5 DIY Alternatives to Protein Bars You Can Make at Home

February 1, 2023

If I’m being honest, I kind of hate most protein bars. They are often dense – like formed in a black hole dense – and with a flavor that was sourced from somewhere deep in the Uncanny Valley. Sure, it says “chocolate” and it looks like chocolate, but…  If you’re tired of forcing down protein bars, or you’re just looking for a way to mix it up, I’ve got a list of 5 alternatives you can make at home and up your (healthy) snack game!

1. DIY Energy Balls: These are a perfect on-the-go snack. Simply mix together 1 cup of oats (such as Kodiak Protein Oats), 1/2 cup of peanut butter (Jif Natural has less sodium and sugar than most name brand or store brand peanut butter), 1/4 cup of honey, and 1/2 cup of your favorite dried fruit, roll into bite-sized balls and store in the fridge for a quick protein boost.

2. Avocado Toast: Sure, some say eating this will prevent you from ever becoming a homeowner but this classic snack is a staple for a reason. Mash up half an avocado and spread it on a slice of whole grain toast. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and you’re good to go! Want make it a little more interesting? Top your toast with some egg whites (prepared however you like) and substitute the salt and pepper with a dash of hot sauce.

3. Yogurt Parfait: Grab your favorite yogurt (be careful, not all yogurt is created equal, some is packed with sugar. Stick with plain and/or protein added-yogurt) add some granola and fresh fruit for a delicious and filling snack. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, add a small drizzle of honey.

4. Homemade Trail Mix: Mix together your favorite nuts, dried fruit, and a little bit of chocolate (sick weirdos will insist you only use dark, but milk chocolate is perfectly fine and actually tastes good. Don’t @ me.) for a tasty and protein-packed snack. Make a big batch and store in an airtight container for an easy grab-and-go snack.

5. Peanut Butter Banana Slices: Slice up a ripe banana and spread some peanut butter on each slice, or spread it on side and stack them like little sandwiches.  Not only is this snack delicious, but it also gives you a good dose of potassium to fuel your day. The one downside is you can’t really make this in advance because bananas, once peeled, love to turn to brown mush as quickly as possible.

Now, these aren’t a perfect 1:1 replacement. They are not going to be as “complete” and they may contain a little more sugar per servings than a specially formulated brick of nutrients but, honestly, that’s okay for the average person who wants to make sustainable changes to their diet and incorporate healthier, energy-rich food without breaking the bank.

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