We’re pretty sure it goes without saying that all of us need protein in our diet. Protein is a macronutrient that makes up 15 percent of our body’s weight. It’s what our hair and skin are made of, what builds up our muscle mass and, protein is also what helps to repair tissue at a cellular level.
Foods that are high in protein include lean meats, eggs, tuna, lentils, quinoa, almonds, peas (including chickpeas), peanut butter and broccoli. As far as how much protein our bodies need, children, women and seniors typically need two servings a day that equate to 5-6 ounces while on the other hand, teenage boys and men require three servings that equal out to being 7-9 on a daily basis.
Whether you’re a vegetarian or vegan who’d prefer to get protein from something other than meat or you’re constantly on the run and you’re looking for a way to get your protein fix without having to cook an entire meal, you may want to try a protein bar, because they are affordable and super-convenient. Just keep in mind that since they tend to isolate a particular protein (like eggs or nuts) and because they also contain sugars and oils, it’s best to treat them like the kind of snack that you have a couple of times a week rather than a staple that’s a part of your daily diet routine.
There are bars that you can buy (you can find a list of healthy ones here). But if you want to save a few bucks (and also know exactly what you’re eating), how about making some homemade protein bars? As you’ll see in just a sec, they are way easier to prepare than you might initially think.
Peanut Protein Bars
What You’ll Need:
- 2 3/4 cups of oatmeal
- 1 3/4 cups of peanuts (grounded)
- 1 1/4 cups of cottage cheese
- 1 banana
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of honey
- 1 /2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
Step One: First, just so the mixing process is easier on me, I put the banana and cottage cheese (A protein rich food) into a blender. I blend, at a medium speed, for about a minute or so.
Step Two: I transfer what should now be a creamy mixture into a medium-sized mixing bowl and add my oatmeal, ground peanuts and honey. Then, with lightly floured hands, I kneed all of the ingredients, just like I would with homemade cookie dough. I continue to kneed the dough until everything is blended and smooth in my hands.
Step Three: I line my baking pan with parchment paper and then put the dough onto it. I use a rolling pin to evenly distribute the dough throughout the pan and, to make sure that the dough is as smooth as possible.
Step Four: My next step is to use a sharp knife so that I can cut through the dough and make the bars the exact size that I want them to be. Then I put them into the freezer, uncovered, and leave them there for about 30 minutes. Then, guess what? I’m done!
And what if you’d prefer to add some blueberries into the mix?
What You’ll Need:
- 2 1/4 cups of oatmeal
- 1 1/4 cups of unsalted peanuts (grounded)
- 1 cup of cottage cheese
- 1 banana
- 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 (or half) cup of blueberries
As far as how the instructions go, they’re basically just like the ones that I provided for the peanut bars. The only difference is Greek yogurt and blueberries need to be added before you begin to kneed the dough. Also, it’s important to be a little more gentle with this recipe because you don’t want to smush your blueberries to smithereens in the process.
Bonus protein bar tip: I’ll be honest with you, the end results will not give you the sweetest protein bars in the world (although I tested them out on my nephews and they liked them!). So, if you want them to be sweeter, all you need to do is add some more honey. Or, you can turn the peanut protein bars into some peanut butter and chocolate ones by adding a few dark or milk chocolate chips into the mix. Either way, they are quick, easy and a great way to get some protein in during the middle of your day. Enjoy!
If you’re looking for some more protein rich recipes or even some super foods to add to some of your own homemade recipes! We have just the ones for you!
Or just simply want to know more about protein powder? Here’s the truth behind protein powder!