I like having a quick, healthy, on-the-go, snack that I can grab as I’m running out the door or that my school kids and hubby can add to their lunches. These little protein bars are perfect and so yummy! There aren’t very many ingredients too which is another bonus, they are so easy to make and there is no baking, so in the summer you don’t have to worry about using a hot oven! The original recipe calls for almond butter which is very tasty, but if you don’t have a peanut allergy, try replacing the almond butter with peanut butter; also so yummy! My family is torn, half liking the almond way better and half the peanut butter way, so try them both! The nice thing about peanut butter is it’s less expensive than almond butter and it has fewer calories, not by much, but a little, and if you’re counting I know that matters :).
Here are the ingredients in this recipe: Brown Rice Crisps (not to be confused with the puffed brown rice cereal!), oats, brown rice syrup, agave(can sub honey for either of those sweeteners), almond butter and vanilla protein powder. You can use any vanilla protein powder. I use a vegan powder which is more expensive than the whey powders, but since the kids eat them regularly, I feel better about using an all plant-based protein. Most health food stores carry the Sunwarrior brand and I also have used Arbonne. (Forgot to put the oats in the picture)
You can use peanut butter in place of almond butter.
Place your almond/peanut butter in a medium-sized microwaveable bowl, add the brown rice syrup and agave and microwave for 1 minute. Stir and return to microwave for an additional 30 seconds. We warm this so that it’s easier to stir and work with. To this you’ll add your crisps, oats and your powder. Stir to combine.
Press the mixture into an ungreased sheet pan(I used to line mine it with parchment, but they really don’t stick to the pan so it’s not necessary) .
Try and press it in evenly.
Cut the bars into squares or rectangles, whatever size you prefer. I usually cut them into 40 squares. Cover them with saran wrap and allow to chill in fridge for at least one hour before eating. If you forget to cut them before they are refrigerated it will just make cutting a little harder to do.
The almond butter bars are darker in color than the peanut butter bars (picture at top of post)
You can store in the fridge or freezer. I like to store mine in the freezer because I like them when they’re a bit hard and chewy, but that’s just a personal preference. When I store mine in the freezer I wrap about half in plastic wrap so my kids and hubby can grab them as they run out the door to school and work, and then I stick those in my rectangular-shaped Tupperware with all my other bars that are stacked on top of each other separated with parchment paper to prevent layers from sticking.
A great after school snack!
Almond Butter Protein Bars (cut into 40 bars; 142 calories each)
2 c almond butter (or peanut butter)
1 c brown rice syrup (can sub honey for this)*
½ c agave (can sub honey)
2 c vanilla protein powder
1 c regular rolled oats
2 c brown rice crisp cereal (*not brown rice puffs! )
In a medium sized microwave safe mixing bowl, add almond butter, brown rice syrup and agave. Microwave one minute. Stir. Return to microwave an addition 30 seconds. Add cereal and powder. Pat flat into a parchment-lined sheet cake pan. Cut into 40 squares. Cover and refrigerate one hour. Store in fridge or freezer in airtight container.
*When I sub all honey for the sweeteners, I find that I usually don’t need nearly as much protein powder. So I add protein powder last, 1/2 cup at a time until it’s at a dough like consistency, not too dry (it usually ends up being about half of what I normally use, so about 1 cup).