See you later, Clif bars!

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Months ago when I was training for my half marathon, I bought a huge (think BJ’s-sized) box of Clif bars, figuring I’d use them to get in some protein while I was training. I didn’t eat them as frequently as I thought I would, and they ended up just sitting here…and sitting here…and sitting here.

The box expired in October, so a few weeks ago, I vowed to use them up and started eating 1/3 of a bar before my morning runs, which worked pretty well for me. However, I finished the last one this week, so I was in the market for another type of easy to digest, healthy protein before my morning workouts. I decided I’d take a stab at making my own, and after today’s trip to Trader Joe’s, I had everything I needed to develop my own protein bars!

Just some of my yummy finds at Trader Joe’s today!

Make-your-own healthy protein bars
Servings 6-8 (depending on how you cut them) 

  • 1 c. oats
  • 1/2 c. raisins (or other dried fruit)
  • 1/2 c. sliced almonds (or other nuts)
  • 1/4 c. flaxmeal
  • 2 scoops protein powder (I used vanilla soy protein)
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  1. Spray 8 x 8 pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients.
  3. Add in peanut butter and maple syrup. Stir until well blended.
  4. Evenly press mixture into greased pan.
  5. Refrigerate or freeze until solid, then cut into desired sizes. For easy on-the-go use, individually wrap each one in plastic wrap and store in fridge.

How to “level up” this recipe:

  • Have fun with this recipe! Throw in whatever you have on hand — granola, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, toasted quinoa, pumpkin pie spice, and/or wheat bran would all work!

How to “level down” this recipe:

  • To make it sweeter, add a teaspoon of vanilla and/or 1/2 c. chocolate chips.
  • Substitute 1/2 c. of crushed cereal (such as bran or corn flakes) for 1/2 c. of the oats.
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