No Bake Oatmeal Protein Bars
By Susan Arruda
YIELD: 24 bars
These are so good, you may want to double the batch and have them on hand for healthy snacks; perfect for pre-post workout and for a grab and go breakfast option!
2 cups rolled oats
1 tbsp. flax meal (ground flax seeds)
1 tbsp. steel cut oats
1 tbsp. chia seeds
2 tsp. cinnamon
4 scoops protein powder of your choice (I used chocolate flavour)
½ cup peanut butter (use natural PB to avoid trans fats)
½ cup unsweetened applesauce (or mashed banana)
¼ cup strained prunes (½ of a 4.5 fl oz/128ml baby food jar – approx. 60 ml or 1/4 cup – use the full jar for a double batch)
OPTIONAL TOPPINGS to roll squares after cutting: Hemp hearts, steel cut oats, crushed ‘clean’ and free from junk additives bran flakes (put it in a ziplock and use a rolling pin), *kasha/toasted buckwheat, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, spelt flakes, chia or flax seeds, wheat germ, cocoa powder, cacao nibs, chopped dark chocolate, cocoa or cacao or carob powder, cinnamon or other desired topping of choice.
OPTIONAL: Add 2-4 tbsp. organic brown sugar, raw honey or maple syrup, agave nectar or sweetener of choice for a sweeter bar.
Line an 8”X8″ baking pan with parchment paper for easy removal of bars.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well blended.
Put mixture into prepared dish and spread with a non stick spatula or clean hands that have been moistened with water (the mixture will be quite tacky; hence the damp hands help with this process). If the mixture is too sticky, you can refrigerate it for an hour (or fast track it in the freezer for approx. 20-30 mins.) making it easier to handle.
Cut into 24 squares. Roll each bar in crushed cereal mixture, or toppings of choice.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Recipe can be easily doubled and freezes well.
*KASHA aka toasted buckwheat, is a whole grain that adds nutrients, flavour and texture and is closer to being a complete protein than other plant sources (such as soybeans). Buckwheat is not wheat, nor is it related to wheat. Like many of the other so-called “whole grains,” buckwheat is not technically a grain nor a cereal. It is actually the seed of the plant and it is gluten-free. It contains all eight essential amino acids in good proportion. In particular, kasha contains significant amounts of the amino acid lysine, which makes it unique as a grain substitute. Kasha is full of B vitamins, fiber, and rich in phosphorous, potassium, iron and calcium. Buckwheat is a good binding agent and, when soaked, becomes very gelatinous. Soaking, rinsing, and re-drying the groats produces a crunchy buckwheat crispy that is nice as well.
Please note; the nutritional information does not include any of the toppings suggested.