Brandon recently announced his intention to get (more) swole* and started bringing home a variety of artificially-sweetened protein bars. Since I’ve gone through my own phases of trying out new workout regimens, I too have spent many hours (and dollars) trying to find high-protein snacks. This turned out to be a highly complex task, as finding a bar that tastes delicious and isn’t filled with empty calories – and artificial sweeteners – was a challenge I never overcame, and eventually gave up.
This time around, I decided to view this as an opportunity to create something myself. Starting with one of the single greatest food groups – peanut butter – and mixing it with chewy oats and crispy rice cereal made the perfect base for these bars. Wanting to increase the amount of protein, I added in a reasonable-tasking protein powder. For sweetness, honey. Chocolate chips seemed important for the deliciousness factor, but in a desire not to turn these in to candy bars, I tried out sugar-free chocolate chips (which – so surprising – tasted delicious!).
I’m exceptionally excited to have created these chewy, crispy, nutty sweet Peanut Butter Protein Squares that are a great snack anytime you want a little boost of something tasty but healthy – post-workout, mid-hike, or during that 330pm workday craving.
* probably important to note: his actual words were “I’ve decided to start occasionally work with a trainer to improve my overall fitness” 😀
Lightly spray a 8 x 8” square dish cooking spray and set aside.
Combine honey, peanut butter, and coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until the oil is melted and all the ingredients are throuroughly combined, and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, rice cereal, protein powder, cinnamon and salt. If the mixture is still warm, place in fridge until cooled, then stir in chocolate chips (I used my hands to thoroughly mix everything together)
Press evenly into the prepared pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm, then cut in to squares.
Strudel and Streusel are two friends living in different cities, sharing a love of baking (and butter) through this blog. With Streusel in Denver, and Strudel in Seattle, we've found our little site to be a great way to stay in touch, share recipes we love, and talk about experiences in our respective cities.