Protein Bars — Alton Brown

I’m a sucker for meal replacement with brightly colored wrappers and health claims. Psychologically, it’s like buying candy, but if you choose your bars right, you should get some nutritional benefits. My favorite protein bars are Zone Bars, Luna Bars and South Beach bars, all of which offer vitamins and a decent amount of protein.

The thing is, I’m tired of my top 3 bars. I wanted to try something with a different texture – something not so grainy and sticky and more along the lines of a brownie or cake. I decided to try Alton Brown’s Protein Bars. I made the recipe as directed, but subbed chocolate chips for the fruit. Now, I know I should have left in at least half of the fruit, because that’s where the bars get their sweetness and a cup of chocolate chips alone just doesn’t cut it.

protein bars

The reviews over on Food TV are quite interesting. I do have to admit, I am extremely jealous of the parents who claim their kids like these. Fuzz wouldn’t touch these with a 200 foot pole. At least, I don’t think. Just yesterday, we found a nutrition bar that she likes called Z-Bars which was a miracle…..more on that later (probably).

If you’ve made Alton’s protein bars, please let me know what you think. I’m going to wrap mine up, freeze them, and eat them for breakfast until I get tired of them and start craving Luna Bars again.

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  1. says

    We made these, fruits and all. My husband was so excited about the thought of these and was kind of disappointed. I thought they were decent, but I don’t think we’ll make them again. They were tolerable enough to get through the stash we had frozen in the refrigerator.

    Plus, the frozen ones were kind of convenient for me when traveling for work. Take a frozen one out and hit the road. They were all defrosted, but pleasantly cool a couple hours later when it came time for a snack.

  2. jennywenny says

    I’ve made these loads of times, I’ve been training for longer distance cycling events and I find them more palatable than clif bars or powerbars, not to mention they are cheaper and probably healthier than some sports nutrition. I’ve offered them around and they do seem to be a bit of an aquired taste. People either really like them or dont really care for them.

    I’d say you should really try the real recipe first as the fruit gives them some nice moistness and a little bit of sweetness. Not to mention long term energy and lower in fat.

    My other favourite is ellie krieger’s energy bars, I sometimes make a hybrid of the two.

  3. says

    Therese, I look forward to hearing what you think.

    Jill, right now, I’m with you. I’m going to eat them, but they aren’t as good as I’d hoped.

    Jenny, I will go ahead and try the next version with the dried fruit. I do think that will make a big difference.

  4. says

    I made a few batches of these recently. I think they taste *okay*. If the idea is that they’re nutritionally close to a Balance bar or a Cliff bar on the cheap, they succeed. While they are certainly better than most protein bars in terms of flavor, the bar is pretty low. I like your idea about subbing some of the fruit for chocolate chips. That would certainly make them more interesting.

    My main problem with them is that they aren’t exactly a snap to make. That in and of itself isn’t a big deal, I love baking. But seriously, though, there’s like seventeen ingredients. If you are going to make these, make a bunch so you can do them all at once.

  5. says

    Jaybill, I agree with you. I think these are good, but they are not necessarily better than some of the leading Energy bars. And while making home made bars seems economical, it’s only economical if you freeze all the bars and then make more batches with all the ingredients you’ve spent your money on. Still, it’s fun to make something sort of healthy once in a while.

  6. Joe says

    Just found this via google, and I’m not sure if anyone will even read this as the thread is so old, but here’s my two cents:

    Basically, I love these bars. Or, I should say, I love my version. I make them as directed by the recipe but instead of the fruit Alton suggests, I use 1/2 cup each of dried cranberries and cherries. I also add a cup of dark chocolate chips. For an added health kick, I also throw in 1/3 cup Acai berry powder and 1/2 cup milled flax seed. Obviously it’s not like eating a cookie or brownie, but I find them quite tasty, especially for the nutritional benefits they provide.

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