Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Alton Brown's Protein Bars

Sorry that is no picture for this post. I didn't think about taking any pictures until after the bars all wrapped up.

Since I'm doing this muscle conditioning class at the gym and am trying to eat foods that are better for me, I was looking for a good "energy" bar that I could make myself. I had remembered seeing Alton Brown once making protein bars on Good Eats so I went to the Food Network Website and found the recipe. There were a few parts of the recipe that were unclear but after checking out the reviews on the recipe I figured everything out. Also, I remembered on the show that they gave the nutritional information, but that information isn't on the recipe page. The reviews had that info as well.

To make the bars begins with a bit of a monetary investment. Finding the protein powder, oat bran, wheat germ, and all the dried fruits in small quantities required by the recipe proved difficult. Luckily I already had protein powder and natural peanut butter on hand. The oat bran and wheat germ were not that expensive and I figured that if the bars didn't work, I could use them for other dishes. The dried fruit was the most difficult to find until my last trip to Trader Joe's where I saw a mixed dried fruit variety of raisins, blueberries, cranberries in a 1.5 cup bag. It would be perfect; I figured that cranberries would be close enough to cherries. I already had some dried apricots so I was basically ready to go.

I followed the directions as written and was a little worried once everything was combined. It didn't look the most appealing. But it had great reviews and was from Mr. Brown so I had faith that it would turn out okay. Since a specific internal temperature was stated in the recipe, I popped my digital thermometer into the batter and set the alarm for 205 F. It did take longer than the 35 minutes suggested in the recipe (I think it was about 45-50 minutes). If I wouldn't have had the thermometer the bars probably wouldn't have been fully cooked.

Once they were out of the oven, I let the bars cool completely then cut them up into the 24 servings suggested by the recipe. They cut easily and the bars stayed together.

Unlike other protein bars these have great flavor. Pretty much all you taste is the fruit and a hint of peanut butter. It's texture is similar to that of a fruit cake, but much better. I will definitely be making more of these. I want to experiment a little with different fruits or maybe no fruit at all. I also have an idea for a slightly less healthy chocolate bar. We'll see how things work out.

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At 12:16 PM, Blogger tim said...

Oooh, wow! I never thought about making those from scratch. That's so cool.

A yummy protein snack I've been enjoying is Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal. It's pretty good.

At 2:04 AM, Blogger Raul Mosley said...

I've thought about making these ever since I had seen the episode. Now I just might do it.

At 9:52 PM, Blogger ArmchairDeity said...

I actually made these this evening... they're fabulous.

They have a very pleasant texture, like a slightly chewy pound cake. They're nice and moist. And the taste reminds me of peanut butter toast with real fruit spread. They're great.

Also, thanks for the idea... replacing the wheat flour with cocoa powder and 1/2 the fruit with semisweet morsels would be an excellent idea!

Have a great one!


At 7:08 PM, Blogger Diane said...

i used chocolate silken tofu and chocolate protein powder. great!


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