These are a delicious and wholesome breakfast or snack bar packed with healthiness and high quality protein to keep you full and satisfied – they are super convenient and you can avoid spending money on packaged bars loaded with added sugar and preservatives.
- Take along while traveling as a go-to snack/meal to avoid stressful never-ending searches for healthy options in unfamiliar locations and skip the questionable airline food
- Energy bars for road trips, camping, and hiking
- Everyday convenient breakfast or snack to satisfy munchie cravings
- Replenishing post-workout snack
- Add chocolate/carob chips to make ultra-healthy chocolate chip dessert bars
Each ingredient adds a bit more nutrition to this delicious recipe. I basically just combined some of my favorite healthy ingredients and came up with this recipe that I love – feel free to customize and add your own variations!
Recipe: Oatmeal Protein Powerbars
(Makes about 24 circular bars and two mini loaves)
- 2 cups oatmeal (I used 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill 5 grain cereal and 1 cup Bob’s 10 grain hot cereal which include other whole grains such as rye, barley, oat bran, etc)
- ½ cup quinoa flakes
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 cup plain or vanilla nonfat greek yogurt (I used Fage Total 0% plain)
- ¼ cup milk of your choice (soy, hemp, almond, coconut, etc) – I used Silk soymilk and almond milk
- 1 cup pumpkin (such as Libby’s canned 100% Pure Pumkin or Pacific 100% organic pumpkin puree)
- 1 cup egg whites
- 1 cup beans (I used black beans and adzuki beans – you can cook them yourself or use canned and strain and rinse them)
- 2 mashed ripe bananas (for more moisture)
- 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup super powders (I used Navitas Naturals Superfood blend of hemp, cacao, and maca)
- ¼ cup PB2 powdered peanut butter
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup dried superfruit berries of your choice! (mulberries, goji berries, golden berries – you can usually find them at places like Whole Foods, I like the Navitas Naturals brand)
- Mashed/chopped dates (for more sweetness – make sure to take out the pits! I like to use coconut date rolls from Whole Foods because they are already mashed and soft)
- ¼ cup black sesame powder (popular ingredient in China used in breakfast soups and desserts known for its nutritional benefits and high protein content, I also have found it in Asian grocery stores. I love black sesame powder (黑芝麻) for its delicious roasted nutty flavor and health benefits, and I often add it to oatmeal, baked goods, and desserts. The only problem is that it is hard to find in the U.S.
- Walnuts – raw, to sprinkle on top of the bars
- Carob chips / dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Blend in a large bowl oatmeal, quinoa flakes, flaxseed, chia seeds, and beans together with the wet ingredients- yogurt, milk, egg whites, pumpkin, banana mash, dates (optional), molasses, and vanilla.
- The longer the oatmeal and chia seeds are soaked, the better, because soaking oatmeal allows it to be more easily digested and gives it a softer, fluffier texture. The chia seeds also absorb moisture and develop a cool gelatinous texture.
In another bowl, mix together dry ingredients- flour, super powders, PB2, black sesame powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking powder.
Add dry mixture to the oatmeal bowl and mix well. Add in dried berries (or optional nuts and carob chips) and whatever else you want!
Lightly spray a 3X4 muffin pan and fill the cups ⅔ full with the mixture (or you can use a baking pan or loaf pan – I used 2 mini loaf pans for my extra batter after going through two muffin pans). Add chopped walnuts to the tops of the bars (optional).
Bake for 17-20 minutes until they are not gooey inside (use a toothpick or knife to check). They should be chewy and thick like muffins!