I could go on for days about my favorite clean protein and granola bars.
It’s so much easier than it used to be to find a bar made with real ingredients that will actually satisfy your hunger longer than the time it takes to eat it. I always seem to have one in my purse, in the dashboard of my car, and especially in my book bag (shout out to my 7:10-10:30PM class on Monday nights heyyyyy!).
I can’t go super long periods of time without eating, and by super long I mean about two hours tops. Fruit and nuts are great go-to fillers, but what about when I need something a little more satisfying? The thing is, there are products out there, but in all honestly, that stuff gets expensive! In true StrawberryMint fashion, I decided to make a granola protein bar that tastes good, travels well, and fills me up with only wholesome, real ingredients.
What I like about these bars is that they’re super versatile. You can pretty much add whatever you have in your pantry or whatever you’re craving most. I recommend mini dark chocolate chips and dried cherries for a healthy treat on the sweet side. If you want extra protein and crunch, add a variety of nuts – toast them for a few minutes in a dry sauté pan over medium heat to pump up the flavor volume. Coconut flakes, dried blueberries, or even pepitas (pumpkin seeds) would be delish, too.
This particular recipe started with a bunch of super hearty oats. I you only have quick oats on hand, that’s perfectly fine. I like using multigrain oats with rye, barley, and wheat for some additional substance and texture. Ground flax seed adds fiber and omega-3 essential fatty acids that you won’t always find in even the cleanest store-bought granola bars. I add a scoop of my favorite protein powder, which helps to tame my hunger and fight off snacking temptations throughout the day. The struggle is real, y’all.
Ripe bananas and maple syrup add a layer of sweetness without making the bar taste like dessert. Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg with dried cranberries and slivered almonds bring everything together to form a delicious, nutritious, and flavorful granola bar packed with hunger-satisfying protein. The texture is similar to that of a Clif Bar – soft, but firm, and pleasantly chewy. Perfect for on-the-go snacking and makes a great companion to a hot mug of coffee or tea.
Here’s what you’ll need:
3 cups of oats (I use Trader Joe’s Organic Multigrain Oats with rye, barely, oats, and wheat)
1/4 cup of flax seed, ground into flour consistency
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (optional; I use SunWarrior Raw Vegan Protein)
2 medium bananas, mashed
1/4 cup of good quality maple syrup (grade A is preferable)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/3 cup of raw slivered almonds
1/3 cup of dried cranberries
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine oats, ground flax seed, and protein powder.
In a smaller bowl, mash bananas and stir in maple syrup, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Transfer wet mixture to oat mixture and stir thoroughly until everything is moist. Then fold in nuts and cranberries.
In a well greased or lined 8×8 pan, use your hands to firmly press in the mixture, paying close attention to the edges.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until firm. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes and slice into bars to cool completely.
Store the bars in an airtight container. They will also freeze nicely! :)
This recipe will make about 10 good sized bars. Each bar has 170 calories, 3.3 grams of fat, 5.1 grams of fiber, 8.1 grams of sugar, and 6.1 grams of protein.