I was having a clean-out-the-pantry moment a few weeks ago. We have a glorified closet that I like to call our pantry. It’s quite deep, and sometimes things get lost back there, not often, but it happens. In this purging moment, I found some brown rice crisp cereal, a bag of unopened flax seeds, and a jar of peanut butter. How the peanut butter escaped us, is beyond me! But out of these few ingredients, came these protein bars. Jonty and I have coined them as Chewy Peanut Protein Pick-Me-Up bars. And they are true to their name!
Truth be told, the real reason I was “cleaning” was because I wanted to make some post-climbing and mid-training snacks, and I really didn’t want to have to leave the house for ingredients. Thank goodness for long-lost jars of nut-butter! We’ve been entering local bouldering competitions over the last few weeks and it’s great to have bite-sized snacks to munch on when we feel the need for a little boost of energy. I don’t like buying protein bars because (1) they’re often super expensive, and (2) I can usually make something equally tasty!
These bars are perfect for our needs. They don’t require baking (just a stove-top, for bringing a few ingredients to the boil) and they keep really well in the freezer. We absolutely love the flavour of them, and they pack a great energy-boosting punch!
The perks of these Chewy Peanut Protein Pick-Me-Up bars:
- Boost of energy: Oats make up the bulk of these bars, providing lots of fibre and slow-burning carbs for when your energy is running low.
- Lots of seeds: Chia, pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds pack in a great boost of protein, fibre and a whole host of vitamins and minerals.
- No refined sugar: Only pure maple syrup and dried cranberries in these bad boys.
- No baking required: Total bonus, when the oven is being used for other important things.
- Easy, portable snacks: Cut them into bars or roll them into balls.
I’ve made these several times this season, and they don’t disappoint! They’re great to keep in the freezer, for those times when you need a quick afternoon snack, or fuel for a great climbing session.
- 180 g (1½ cups) large-flake oats
- 40 g (1 cup) crispy brown rice cereal (likethis)
- 55 g (2/3 cup, lightly packed) unflavoured protein powder
- 40 g (1/4 cup) chia seeds
- 40 g (1/4 cup) pumpkin seeds
- 40 g (1/4 cup) sunflower seeds
- 40 g (1/4 cup) flax seeds
- 15 g (1/4 cup) unsweetened large-flake coconut
- 70 g (1/2 cup) dried, unsweetened cranberries
- 155 g (1/2 cup) pure maple syrup
- 120 g (1/2 cup) smooth, unsalted, natural peanut butter
- 3 tbsp milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, cereal, protein powder, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and dried cranberries.
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat, whisk together the maple syrup, peanut butter and milk. Whisk occasionally until the mixture just starts to boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the peanut mixture over the oats mixture and mix very well until everything is completely combined.
- Transfer the mixture into a parchment-lined 9x9-inch square pan and use the back of a spatula to spread out the mixture and flatten until it is smooth on top.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until firm and set. Cut into squares.
The bars are quite sticky at room temperature, so it is best to keep them in the fridge or freezer. If they will be at room temperature for a long period of time, individually wrap them in parchment or waxed paper.
Enjoy the Chewy Peanut Protein Pick-Me-Up Bars!