Who doesn’t love a superb protein bar? They’re among the many most tasty, filling, and handy healthy snack ideas you possibly can get pleasure from, whether or not you favor store-bought or home made. In case you’re searching for recipes to make your personal protein bars although, you then’ve most likely obtained an inkling that DIY’ing it has sure benefits.
The primary draw with going the home made route is the infinite customizability. Once you make your personal bars, you by no means need to compromise on getting precisely what you’re searching for, Yasi Ansari, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., a Los Angeles–based mostly sports activities dietitian and nationwide media spokesperson for the Academy of Vitamin and Dietetics, tells SELF. Say you like the chewy texture of 1 store-bought protein bar and the chocolate drizzle on a distinct one. “As a substitute of shopping for two totally different bars which have items of what you get pleasure from consuming, the one you make by yourself is personalised to you and your favourite components,” Ansari says.
Past pleasing your palate, home made protein bars can suit your dietary must a T. “With home made bars, it’s additionally simpler so as to add extra diet into every chunk,” Ansari says. (Need carbohydrates that can present a extra gradual stream of vitality? Throw in some fiber-rich dried fruit or complete grain cereal. Want a bit extra fiber and fats to assist satiate you? Add some nuts and seeds.) Equally vital, making your personal bars means you get to depart out the components you don’t love a lot or have to keep away from for well being causes. (Extra on that in a minute.)
In fact, store-bought protein bars do have their advantages too—specifically, requiring zero time within the kitchen—and there are some glorious merchandise on the market that may definitely advantage a spot in your eating regimen for those who’re a fan. If you wish to persist with store-bought, superior. However since there are some potential pitfalls there, we’ll go over what it is advisable know so you possibly can keep away from them. Then we’ll discuss how home made protein bars might help you keep away from these drawbacks altogether and reply some frequent questions on making them. Lastly, we’ll ship you off with a group of killer home made protein bar recipes.
Do protein bars make you poop?
Sure store-bought protein bars have a fame for making you clutch your abdomen or run to the toilet as a result of they comprise components recognized to trigger GI discomfort, similar to (plenty of) added fiber and sugar alcohols.
Fiber is great, however the excessive concentrations of added fiber that some bars comprise (as a lot as 10 or 15 grams) is rather a lot on your system to deal with without delay, as SELF has reported, particularly for those who aren’t used to such quantities. This will trigger points like fuel, bloating, cramping, and sure, pooping.
The opposite foremost wrongdoer—common in low-sugar, sugar-free, or low-calorie protein bars—is sugar alcohols. Whereas all people’s tolerance for the kind and quantity of sugar alcohols they’ll eat earlier than experiencing GI issues is just a little totally different, as SELF has defined, they’ll trigger fuel, abdomen ache, and diarrhea for loads of folks.
What components do you have to keep away from in protein bars?
There’s no set listing of components that everybody ought to avoid. In terms of selecting what sort of protein bars to purchase, you’ll wish to go on particular person choice and keep away from (or restrict) any components that trigger you abdomen points, just like the aforementioned massive quantities of added fiber or sugar alcohols.
If that an excessive amount of added fiber bothers your abdomen, it is best to look out for bars with large amounts of fiber and skim for chicory root, inulin, or oligofructose on the label, as SELF has defined. If sugar alcohols trigger you issues, examine the diet label (the place they’re solely generally listed) and scan the components listing for erythritol, hydrogenated starch hydrolysates (HSH), isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol.
Many individuals may also have to keep away from sure components for well being causes. 5 of the 9 major food allergens flagged by the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration are generally present in protein bars in the marketplace: peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk, and eggs. And when you’ve got celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, for example, it is advisable search for gluten-free protein bars.
The sweetness with home made protein bars is that you just don’t have to fret about any of that. That’s why at-home protein bars could also be particularly interesting for anybody who does have allergy symptoms, sensitivities, or reactions to sure components. No scrutinizing prolonged components lists and no bizarre abdomen gurgling concerned.
What do you have to put in home made protein bars?
No matter you need! Whereas the choices are just about limitless, there are a variety of staple components you’ll generally discover in home made protein bars that add diet, taste, and texture.
One ingredient you discover in practically each home made protein bar is nut or seed butter.
It provides yummy taste and a luscious clean or crunchy texture (relying in your fashion) and helps bind the bar collectively. Ansari all the time provides a nut butter to her home made bars to make it extra filling, because of the mixture of fats, fiber, and protein. Peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower seed, and pumpkin seed are all nice choices.
One other welcome addition is dried fruit, which sweetens up your bar with naturally occurring sugars whereas offering fiber and nutritional vitamins—plus chewiness and binding. “I personally love including chopped dates or apricots,” Ansari says. Dried apples, blueberries, pineapple, cherries, or raisins work effectively too.
A number of different frequent components are complete nuts and seeds, grains like oats and crispy cereal (which provide fiber and a granola bar–like texture), cocoa powder or chocolate chips, and liquid sweeteners like maple syrup or honey, which assist your bars stick collectively and style scrumptious.
How do you get sufficient protein into your protein bar?
“Sufficient” will depend on the aim of your bar. In case you’re merely searching for a bar that makes a filling and energizing snack or candy deal with, then a steadiness of protein, carbs, and fats will serve you higher than an enormous hit of protein. Combining a number of totally different components that comprise a modest quantity of protein, similar to nut and seed butter or complete nuts and seed and grains like oats or quinoa might help you meet a extra modest protein goal (similar to 7 or 8 grams, for example), Ansari says.
Alternatively, for those who’re making bars to eat after a exercise (or, say, as your foremost supply of protein at breakfast) then chances are you’ll wish to add a extra concentrated type of protein. Assume Greek yogurt (for refrigerated bars), eggs (for baked bars), and protein powder.
Whereas it’s not essential, as Ansari factors out, protein powder might be the best technique to get a superb serving of protein (like 12 to fifteen grams) into your bar. Whilst you can experiment with including a scoop or two to any home made bar, it’s a good suggestion to comply with a recipe, as a result of protein powder can simply end in an disagreeable style or texture for those who don’t strategically mix it with different components. Fashionable sorts embrace the traditional whey and plant-based protein powder choices similar to soy, pea, or brown rice. And the wide range of flavors—from unflavored to mocha to cookies and cream—would possibly encourage you to get inventive together with your bars.
Is it dangerous to eat protein bars each day?
Nope. So long as they’re not your main supply of protein, protein bars are an effective way to assist pad out your every day protein consumption, which ought to come from quite a lot of totally different meals.
“Protein bars might be added right into a well-balanced consuming sample,” Ansari says. She usually encourages a “food-first” method, the place you meet most of your protein wants with other forms of meals (like meat, soy, pea protein–based mostly meat substitutes, fish, eggs, dairy, and nondairy alternatives fortified with plant protein) and add in protein bars to assist fill within the fueling gaps all through your day.
“I’d attempt incorporating one or two bars between meals, and see how they assist you to meet well being or efficiency objectives,” Ansari says (between lunch and dinner or after a workout, for example). Consuming high-protein bars every day is particularly cool for those who’re making your personal bars which can be primarily created from complete meals and freed from components that would hassle your abdomen. To not point out, cheaper.
Now, let’s get to these recipes.