alton brown’s protein bars

These are easy to make and good for you. I will warn you that they do not “taste great” the way, say, a brownie tastes great. They are, however, much tastier than store-bought protein bars. That is reason enough to make them. There is another reason, too — they work out to be much more cost-effective as well. Your initial investment may be high (purchasing some of these ingredients is pricey) but you’ll be able to make several batches and each batch makes 24 bars. I eat 2 in the morning for breakfast and find that they tide me over until lunch quite nicely.

Also — you can make some substitutions if you like. Swap out some of the dried fruits mentioned for ones that you prefer (apples, dates, golden raisins, etc.). Use almond butter instead of peanut butter. Use unsweetened apple sauce instead of juice. Add some spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom) or chopped nuts.

Any way you do it, these are sure to be “healthy eats” — and for some of us, that makes them “good.”

4 ounces soy protein powder (approximately 1 cup)
2 1/4 ounces oat bran (approximately 1/2 cup)
2 3/4 ounces whole-wheat flour (approximately 1/2 cup)
3/4-ounce wheat germ (approximately 1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 ounces raisins (approximately 1/2 cup)
2 1/2 ounces dried cherries (approximately 1/2 cup)
3 ounces dried blueberries (approximately 1/2 cup)
2 1/2 ounces dried apricots (approximately 1/2 cup)
1 (12.3-ounce) package soft silken tofu
1/2 cup unfiltered apple juice
4 ounces dark brown sugar (approximately 1/2 cup packed)
2 large whole eggs, beaten
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
Canola oil, for pan

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with parchment paper and lightly coat with canola oil. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the protein powder, oat bran, wheat flour, wheat germ, and salt. Set aside.

Coarsely chop the raisins, dried cherries, blueberries and apricots and place in a small bowl and set aside.

In a third mixing bowl, whisk the tofu until smooth. Add the apple juice, brown sugar, eggs, and peanut butter, 1 at a time, and whisk to combine after each addition. Add this to the protein powder mixture and stir well to combine. Fold in the dried fruit. Spread evenly in the prepared baking dish and bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 205 degrees F. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting into squares. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze individually and allow to thaw before eating.

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