After School Protein Bars
Here’s a phrase I never thought I’d hear my three-year old say: “Daddy, can I have a protein bar PLEEEEASSSE?”
I just never really thought that I’d be offering protein bars to my kids. I certainly never had them as a kid. But the truth is that my kids need more protein. They tend to eat carbs and fruit, neither of which gives them a boost of protein.
I can literally see my kid’s personality change if he hasn’t had enough protein in the day. I can see it change because usually he has just broken something because he is having an epic tantrum! Solution: PROTEIN.
So these protein bars are a staple in our house now. They have no added artificial sugar. They are easy to make. They are gluten-free if that’s your thing. They also have a whopping 7 grams of protein per bar, which is really good considering how small the bars are (I would cut them into larger bars if they were for me). 7 grams of protein is about 40% of what my 3 year old needs in a day!
And they have chocolate because I know how to do this parenting thing and if it has chocolate the kid will eat the thing.
- In a mixer with the paddle attachment (or with a sturdy spoon) mix together the peanut butter, protein powder, almond flour, honey, and milk, until the mixture is smooth.
- Pack mixture into an 8×8 baking dish lined with wax paper for easy removal. Press on peanuts, sesame seeds, and dried cherries so the toppings stick. Chill in the fridge for around an hour.
- Cut the bars into the size you would like. For kid-sized bars, I get 15 bars out of the batch.
- Melt your chocolate over a double boiler or in quick 15-second bursts in the microwave and then dip the bars in the chocolate. Drizzle extra chocolate over the top. Return bars to the fridge to set the chocolate and firm up the bars.
- Store bars in the fridge for 10-14 days. They will stay firmer in the fridge.
After School Protein Bars
There really isn’t much too these bars. You don’t need to bake them or anything. They set up perfectly in the fridge and mix together in just a few minutes.
Using good quality Whey Protein like Bob’s Red Mill and a super fine almond flour makes these bars have a really smooth texture. It isn’t grainy at all or have any sort of off flavors from the protein powder.
To make the base for the bars, mix together the peanut butter, almond flour, protein powder, milk, and honey in a mixing bowl. You could do this by hand actually with a sturdy spoon, but a mixer makes quick work of it. You just want it to be an even consistency and it should easily hold its shape.
Pack this mixture into an 8×8 baking dish lined with wax paper for easier removing!
Then the fun part! Press on the toppings! I used dried cherries, roasted peanuts, and sesame seeds, but as you might imagine you could use almost any dried fruit or nut on these guys.
It’ll be easier to handle these bars if you let them set up and chill in the fridge for an hour or so. Then you can easily slice them up.
I like to just melt some semi-sweet chocolate and give the bars a dip and a drizzle. They are fine without the chocolate, but really good with the chocolate.
Keep these after school protein bars in the fridge for fast snacks and know that you aren’t just feeding you kids sugary bars masquerading as protein bars! These are the real deal!