The quest for a healthy protein bar …
I don’t think my husband, Kevin (hence the name K-Bar), will mind my sharing this story, but when our gym did a Zone challenge a few years back, he got hooked (and I snuck a few for myself, of course) on Mint Chocolate Clif Builder Bars. After a few years of paleo, they taste like a freaking candy bar and the macros are good for a Zone diet. We didn’t love the long ingredient list, but the alternatives were even junkier and the healthy protein bars are more expensive.
Trust me, I am no stranger to paying a premium for high quality snacks and protein bars. I have researched pretty much every paleo / clean protein bar out there and they are not cheap. And I totally get it. When it comes to food, you often pay for what you get. That is why they can sell Snickers 2 for $1 and my favorite real food protein bars cost $3 or more. And I love supporting the companies who make these high quality foods when I am out and about, but it was getting out of control, and we needed a better option at home.
When you take into account my 6’7” husband who trains hard almost every day of the week, myself (a self-proclaimed mediocre CrossFitter), and our three year old who is constantly asking for a “peanut butter bar”, I can almost justify getting a part-time job just to support our snack habit. We had to do something before we declared snack bankruptcy.
We developed our own Real Food Protein Bars!
Although I do most of the cooking now since I am home with the kiddos, Kevin is a great cook. He is also more creative than I am. I prefer to follow a recipe (sometimes loosely, but I do like direction), while he loves to throw together ingredients and see what happens. He knew he could come up with a healthy protein bar recipe that would be cheaper to make at home. It took some trial and error, but he really landed on a winner with these protein bars!
Even better, they are totally customizable. I’ll leave a few variations in the “Notes” section of the recipe, but as long as you keep the amounts the same, you can change the flavors around any way you like. You can sub in a different type of nut butter, a different flavor of protein powder, or even switch out the sweetener. You will want a GOOD food processor. This makes a hefty batch of protein bars so I recommend a 7-10 cup food processor. We use a Cuisinart 7-Cup Food Processor and it works beautifully. I use it almost every day to chop or shred veggies, blend sauces, and make these protein bars!
If you have been searching for a cleaner, healthier protein bar, look no further.
These protein bars have only 7 ingredients (seriously!), use only real food sweeteners, and pack a whopping 23 grams of protein per serving! I’ll link to some of the ingredients on Amazon because the easiest and most cost-effective way is to buy the ingredients in bulk. We seriously have a tub of protein powder in our pantry now. It looks like a paint bucket!
These bars are perfect for a pre- or post-workout snack. If you make these, I would love to know how you like them – leave me a comment or share a photo on social media and tag @whatigather! Now, on to the recipe…