Both my husband and I eat protein bars on a regular basis, right after hard training sessions. For years, I never paid attention to my protein needs post-workout; I thought that, so long as I was eating a healthy diet, I was just fine. And I was, for the most part, but I had a hard time making significant gains for more intense training and long-distance runs. Plus, I would feel pooped more often that I should have given the amount of rest I was getting.
It took a seasoned sports nutritionist all of 5 minutes to figure out what I needed, namely more protein in my diet, and protein bars quickly became as important a part of my routine as the workout itself.
But here is my issue: High-protein bars can come with particularly staggering price tags, at times as high as four dollars per bar. Equally staggering is the ingredient list on many of the bars: hydrolyzed gelatin, glycerin, soy protein isolate, high fructose corn syrup, fractionated palm kernel oil, and artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, and preservatives–Ick!
The great news is that a basic, junk-free, high-protein bar is ridiculously easy to make, and at a fraction of the price, too; here it is. The bars have a fudge-like texture that can be customized with a slick of chocolate, spices, natural extracts, nuts and fruits, or a few chocolate chips. If you would like yours a bit sweeter, the suggested chocolate chips or dried fruit (a few tablespoons) in the mix will do the trick, or you can add a bit of your favorite natural sweetener (e.g., mashed dates, agave nectar or stevia).