If you’re anything like me, then you’re always on the search for healthy protein bars you can make at home. So many of the store bought kind are filled with sugar and fat, and are ridiculously high in calories. I’m lookin’ for a snack here, not an entire meal. And I am not a professional athlete. I want a protein filled snack that will keep me full between meals. So, after I recently bought some puffed rice I was feelin’ crispy protein bars this time around. I suppose these are like a healthier rice krispie treat, if you want to think of it that way (which I do cuz that makes these so much more fun!).
These bars are a cinch to pull together. Just seven ingredients that you probably already have at home, a short stint in the fridge to set up, and you’re ready to go. I’ve been bringing this bars with me on the go as a snack between breakfast and lunch and they have delivered on all my protein bar criteria.
These are called Mocha bars for a reason. They have instant coffee added to the mix to give them a nice coffee flavor (and a mid day boost). I originally thought the coffee flavor was a bit strong, but I gave them to my boyfriend and a friend (aka forced them to try one) and they both agreed that they were not overpowering. If you don’t love coffee, you can omit the instant coffee altogether, or just reduce it by half.
I also recently bought a bottle of raw agave. It has a dark color almost like molasses and a stronger, richer flavor than the regular light colored agave. I decided to use a mixture of honey and the raw agave to add some depth of flavor. I’m not sure I could even taste the raw agave, but I liked the idea of it. If you only have light agave, go for it. You can also use all honey, but I don’t recommend using just agave since it is not as thick and the bars will not hold together as well.
Once you have pushed the whole mixture into the prepared pan, make sure to do a generous sprinkle of sea salt. This really brings out the flavor of the bars, so don’t skip this step!
I gave my bars a little drizzle of Hershey’s chocolate sauce, but you could also melt a chocolate bar/chocolate chips and spread or drizzle that over these bars. The melted chocolate would harden and minimize the mess factor that I had with the chocolate sauce. I just wanted some chocolate and thought it looked pretty in the pics, ok!?
What is your favorite flavor combination to make in a homemade protein or snack bar?
- 4 cups puffed rice cereal
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/8 cup raw agave (or light agave)
- 1/2 cup (2 scoops) chocolate protein powder (I used whey)
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- sea salt to sprinkle on top
- Prepare a 9X9 inch pan by placing two sheets of parchment or wax paper in a "t" across the pan. Coat lightly with cooking spray.
- Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- In a medium bowl, add all wet ingredients and microwave for about 15 seconds. Whisk until completely combined.
- Add wet to dry ingredients and toss until all dry ingredients are coated. I used my hands for this step.
- Add mixture to the prepared pan and press down with your hands until compact and even. Refrigerate for about 15-30 minutes to set.
- Drizzle with chocolate sauce or melted chocolate. Store in an airtight container.