One of my very first blog posts was this one for Homemade Protein Bars. That post has received a lot of traffic over the last year and a half. Apparently, a lot of people use “the interwebs” to research homemade protein bars.

Well, here we have Homemade Protein Bars Take 2. I could also be calling them granola bars. I think they could stand a bit more tinkering, but I like them. A lot. I avoided using any type of protein powder this time because I am just not a fan of it, but if you added some in, it would certainly make the protein content higher. I want to see if I can get them to be a little less crumbly next time…so don’t be surprised to see Take 3 at some point in the future.

On the original post, a lot of people asked me if I could provide nutritional information for the recipe: ie the calories, fat, and protein per bar. I was initially annoyed by this line of questioning and tried to beg off, stating that I don’t count calories and don’t think my readers should either. I tried to explain that I believe eating a balanced, whole foods diet should not require focusing on these types of numbers: believe me when I say that I’ve been there, done that with the nutritional number crunching thing (I spent all of my teenage years and early twenties obsessing over that stuff) and don’t feel it’s necessary for good health (in fact, I think it can be detrimental to your psyche).

That said, I realize some people feel differently than I do about this having this information at their disposal (plus curiosity got the best of me), so I decided to run the ingredients through the recipe calculator over at Spark Recipes. This is what I came up with:

If you cut these into 9 bars (which are pretty large: I’ve been eating them for breakfast and they are very filling), each bar has:

357.6 calories
16.9 g. total fat (the bulk of which is monounsaturated)
0 mg. cholesterol
12.8 mg. sodium
492.5 mg. potassium
58.5 g total carbohydrates (of which 7.1 g is fiber)
11.3 g protein

Looking at these numbers, I’d honestly like to see the carbs lower and the protein higher. I’ll be trying to make this happen when I work on “Take 3″. But considering these contain entirely all-natural ingredients and in light of how high they are in some of the micronutrients (see below), I feel pretty good about eating them.

Vitamin/Mineral Profile of each bar:

Vitamin B-12 1.1 %
Vitamin B-6 9.3 %
Vitamin C 1.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 27.4 %
Calcium 13.5 %
Copper 36.5 %
Folate 12.2 %
Iron 26.9 %
Magnesium 37.1 %
Manganese 136.4 %
Niacin 7.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 10.0 %
Phosphorus 41.2 %
Riboflavin 12.5 %
Selenium 5.5 %
Thiamin 28.5 %
Zinc 18.8 %

I sweetened these with Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Nectar .

This is a low glycemic sweetener I found recently and have not used too much, but it worked very well here. You could use pure maple syrup, raw honey, or your favorite all natural sweetener instead, if you like.

Something I am going to try when I make these again is soaking the oats overnight before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. Soaking grains like oats makes them more digestible, and allows the nutrients to be better absorbed by the body.

So how do you feel about me including nutritional information with my recipes? Please let me know. Also, if you’ve had success with homemade protein bars and would like to share your secrets, I’d love to hear how you make them.

Homemade Protein Bars/Granola Bars

makes 9-12, depending on how what size pan you use and how you cut them

Ingredients:

*2 1/2 cups organic raw oats (make sure to use certified gluten-free oats if you need the recipe to be gluten-free
*1 cup dried blueberries (try to find ones without added sugar or preservatives; you could also use raisins, currants or your favorite dried fruit, chopped small)
*1/2 cup organic almond butter (or use organic peanut butter, or a different nut/seed butter)
*1/2 cup organic, plain Greek yogurt (I use full-fat; to make this recipe vegan, omit and use 1/2 cup more almond butter)
*1/3 cup hemp seeds (available in bulk food section of natural food stores)
*1/3 cup sesame seeds
*1/3 cup sunflower seeds
*1/4 raw coconut nectar (or honey, maple syrup, molasses, or your favorite all-natural liquid sweetener)
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1 teaspoon fine Himalayan or sea salt
*1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until well combined.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Press "batter" into a lightly buttered/oiled 8 x 8 inch pan. Really press down/pack it in.

3. Bake for 20-25 minutes until light golden brown. Cool before slicing into bars (freezing them before doing so may keep them from crumbling when slicing).

More Bars to Check Out:
Molasses Ginger Bars from GoodLifeEats
5 Ingredient Granola Bars from How Sweet It Is
Healthy Homemade Granola Bars from Craving Greens