If you don't like the additives in store-bought nutrition bars or hate paying $3 for a meal replacement bar or protein bar snack, you'll appreciate this recipe. My friend Sara passed a recipe on to me from a Body-For-Life message board and I've modified based on some kitchen testing. These are quick to make and make for a nice little snack, too. Best of all, they contain healthy dietary fat, are no-sugar added and do not contain glycerine or other unnatural ingredients. Be sure to keep them refrigerated and don't eat the whole batch at once!
5 tbsp natural peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
1/2 cup dry oats or whole grain hot cereal (uncooked)
1/2 cup oat flour * (double the oats if you do not have oat flour)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons flax seeds (optional)
1 cup non-fat dry milk
1/2 cup water (depending on what type of protein you use, you may need to add more)
Spray an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients in a medium size bowl and mix well. Add peanut butter and mix - the mixture will be crumbly and dry. Add water & vanilla. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, everything until a dough forms. The dough will be sticky. Spread dough into pan using a clean wooden spoon or spatula that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Refrigerate a few hours (or freeze for an hour) and cut into 9 squares. Wrap bars individually (use sandwich bags or plastic wrap) or store in covered container between sheets of wax paper. Keep refrigerated.
Modifications: Use vanilla protein and replace ~1/4 cup of the oatflour with a variety of nuts, seeds, or dried berries. Chopped almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, peanuts, flax seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, or dried cranberries would all work well.
* Making Oatmeal/Oat Flour: To make your own oat flour, all you need to do is put a cup or two of oatmeal in a regular household blender and blend it on high...it will turn into a flour. Store in a covered bowl in the pantry. It takes 1 minute and is VERY easy and cheap alternative to buying in the store.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
197 calories, 21 g protein, 7.2 g fat (8% saturated), 13.7 g carbohydrate, 1.6 g fiber