How do you pick a healthy protein bar?
Our initial answer is to make your own! It’s the cleanest option by far and better for the environment (no plastic wrappers). We’ve got several delicious protein bar recipes, like our Superfood Bars (from The Conscious Cleanse Cookbook) and today’s featured recipe, Sunflower Oat Bars.
But we get that sometimes life gets busy and you need something quick and easy on the go or don’t have time to make a batch of bars at home. So today, we’re also sharing our top tips for picking a healthy protein bar, plus some of our personal favorites.
Here’s our top 4 tips for picking a clean protein bar:
- Be on the lookout for common allergens. Many protein bars can contain soy protein, whey or casein protein (both derived from dairy), or eggs, so avoid bars with those ingredients when possible.
- Avoid bars that contain added sugars. Here are a few hidden names for sugar that you might find on nutrition labels: high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, barley malt, beet sugar, cane juice, fructose (or anything ending is -ose), fruit juice, and corn syrup. Focus on bars that have natural sweeteners, like honey or dried fruit.
- Steer clear of bars containing artificial ingredients, chemicals, preservatives or other additives. Some common examples include citric acid, ascorbic acid, saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, caramel color, hydrolyzed soy protein, soy lecithin, xanthan gum, guar gum, and carrageenan.
- As a general rule – look for fewer ingredients, and make sure they’re all ingredients you recognize as REAL food coming from nature. For example, here’s the list of ingredients in a Cashew Cookie Larabar: Cashews, Dates. That’s it!
Here are a few of our favorite clean protein bars:
We hope you enjoy these tips, recommendations, and today’s featured recipes! Do you have a favorite protein bar you’d like us to take a look at? Leave a comment below.
Jo & Jules
Sunflower Oat Bars with Collagen
Yield: 12 bars
- 2 ½ cups gluten-free oats
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips or raw cacao nibs
- ⅔ cup nut or seed butter of choice
- ½ cup honey, add more if needed to help mixture stick together
- 1 scoop EVOLUTION_18 Beauty Collagen Powder (optional)
In a large bowl mix oats, sunflower seeds, cranberries, collagen powder (if using) and chocolate chips (or cacao nibs). In a small bowl whisk together nut butter and honey. Pour wet ingredients into oat mixture and mix well until everything is sticky and combined. If mixture is too dry, add more honey (up to 2/3 cup) until it sticks together well. Line a shallow glass baking dish with plastic wrap. Press in mixture evenly and cover with more plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Cut into bar shapes, wrap, and keep refrigerated ready to eat. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
These bars are packed with superfood goodness and easy to make. Did we also mention they’re delicious? Get the recipe (plus 150 more yummy clean recipes) in our cookbook, The Conscious Cleanse Cookbook, here.