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.
Thanks Seth! I haven’t made these in years, but now I’m looking forward to trying them again with your changes. I am going to add your notes to the main post.
I’ve made this recipe multiple times, and the flavor never semed 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),
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
I added an extra egg and mixed them up. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jill - GlossyVeneer
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.