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Easy, Quick Protein Breakfast: Homemade Oatmeal Apricot Cookie Protein Bars

Posted Jan 26 2011 11:59am

“Technical difficulties” is the theme of this post.

Technical difficulty #1: Missing 9×9 pan.
Technical difficulty #2: Tuesday’s post (this one) would not load.
Technical difficulty #3: I didn’t want to change out of my PJs this morning.

As part of my protein breakfast series, I had every intention of sharing this with you yesterday, until my pictures decided they didn’t want to load. That just means one day this week you’ll get two breakfasts for the price of one.

This recipe is great for making the night before. It makes a bunch of bars/bites so you’ll have high protein breakfasts and snacks for the rest of the week. Although the recipe below has specific measurements, I went with the “about” method on these (about a cup, about 3 scoops). It doesn’t have to be exact and can vary depending on tastes. For instance, feel free to use any dried fruit in place of the apricots. I love how apricots add in some iron, but you can use any fruit.

As I noted, I recommend using a 9×9 pan for this, but if you don’t have one a pie pan will work OK too. The bars will likely not be as square but they still come out relatively the same. Sometimes I like to cut the bars into little pieces and eat them as bites.

High Protein Oatmeal Apricot Cookie Bars
(inspired by this recipe )

1 cup smooth almond butter (or peanut butter)
1 cup Honey**
1 cup Old Fashioned Oatmeal
1 cup Diced Apricots
1 cup slivered or sliced almonds
3 scoops Vanilla Vegan Protein Powder*
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Directions In medium size pot, heat honey and almond butter on stove on medium heat until texture is runny. Mix in apricots, nuts, oatmeal, & protein powder. Stir until all ingredients are well coated. Grease a 9×9 pan with fat free non-stick spray. Press in ingredients evenly. Cool in fridge for at least 45 minutes. To keep, wrap bars/bites in foil or plastic wrap.

*A note on vegan protein powder My favorite vegan protein powder is by a brand called Sun Warrior . It is brown rice based and comes in flavors natural, vanilla and chocolate. As with any supplement, it is advised to read the label. Whey protein, for instance, is not vegan and there has been controversy surrounding soy protein isolates, as they are known carcinogens. (Meaning highly processed, etc). My tip would be to avoid soy based proteins all together, just to be sure.

As the popularity of plant-based diets increase, so does the availability of natural, safe protein products. Aside from Sun Warrior’s brown rice based protein, there are other varieties including pea protein and hemp protein.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Vega Products
Tri-athlete and plant based extraordinaire has a whole line of products designed to provide top nutritional benefits and plenty of healthy protein. Some of the flavors are so-so, but I find it definitely varies person to person. Most of his products contain a mix of hemp, yellow pea, brown rice, flax and chlorella. If you have a Whole Foods nearby, they typically offer individual servings so you can test and taste.

Pea Protein
Pea protein provides an unprocessed, vegan option. In terms of protein grams and benefits, it only varies slightly from other proteins, but the added benefit is the higher ratio of certain amino acids like lysine.

Hemp Protein
One of the benefits of hemp for me is that it has a subtle taste. Although typically described as nutty, I find that hemp protein rarely alters the flavor of my smoothie or whatever I am using it with. Hemp proteins are packed with fiber, are easy to digest and are absorbed quickly. The texture is a little more “crunchy” than other powders, but I never found it to be a deterrent. I recommend the Nutiva brand.

Garden of Life’s Raw Protein
Similar to our Vega friend, Garden of Life RAW Protein contains a mixture of good for you proteins and ingredients. The list includes: sprouted brown rice protein, amaranth sprout, quinoa sprout, millet sprout, buckwheat sprout, garbanzo bean sprout, kidney bean sprout, lentil sprout, adzuki bean sprout, flax seed sprout, sunflower seed sprout, pumpkin seed sprout, chia seed sprout, and sesame seed sprout. Bonus: they are all organic. It has a mild and smooth flavor, designed more to send you nutrients than to spice up your life.

Ladies and gents, there’s your protein powder lesson for the day. :)

P.S.** Honey is technically not vegan and I do not make a habit out of eating it. However, I do occasionally include it in my recipes. You can leave it out by swapping it with real maple syrup or upping the amount of dried apricots, which act as a sticking agent.

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