Update: This is an older recipe for protein bars, but it’s a pretty solid one from Alton Brown. Seth recently made some changes, so I’ve added his notes at the bottom.
I got tired of my top three favorite protein bars and 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.
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.
4 ounces/114 grams soy protein powder, approximately 1 cup
2 1/4 ounces/60 grams oat bran, approximately 1/2 cup
2 3/4 ounces/76 grams whole-wheat flour, approximately 1/2 cup
3/4-ounce/21 grams wheat germ, approximately 1/4 cup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 ounces /84 grams raisins, approximately 1/2 cup
2 1/2 ounces/70 grams dried cherries, approximately 1/2 cup
3 ounces/84 grams dried blueberries, approximately 1/2 cup
2 ½ ounces/70 grams dried apricots, approximately 1/2 cup
1 (12.3-ounce) package soft silken tofu
1/2 cup unfiltered apple juice
4 ounces/114 grams dark brown sugar, approximately 1/2 cup packed
2 large whole eggs, beaten
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
Canola oil, for pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch pan or baking dish and line with parchment. Grease parchment.
Chop all the dried fruit if you haven’t already.
Stir together the protein powder, oat bran, wheat flour, wheat germ, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside. Add the chopped fruit.
In a second mixing bowl, whisk the tofu until smooth. Add the apple juice, brown sugar, eggs, and peanut butter, 1 at a time, and whisk to combine after each addition. Stir this mixture into the protein powder mixture, then stir in the dried fruit.
Spread evenly in the prepared baking dish and bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 205 degrees F. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting into bars.
I’ve made this recipe multiple times, and the flavor never seemed quite right to me. Kind of bland bar with some fruit in it. I’ve been cutting out sugar and most grains, and it’s helped me lose weight. I recently tried modifying this recipe to make a no sugar (added) and no grain (mostly) recipe, and they are now my go to for a snack. I replaced the following:
— raisins with dried cranberries (because raisins are vile). No, they are not, Seth — Anna
— brown sugar with Lankanto gold (monkfruit/erythritol sweetener that subs for brown sugar)
— wheat germ with flax meal
— whole wheat flour with 2 ounces of coconut flour
— soy isolate powder with whey isolate protein
— extra egg
The batter is much more like cake batter than Alton’s (as in his video), but they came out beautifully. There’s already a lot of sugar from the fruit and apple juice, so taking out the brown sugar reduces the carb count. I try to limit my soy intake, so the tofu was enough, and whey isolate is a more complete protein source. The coconut flour adds fiber and a nice extra flavor to the mix. They come out nice and moist, more like a brownie than cake-y.
Give this a try and see if it helps.