Homemade Protein Bars
Adapted from Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Café
Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus 30 minutes to bake and time to cool
Yield: About 20 medium-sized bars
Making your own granola bars is much easier than you may think, and it's really fun. Homemade bars are very economical, and you get to select all the ingredients according to your own standards, needs, and taste. Try adding some or all of the variations listed below. You may never make these the same way twice!
Nonstick spray for the baking pan and baking tray
1 cup soy protein powder
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 2/3 cup brown sugar (depending on your sweet tooth)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups plain or vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (325°F for a glass pan). Lightly spray a 9 X 13-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 applesauce or yogurt, oil, and vanilla, into a second bowl, stirring until well combined. Transfer the wet mixture into 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 prepared baking tray, and r 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 and/or seal them in a heavy plastic bag and store in the freezer. For maximum crispness, "refresh" them in a toaster oven after defrosting.
You can make the above recipe with any combination of the following:
- For nondairy bars, replace the yogurt with unsweetened applesauce, canned pumpkin, mashed silken tofu, or mashed banana. Add an extra pinch of salt if using pumpkin or silken tofu.
- Use 1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter (softened for a few seconds in a microwave, if necessary) in place of the canola oil.
- Quinoa, ground to a powder in a blender or an electric spice grinder, can replace the flour.
- Add 2 to 3 tablespoons powdered egg whites.
- Add up to 1 cup chopped nuts and/or sunflower seeds.