Make your own protein bars

By Nancy Tipton / FIT editor on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 · Leave a Comment

Becky Freeman/For the Journal
Sometimes I get tired of hearing people complain that “eating healthy is just too expensive.” Often these are the same people who go out drinking or eat out for lunch every day.
My mother often said that, in the long run, people do what they want to do. And while it can be more expensive to eat well, it doesn’t have to be. You just have to plan more and take advantage of things when they are in season, etc. And it really helps to embrace the concept of cooking. I could go on and on about the virtues of cooking, but that’s another blog.
While I have moved to a “cleaner” way of eating over the past couple of years, I am still a busy person who often wants the convenience of “grab and go.” To that end, I regularly buy packaged bars for pre- or post-workouts snacks. There are a lot of good ones with simple ingredients on the market out there. Kind bars remain some of my favorites, along with Lara Bars and the new Kit’s Organic fruit and nut bars from Clifare FAB. (And a plus for many people is the ingredient list for Kit’s: Organic Dates, Organic Almonds, Organic Barberries, Organic Bilberries, Sea Salt.)
This is a new kid on the block, so they may not be everywhere yet. But look for them where you find other Clif products.

But for a post-workout snack, I aim to get a little more protein. While I could just eat a second source of protein with my bar, I found the Rise protein bars a few weeks ago and became VERY excited. The ingredient label on these bars is printed in about 18-point type because they contain, (drum roll) almonds, honey and whey protein. They taste good …. but they are a little expensive — like almost $3 a bar.
So following the example of Chocolate Covered Katie and her homemade Lara Bars, I decided to see if I could make something that tasted like the Almond Honey Rise bars.
After one “failish” attempt, I came out with some pretty good replicas. They took about 5 minutes to make (if you don’t count cleaning up the food processor) and I’m sure they didn’t cost me $3 each.
Here’s the recipe:
1 cup almonds
4 T. honey
4 scoops vanilla egg white protein powder (can do whey if you prefer)
2 t coconut oil (melted)
First process the almonds in a food processor until they are finely chopped (like almond flour) then add the protein powder and pulse a couple times to mix. Add the honey one tablespoon at a time and keep processing. If it doesn’t get sticky, you can add a few drops of water or a little melted coconut oil until it’s just sticking together. It doesn’t look like cookie dough, but if you press a little of the mixture between your fingers, it sticks together.
Put the mixture in a small zip-lock bag and roll flat. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into 4 bars.
Per serving, these have about 23 grams of carbohydrates, 26 grams of protein and about 15-18 grams of fat for those who are counting.

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