Make Your Own Banana-Chocolate Protein Bar

One sure way to avoid the highly processed add-ins found in many protein bars is to turn out a batch using your own ingredients and a boost of protein powder. A word on that front: You’ll want a protein powder low in added and artificial sweeteners.

Banana Chocolate-Chip Protein Bars

Makes 12 bars

Ingredients:

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup boxed coconut milk

1/4 cup vanilla protein powder

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup rolled oats

2 cups crisp brown rice cereal

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup dried banana chips, roughly chopped

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, divided

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Nonstick cooking spray

Directions:

Coat a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine honey, almond butter, coconut milk, protein powder, canola oil and vanilla. Stir and cook until mixture just begins to bubble, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine oats, rice cereal, almonds, banana chips, 1/4 cup chocolate chips and salt; toss well. Pour warm honey mixture over oatmeal mixture and stir gently with a spatula until well combined.

Transfer to baking dish, cover with parchment paper and press firmly into dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and allow to cool completely. Cut into bars or squares.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories: 194; Total Fat: 9 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Total Carbohydrate: 23 grams; Sugars: 14 grams; Protein: 7 grams; Sodium: 59 milligrams; Cholesterol: 2 milligrams; Fiber: 2 grams

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

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