Yes, they look about as good as they sound. You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to make a sub-par protein bar.
I’ve eaten enough of the big-time brands’ high-priced, high-sugar concoctions, and most of them are mediocre. The best-tasting ones have a ton of sugar, and one of my favorites is fortified solely with soy protein. Perfect for all those gentlemen looking for a little estrogen boost.
From now on, I’ll be making my own protein bars, and today marked my first attempt. It turns out it’s not so hard to make a mediocre bar. All you need is a large mixing bowl, a baking dish, and a mixture of nuts, oats, protein powder, and whatever else you can find in a pantry or spice rack. I was looking for something with less carbs, more nuts, and enough protein powder to make it all worthwhile. For my first time, here’s what I used:
- ½ cup cashews
- ½ -3/4 cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup of chia seeds
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup applesauce
- 5 scoops vanilla whey protein (Myoplex 100%)
- ½ cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- FORGOT SALT (but all nuts were salted)
- ½ cup of oats
The Sub-Par Bar Nutrition Report
Nutrition: Flying Colors
The recipe is solid A+ in my humble opinion. No empty calories, low in sugar–pretty much perfect, except for the artificial sweetener in the protein powder. Hello glandular tumors.
Too much protein powder. I read one recipe that called for 5 scoops of protein powder, but either Cryosport 100% Whey is too sweet, or the recipe was off. The bitter aftertaste from the artificial sweetener is omnipresent, unfortunately. And if it’s sucralose (most of which goes undigested and straight through the colon), your protein blob experience might culminate with a trip to the toilet. I’ve been ok so far… but I’m definitely going to back off on the protein powder for next time.
Too creamy, to gooey, too runny. The bars just won’t hold together at room temperature. Before beginning, I spent a few minutes perusing recipes online for inspiration where I saw some that called from milk, others for water, and still others for applesauce. I went for almond milk and applesauce, but it was liquid overkill. Plus, in my low-carb zealotry, I was stingy with the oatmeal. The result was something more like protein pudding than protein bars. Richie’s Sub-Par Bars only hold together when frozen.
Notes for Next Time:
- Double or triple the oats. Experiment by grinding up one cup of oats into a coarse powder.
- Add at least one extra cup of assorted nuts. Hopefully the extra oats and nuts will help the bars hold together while eliminating the gooey mess.
- Reduce the amount of protein powder by at least one scoop. The extra nuts and oats should balance out some of the sweetness while masking any bitterness from the sucralose. The last thing I need is an enlarged hypothalamus.
My first attempt at protein bars resulted in misshapen blobs of protein, peanut butter, and nuts, and they were dang easy to make. The taste was so-so, but the nutritional profile blows most conventional bars out of the water. With a few adjustments, Richie’s Sub-Par Bars will be a nutritional whopper of a snack that tastes great and looks fabulous.