Protein bars are great go-to snacks. They're portable, easy, and give you something to reach for in lieu of that bag of chips. More often than not, you can also add delicious to the list. If you're looking for a pumpkin bar recipe that doesn't fall short, reach for this one from Optimum athlete Sean Royer.
- 2 cup smooth peanut butter
- ½ cup honey
- 2¼ cup optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey, Pumpkin Pie
- 3 cup raw oats
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- In a bowl, microwave the peanut butter and honey for about 60-90 seconds. Stir well.
- Mix the peanut butter and honey mixture with the remaining base ingredients until combined. Stir in the add-ins on low speed until the mixture is well combined. Mixture should be about the consistency of Play-Doh. If mixture is too thin, add more oatmeal. If it's too thick, add more honey.
- Cut a length of wax paper long enough to line the bottom of an 8x12 pan with the sides extending slightly over the rim, which will help you remove the mixture from the pan for easy cutting.
- Spread the mixture into the prepared pan. Press the mixture flat in all corners with a piece of wax paper. Sprinkle some extra oatmeal and dried raisins or nuts on the top of the bars, and press lightly to set.
- Chill until firm. Pull on the wax paper to remove bars from the pan. Cut into 24 pieces and wrap individually in wax paper. If not used right away, wrapped bars can be frozen in a freezer bag.
- Optional add-ins: 1/3 cup chopped mixed nuts, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 cup wheat bran or wheat germ, 1/4-1/2 cup shaved unsweetened coconut, 2 tbsp flax seeds, 1/8 cup carob chips (mini version works best)