2018 is all about getting athlete fit. I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m really going for it in the workout stakes at the moment. I am aiming to get in around 4 to 5 thirty minute exercises per week and then fueling my body with great whole food vegan-style meals. But, the one place where I really slack is my post-workout nourishment. I don’t have much time in the day to work, so I cram my thirty-minute workout in between a 4 – 6 hour work day. This means that I have to pick up the kids just after I finish my workout and then I forget to fuel up on protein, which is so paramount to repairing the muscles.
So, enough is enough! I need to come up with some kind of snack that fuels up my body, boosts my protein levels and is super easy to make so that I can create in abundance.
I give to you my…
ULTIMATE 5-INGREDIENT PROTEIN BARS!
Yes, they’re ultimate because I have made so many versions of these protein bars (some not as great as others – and some too dismal to even talk about) and these, my Fiver Foodie friends, are the best kind of protein bars that I have EVER made! EVER!
Why? They’re only 5 ingredients, they’re sweet from natural sugars and they pack a pretty mean punch in the protein and high-energy stakes.
“What are the ingredients,” I hear you ask?
So simple, you literally just add everything to a food processor and then you blitz to the consistency that you want.
A few points to note, however:
- Pitted dates are not as soft and gooey as Medjool dates, so I would soak them in cold water for about ten minutes before you add them to the food processor – this just helps the processor blitz them up more easily
- Add the bananas and oats first, then go in with the peanut butter and pitted dates – this creates a nice soft base before you add in your tough ingredients, like the nuts and seeds
- Just adding to the last point: if you add your nuts and raisins in at the very end, you can control the consistency of the protein bars. As you can see, I barely whizzed my nuts and raisins because I like the consistency of the protein bars with the crunch of the nuts coming through
- The riper the bananas, the sweeter the protein bars. The bananas I used weren’t even that super ripe and these protein bars came out quite sweet. Pitted dates are a lot sweeter than you think (but not as sweet as Medjool dates, in my opinion). If you can fork out for Medjool dates, then you’re onto a Grade A protein bar here.
If you subscribe to my weekly emails (every Sunday), Week 6 is all about where you can substitute ingredients for much healthier versions. So, in my obviously unbiased opinion, it’s well worth subscribing to my emails if you haven’t done so yet. You’ll also get a new recipe every Sunday, my super-duper Meal Planner (week 3) and lots of other free printables and checklists that you can print out and stick on your fridge! FOR FREE!
Form on the right →
Let’s make these bad boys!
- 2 cups of oats
- 1 cup of pitted dates (or Medjool dates if your budget can stretch it)
- 2 heaped tbsp of peanut butter (crunchy or smooth, whatever floats your boat)
- 2 bananas
- 1 cup of mixed nuts and raisins (you can add any kind of nuts or raisins, whatever you fancy here)
- Add the banana and oats and blitz in a food processor until they are smooth
- Add the dates and blitz until well blended (see notes below)
- Add the peanut butter and any kind of optional extras you want to add here
- Finally add the mixed nuts and raisins and then pulse until you reach the desired consistency. I like to leave the nuts quite present and relatively whole, for a crunchy protein bar.
- Add the mix to a lined baking tray (lined with cling film) and then cut and divide into desired bars.
- The riper the bananas the sweeter the protein bar - bear that in mind.
- Pitted dates are quite a bit drier than Medjool dates, so I would soak them in cold water for about 10 - 15 minutes before adding to the food processor
- Add cacao powder for a chocolately bar or seeds to pack in the omega-3s, calcium, protein and iron in these bars - I would go for hemp seeds, flax seeds and chia seeds
I managed to squeeze 12 big bars out of the ingredients I used. But, feel free to add more or less of each ingredient to get the right taste and texture for you.
Also, don’t be afraid to get creative with these bars – add hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, whatever kind of seeds that you have for that extra omega-3, iron, protein and calcium boost. You can also add some cacao powder to make these chocolate protein bars or even cover them in melted dark chocolate for a real taste sensation.
Jen from A Balanced Belly says that it’s important to get your protein in first thing in the morning as it keeps your sugar levels stable for the rest of the day. So bring out one of these protein bad boys before you start your day. You can also try some of Jen’s high-protein gluten-free breakfast ideas, so you can change up the first meal of the day and get creative. The world is your oyster, Fiver Foodie, go for it!
If you decide to make this recipe (and I really think that you should), please do tag me on @fiveforafiver on Facebook/Twitter (@Fiveforafiver1 on Instagram), using the hashtags #fiverfoodies and/or #fiveforafiver, so I can see your awesome creations – thanks!
If you’re ready to create your recipe, here is a list of the cheapest ingredients I could find from Morrisons for £4.70 total (prices may vary from 23 February 2018)
Mother Africa Peanut Butter (100g) – £1.50
Morrisons Bananas (5) – 94p
Morrisons Savers Porridge Oats (1kg) – 75p
Morrisons Savers Fruit & Nuts (200g) – 56p
Golden Tree Pitted Dates (250g) – 95p
You could make way more than 12 with the items above!
Fancy more recipes that include bananas? Try my Vegan Banana Bread
New recipes every week!
Awesome, thanks! I look forward to a lovely long relationship with you. As promised I’ll start sending you some awesome new recipes, as well as tips on how to be a superstar chef in the kitchen too. I hope you like them 🙂 Oh, and if you have any questions, comments, and/or criticism – or if you just want to say hello – hit me up with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to get to know you 🙂 I’ll see you on the other side! Leyla x