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.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Make Your Own Salsa

Believe it or not, salsa has topped ketchup as America's most popular condiment, according to some sales reports. Salsa can be more than just tomatoes and onions, though. Pass up the jarred stuff and make fresh mixes at home.

Make Your Own Condiments

The ingredient lists for most packaged condiments are just plain scary! The added sugar, salt and other unpronounceable preservatives make these basic dips and spreads practically junk food. With some simple ingredients and easy prep work, you can make your own. We’re starting out with three of the most popular condiments: ketchup, mustard and tartar sauce.

Make Your Own Popsicles

My kids absolutely love ice pops! Instead of buying store brands packed with sugar and high fructose corn syrup, I make my own using the freshest ingredients. They’re easy and fun for the whole family.

Make Your Own Pudding

When I was a little girl, my dad’s specialty was chocolate pudding. Believe me, if my dad can do it so can you (burnt eggs were also on the menu).

Make Your Own Babaganoush

In the Middle East it’s traditional to find babaganoush with appetizers like hummus, tahini, pita bread and olives. Here's how to make your own.

Make Your Own Twinkies

Twinkies' ingredient list includes highly-processed ingredients like trans fats, processed sweeteners and preservatives. Avoid all this stuff by making your own instead!

Make Your Own Hummus

Hummus may be an old favorite to some, but still foreign to others. Here is the skinny on this healthy spread and some recipes to try.

Make Your Own Jam

Many store-bought jams, jellies and preserves contain more sugar than fruit. While you do need some sugar, it’s really the fruit you want to taste! Simple ingredients and a little bit of simmering and you’ll have the best tasting fruit spread imaginable.

Make Your Own Margaritas

Some celebrations call for magaritas, but lots of alcohol, sugary add-ins, and a super-sized glass and you’ve got a 600+ calorie cocktail. Take part in the fiesta with our recipes -- all under 275 calories.

Make Your Own Gravy

The pre-made gravy might be convenient, but it’s sure not the real thing. Making your own gravy is healthier, tastier and easier than you might think.