Homemade Protein Bars
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 C. soy protein powder
- 1/2 C. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 C. rolled oats
- 1/2 C. oat bran
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2-2/3 C. packed brown sugar
- 1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 C. plain or vanilla yogurt
- 1/4 C. canola oil
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking pan and a baking tray with nonstick spray. Mix together the protein powder, flour, oats, oat bran, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Crumble in the brown sugar, rubbing it with your fingers to break up any clumps. Stir in the chocolate chips. Measure the yogurt, oil, and vanilla into a second bowl, stirring until well combined. Add the wet mixture to the dry, and mix patiently until thoroughly blended. (You may have to use your hands-- it will be a thick batter, verging on a dough.)
Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, patting it evenly into place with your hands. Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and cut into bars of any size or shape. Place the bars on the prepared baking tray and bake for another 15 minutes, or until golden around the edges. (For extra-crunchy bars, turn off the oven and leave them in there for up to 45 minutes
longer.) Remove the bars from the oven, and place them on a rack to cool.
Eat the bars within a few hours, or seal them in a heavy zip-style plastic bag and store in the freezer. For maximum crispness, "refresh" them in a toaster oven after defrosting.
Yield: 20 bars
Note: For non-dairy bars, replace the yogurt with unsweetened applesauce, canned pumpkin, or mashed banana (Or try the silken tofu option in the Protein Boosters box.) Add an extra pinch of salt if using pumpkin or silken tofu. The range of sugar allows you to make these bars sweeter or not, according to your taste.
Variations: Protein Boosters –You can make the main recipe with any combination of the following adjustments:
-Replace the canola oil with 1/2 C. peanut butter or almond butter (softened in a microwave).
-Replace the flour with quinoa, ground to a powder in a blender or an electric spice grinder.
-Replace the yogurt with mashed silken tofu (soft or firm). Add an extra pinch of salt.
-Add 2 to 3 Tbs. powdered egg whites.
-Add up to 1 C. chopped nuts and/or sunflower seeds.