Continuing from yesterday’s post, I offer energy bar #2: an easy-as-can-be no-bake bar, reminiscent of oatmeal cookies and packed with protein to keep your energy levels soaring!
Inspiration for these bars stems from several ready-made bars I like, most particularly BOBOS oat bars.
I really didn’t know what I was doing the first time I tried to pull these off. I found a recipe in Vegetarian Times magazine that, based on the headnote description and photo, resembled the Bobos bar.
I should have thought it through before assembly.
It was a no-bake bar, too, but instead of nut butter and/or honey, it was held together with tofu.
The gruel-like mixture was turned into a baking pan, topped with cheesecloth and a plate, then weighted with cans for 24 hours to set and dry out. I’m not kidding.
According to my resident food critic, and otherwise lovable husband, the results could be described in two words: prison rations.
But these bars are another story entirely.
They are dense (definitely intended as a quick breakfast or very substantial snack on the go), but I like that texture—something of a riff on a rich, moist oatmeal cookie.
I’ve played up the protein by adding a generous helping of plant based vanilla protein powder (I used VEGA brand, but you can use what you prefer). As a result, these bars are super filling! And SO much cheaper and tastier than ready-made protein bars.
Now pardon me for dashing off, I’ve got to go gobble one (or more!) of these right now; I just finished teaching pilates, followed by wind sprints with a toddler (and haven’t eaten since this morning). Cheers!
- 2 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned or quick-cooking, GF as needed)
- ½ cup plant based vanilla protein powder (for testing, I used VEGA brand)
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Optional: 1/2 cup (total) chopped dried fruit, nuts, seeds or mini chocolate chips
- ¾ cup nut or seed butter (e.g., peanut, cashew, almond, or tahini)
- ½ cup brown rice syrup, maple syrup or honey (if not vegan)
- 3 tablespoons nondairy milk (for testing, I used plain almond milk)
- Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment or foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl mix the oats, protein powder, salt, and any add-ins (e.g., dried fruit, nuts); set aside.
- Place the nut butter, syrup and milk in a large heavy saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly, melted and smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over oat mixture, stirring until blended.
- Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Using a large square of wax paper, parchment paper or foil, spritzed with cooking spray.very firmly press mixture down into pan to compact.
- Cool completely. Remove bars using foil overhang and then cut into 12 bars or squares.