms. Divide into four parts, roll into balls, then shape into bars. Place on cookie sheets and bake 12-15 minutes.

Nutrition

calories 540

protein 70 gr

carb ~20 gr

fat ~20 gr

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar

2 scoops rice protein, chocolate

2 T natural peanut butter

2 T ground flax seed

1 T ground cinnamon

1/2 cup almond milk

Mix everything in a bowl, stirring with a spoon until a thick paste forms. Divide in two, wrapping each bar in aluminum foil. Place the bars in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, you'll have two delicious bars, ready for breakfast or whenever you want a snack.

Nutrition

calories 365

protein 27 gr

carb 17 gr

fat 21 gr

Chocolate Pecan Bars

3 scoops Sun Warrior protein, chocolate
1 T ground cinnamon
1/4 cup pecans
2 T ground flaxseed
2 T raw almond butter
1 T non-dairy/gluten-free brownie mix
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

Mix everything in a bowl, stirring with a spoon until a thick paste forms. Divide into 6 balls and place in the refrigerator for two hours. Preheat oven to 425. Place the six balls on a cookie sheet, flattening slightly with a fork, and bake for 12-15 minutes. These are delicious. Have three bars as a snack and the other three for dessert later.

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