We go through protein bars like water in my house, really though, every trip to the grocery store consists of more protein bars. A friend mentioned she made her own bars from this recipe, which I've tweaked a bit.
These protein bars are easy and healthy. All you need is 1 bowl and a few healthy ingredients. The base of the cookie is oats, however you want to make sure you're using quick-cooking oats (instant oats). Some of the other ingredients are interchangeable, but I've listed them in the ingredients below. Also, you can use whatever dried fruits or nuts you like (i.e. cranberries, apricot, cherries, pecans, etc.)
Did you know? You can make your own almond butter? See here.
2 cups quick oats (not whole oats)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup almond butter (or peanut butter, or sunflower seed butter)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 cup apple butter (not the same as apple sauce)
1 large banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup rasins
1/4 cup ground flaxseed (optional)
2 scoops protein (vanilla or unflavored)
Recipe serves ~12 cookies. Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Using a stand or hand mixer, mix until all ingredients are combined. The dough will be very stiff and semi-difficult to work with.
Now you can either take all the dough and spread onto the lined baking sheet, which is what I do. Again the dough is very sticky and messy but you will be able to work it to the edges and make it even in the pan. Or you can turn them into cookies by taking 1/4 cup of the dough and onto the cookie sheet. From there you can spread and flatten the cookie to your liking. The cookies don't spread in the oven.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until edges are slightly brown. Allow cookies to cool before eating. They will stay fresh for 1 week, however you can freeze up to 3 months.