On days that I’m running errands, in a rush, or just need a quick grab & go meal or snack option, my “emergency” stock of homemade protein bars (or sometimes store bought!), in my pantry, purse, and yes, even my car, are life savers!
Not all protein bars are created equally, though. In fact, some bars have just as much sugar (or even more!) than a candy bar.
If you’re wondering how to tell if your protein bar is actually healthy (or just a glorified candy bar), use this quick and easy protein bar label reading formula.
While quite a few bars on the market fit the formula above, I’m excited to share some GREAT NEWS!
In addition to purchasing protein bars…I finally figured out how to make my own homemade protein bars! (Inspired by Quest Protein Bars!) They’re not as cute as my little helper, but they sure do taste AMAZING!
If you haven’t tried a Quest bar before they’re low carb, gluten-free, sugar-free (some contain natural non-calorie sweeteners like stevia, while others use sucralose), and high protein (20g+/bar). They offer a unique texture–different than most other protein bars. Some women aren’t fans of the texture of the regular bar, but almost everyone agrees that the magic happens when you heat them.
You can bake them at 350 degrees for a few minutes, or microwave them for about 20 seconds to quickly turn your protein bar into a soft and chewy treat.
I recently discovered the magic ingredient that gives them this texture and was inspired to make my own homemade Quest bars. Mine aren’t quite as pretty but they’re super easy to make and much cheaper than buying them in the store!
What’s the secret ingredient, you ask? FIBER!
But not just any fiber. The secret ingredient is isomalto-oligosaccharide, also known as IMO. And it functions as a dietary fiber, prebiotic and low-calorie sweetener. If you look at labels closely, you’ll find that IMO is a popular ingredient in many protein bars.
I use (and LOVE!) the IMO, VitaFiber. IMO syrup is clear and has the same consistency as honey. It’s non-GMO, sugar-free and gluten-free and available as a syrup or powder. You can find it here!
You will need the VitaFiber to make these bars, so order that now right here, and then follow the recipe and flavor combinations below!
Homemade Protein Bars: Base Recipe
- 2 T. VitaFiber Syrup
- 1 Scoop PEScience vanilla protein
- 2 t. Almond meal
- Additional ingredients of your choosing
- Heat VitaFiber in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Just before it bubbles, remove from heat and immediately at protein powder and almond meal.
- Place mixture in a plastic bag and knead until it's cool.
- Once cool, form into bar.
- Combine all ingredients.
- Mixture will be slightly sticky to the touch. Form into bar shape.
- Store in plastic bag or bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or microwave for 20 seconds.
- See below for the flavor combinations I love!
Homemade Protein Bar Variations: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Use PEScience Vanilla protein powder and add in 2 T. of dark chocolate chips.
Homemade Protein Bar Variations: Chocolate Peanut Butter
Use PEScience Chocolate Cupcake or Peanut Butter Cookie protein powder. Add in 2 t. chopped peanuts and 2 t. chopped dark chocolate.
Homemade Protein Bar Variations: Double Chocolate Chunk
Use PEScience Chocolate Cupcake protein powder and add 2 t. chopped dark chocolate.
Homemade Protein Bar Variations: Peanut Butter and Jelly
Use PEScience Peanut Butter Cookie protein powder. Add in 2 t. chopped peanuts. Swirl in sugar-free strawberry jam.
Homemade Protein Bar Variations: Lemon Cream Pie
Use vanilla whey powder. Add in 1 t. lemon extract and 1/2 t. lemon zest.
Homemade Protein Bar Variations: Apple Pie
Use PEScience Snickerdoodle protein powder. Add in 2 t. freeze-dried apple and 1/4 t. cinnamon.
Homemade Protein Bar Variations: Banana Nut Muffin
Use PEScience Vanilla protein powder. Add 2 t. freeze-dried banana and 2 t. chopped walnuts.
Homemade Protein Bar Variations: Cinnamon Roll
Use PEScience Snickerdoodle protein powder and 1/2 t. cinnamon
Protein bars make great on-the-go snacks for the whole family. BeyondFit Mom has other AMAZING family-friendly recipes that won’t de-rail your fitness and fat loss goals. Buy the collection today!