An article from SHAPE.com written by Nicole Crane “This Protein Bar Recipe Will Save You So Much Money” is one you may wish to file away for the time being for the recipe and informationit contains. Retrieve it when you’re ready to construct a list of resolutions for the NEW YEAR that aim to help you live on a budget and at the same time eat healthier meals and snacks.
Crane’s recipe calls for a few food ingredients that are a bit pricey and possibly less likely to be regularly stocked in a pantry than other common items. I’ve found that if I must shop online or in local specialty stores to find more than one special or expensive recipe ingredients the chances decrease that I’ll actually make the food. Other deterrents to home baking include too high of a per serving calorie count and dislike of the flavor of an ingredient.
The less common/more expensive recipe ingredients include:
However, as with any recipe, this one can potentially be altered to:
Two changes that can be made in this recipe that won’t affect the protein or calorie content of the bars but that will likely change the flavor, for better or worse depending on preference, and decrease cost is to substitute:
*extra virgin olive oil for coconut oil. Although Crane feels the coconut oil is uber healthy, for heart health olive oilbeats it by several experts’ votes.
*natural style peanut butter for almond nut butter
If calories are a concern over taste, the mini-chocolate chips can be omitted, which add roughly 25 calories per bar (12 bars/recipe). Because I’m likely to snack on the chocolate morsels while I’m baking, the calorie savings would be a bit higher on preparation day if this ingredient is totally skipped. The honey (or maple syrup) ingredient, even though seemingly included for sweetness, is a thick liquid and probably added to wet the other ingredients, so it's omission to cut calories will be a problem.
As a general rule, ‘wet’ ingredients and ‘dry’ ingredients cannot be swapped for one another in a recipe, so a honey (maple syrup) substitute would be required that performed this function (unsweetened applesauce possibly?).
If you already have PB2 peanut powder on hand, it might be substituted for the almond flour, which is powdered almonds. There are calorie savings (~120 for peanut powder v 190 for almond flour) but divided into 12 bars translates to shaving roughly only 6 calories per bar (12 bar recipe).
If this recipe doesn’t excite you for any reason, there are many others posted online to try, keeping in mind that minor alterations can be attempted. Recipes with eggs as a protein source must be baked; refrigerator no-bake bars will contain proteins sourced from plants or powders.
When swapping ingredients, a convenient food safety rule to follow is that if an ingredient requires refrigeration before incorporation into a recipe, baking will be required.
Those eating food bars to boost protein intake for muscle building will want to investigate recipes that contain ingredient foods high in leucine. This branched amino acid, thought to stimulate muscle synthesis and slow muscle degradation, is mostly found in dairy and meat, but also in dry form in roasted soybeans, some seeds and nuts, and protein powders.
With a bit of research and trial-and-error baking, it may be possible to make personal protein bars that are highly customized for your specific training purposes and dietary needs. and preferences Although great taste is a top goal for bakers posting recipes online for public use, you can let it take second or third place behind athletic nutrition.
Healthy eating habits can be difficult to establish when food choices must be made on the go. Looking toward 2020, finding and customizing a homemade protein bar recipe that helps maintain nutrition goals may be a simple step toward keeping other big resolutions.
Crane's article discusses the health benefits of other ingredients in her recipe, providing even more food for thought on the topic! Check it out.
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EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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