How to Make Protein Bars With Nuts Grains & Chocolate

How to Make Protein Bars With Nuts Grains & Chocolate
There they are, a whole slew of protein bars. Dozens of brand names, hundreds of health claims and lots of raids on your pocketbook. Making a protein bar is simple, healthy and probably tastier than what you would buy from the store. This recipe nets you a good supply quickly.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • 4 cups uncooked oats (rolled or steel cut; not instant)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. real vanilla flavoring
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup melted butter or substitute
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Fruit, nuts, and chocolate add-ins (see "Tips"):
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts (salted, dry-roasted or raw) or any other nut or combination of nuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate, carob chunks or chocolate chips; use a minimum 70 percent cacao or dark-chocolate baking chunks/chips
 
Step 1
Place the oats on a baking sheet with shallow sides; spread oats thinly and toast in a 350-degree F oven for 20 minutes. Watch the time so the oats do not burn. Remove the oats and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. While oats are toasting, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon and peanut butter, then add the melted butter and honey and mix everything well. A mixer, spoon, or hands in the batter work fine.
Step 2
Add fruits and nuts by mixing into the batter with hands to distribute evenly. It is best doing this one ingredient at a time. Add the oats, and mix the entire batter thoroughly and evenly. This step is best accomplished with clean, greased (butter or oil) hands.
Step 3
Grease or butter a baking sheet with shallow sides--use the one in which the oats were toasted. Spoon the batter onto the baking sheet, and with a greased rolling pin, spread the batter evenly over the entire baking sheet. Then use the rolling pin to even the depth of the bars. This will be dictated by the size of the chunks used for chocolate, fruit and nuts. The bars should be a minimum of 1/4-inch deep and not more than 1/2-inch deep.
Step 4
Put the baking sheet in the center of the oven, or if baking more than one batch at a time, put the racks at the 1/3 and 2/3 oven positions and rotate the racks halfway through the baking cycle. Bake at 450 degrees F for 8 to 15 minutes until a light golden brown. Baking times vary by the type and amount of add-ins.
Step 5
Remove the baking sheets and, using a pizza-style cutter, cut into bars while still hot. It is easier to cut at this stage, as the bars will harden as they cool. Leave in the baking sheet until cool. Remove from baking sheet and place into an airtight container. Bars can be individually wrapped in plastic wrap. Yield depends on the size of the bar cut. The protein bars will store from 8 to 10 weeks.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
 
The recipe can be modified to use any add-ins desired.
 
Any dried fruit is a good addition.
 
This is one of those recipes where experimentation results in better and better results.
 
The bars can also be dipped in tempered chocolate.
 
You can also roll out half the batter at 1/4-inch thickness, then covered the uncooked layer with fruit leather before adding a top 1/4-inch layer.
 
If more than three add-ins are used (the chocolate melts, and doesn't create a problem), the quantities of oats, butter, and honey may need to be increased. Do not over-bake.
 
If more than three add-ins are used (the chocolate melts, and doesn't create a problem), the quantities of oats, butter, and honey may need to be increased.
 
Do not over-bake.

Article Written By Eric Jay Toll

Eric Jay Toll has been writing since 1970, influenced by his active lifestyle. An outdoorsman, businessman, planner and travel writer, Toll's work appears in travel guides for the Navajo Nation, "TIME" and "Planning" magazines and on various websites. He studied broadcast marketing and management at Southern Illinois University.

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