My version of homemade protein bars originates from the idea of making my own homemade Quest bars. Why? I discovered the Quest bars and their deliciousness when I was at the beginning of my keto journey. While I thought they were a perfect snack for busy people, I also realized it wasn't the cheapest snack out there.
Later on, I started thinking these bars were not much more than highly processed food, and that one should not consume too many of them, no matter how tasty. The recommended limit is 2 bars a day, but I think there's so much real food out there that, even for an extremely busy person, 2 bars a week should be enough.
While on a keto diet, even one Quest bar at a time can be a bit too much protein.
Related: Protein Fasting Experiment (oh well....)
A nice solution would be eating half a bar and adding more fat like whipped cream or coconut butter. Further on, the bars contain IMO syrup that supposedly throws some people out of ketosis. So, having a Quest bar at hand is a very nice solution when extremely busy, but it shouldn't be the only solution.
Taking all this into consideration, I decided to make my own bars that would be more keto-friendly and would make a perfect on-the-go snack when all else fails. I invested in the IMO syrup and made a batch of bars that seems to last forever. Half of the bars are still sitting in my refrigerator. I prefer natural food but still, find one of these to be a delicious sweet little snack in emergencies.
Some of the benefits of making your own homemade protein bars:
- You choose what type of protein powder you throw in. This way you are in control of the ingredients and possibly avoid less preferred sweeteners.
- You increase the amount of fat in the bar and decrease the amount of protein as you desire.
- You choose the type of flour/ meal that goes in. I use macadamia meal and/ or shredded coconut.
- You make a bar as big as you need for a snack.
I'll share recipes for two basic types of homemade protein bars. One is based on macadamia and the other on coconut. You can use almond or any other nut butter and meal if you wish, but the macronutrient values will change accordingly.
Homemade Quest Bars
Macadamia based protein bar
- This procedure applies to whichever version of protein bar you choose to make.
- Get your ingredients ready. In a small bowl, combine flour (or meal) and protein powder. Have the tablespoon of butter at hand.
- Pour the IMO syrup into a small microwave-safe bowl (or a ramekin).
- In a microwave, nuke the syrup on high for 20 seconds.
- Take the bowl with the hot syrup out of the microwave and immediately mix in the nut butter (use a spoon). While the mixture is still hot, mix in the flour-protein mix.
Feel free to add in some spices at this point. I love adding ½ tsp. of matcha green tea powder, especially with the coconut version.
- The mixture will probably be crumbly and should also be sticky. Put it on a kitchen foil, cover it with more foil, and use your hands to shape one or two bars.
- If you desire, add some dark chocolate bits or crushed nuts.
- Place the bars in the fridge. You can eat one straight away or microwave it for 20 seconds (in this case it will inflate a bit and get soft. You can add some whipped cream, and eat the bar as a dessert).