(This post is not sponsored but we were given a free bottle of Kretschmer Wheat Germ to experiment with. Hope you enjoy!)
As a kid growing up in the 90s I experienced what can only be described as the “bar boom”. First there were Power Bars, relatively hearty and healthy but not exactly tasty. Then came a wave of tasty sweeter snack bars masquerading as nutritious snacks. Nutri-grain bars. Quaker Oats Chewy Bars. Kudos bars. Yummy. But let’s be honest, these were dessert, with little in the way of redeeming amounts of protein, fiber, or good fats.
In the post 90s world, we’re a little smarter when it comes to kids’ snacks, and thanks to explosions in both hipster and fitness food culture, there are innumerable quality bars out there packed with whole grains, protein, and fiber. Some even taste good. But we can do even better. Making your own bars is way less effort than you think (about 10 minutes) and infinitely more rewarding than the chemically enhanced bars you’re used to. Plus, you can get creative with these babies and construct Frankenstein bars that mix and match flavors you love into something unique and delicious.
So let’s start with the base. For these two no-bake(!) recipes we’re using a combination of rolled oats and Kretschmer Wheat Germ with various seeds and nuts. Rolled oats are OK as far as nutrition goes, not super hearty, but excellent at absorbing flavor. The real meat of these bars is the wheat germ. High in protein and fiber, the wheat germ is not only a nutritious addition to these bars, they provide a nutty flavor and texture that rolled oats just can’t provide.
The first of these bars is a play on a classic combination; peanut butter, jelly, and banana. Only instead of jelly we used freeze-dried strawberries (delicious!) and instead of fresh banana, we used dried banana chips for texture and crunch. This particular recipe is finished with shaved almonds and pistachios, and is totally reliant on the strawberries for sweetness. In other words, they’re pretty darn good for you! Between the wheat germ, the nuts, and peanut butter these bars are swimming in protein, fiber, and good fats. They’re also pretty filling, so this is a great choice for a mid-day work snack.
The second bar is kinda camouflaged as something desserty. Toasted coconut and chocolate chips will do that. But don’t be fooled, these quinoa, rolled oats, and Kretschmer Wheat Germ bars are an ideal after (or pre) workout pick me up. Complex carbs, and a ton of protein (including a scoop of protein powder) come together for tasty but hearty fuel. But yeah I’ll admit I’ve had these for dessert twice this week because they’re tasty. Who doesn’t love coconut?