i'll admit, i was watching Alton late the other night. usually i just can't wrap my head around some of the stuff he makes. does anyone remember the deep fried turkey episode?...where he rigged up this whole elaborate ladder pulley system to safely drop the turkey into the vat of hot oil? he just goes a bit overboard on his explanation and method of cooking things that really needn't be so involved. BUT, this episode on homemade protein bars caught my attention.
i'm always on the hunt for a tasty homemade protein snack and i've tried a quite a few...some (most) are...hmmm...let's just say...AWFUL. i think the worst so far was one i found in a bodybuilding forum comprised of raw oats, protein powder, peanut butter and egg whites. the end result was something like particle board.
i'm happy to report that this one is actually tasty. it's moist, satisfying, filling, sweet, a little crunchy, keeps well and is a handy, healthy snack for anytime of the day. i tried a few out on my friends and they too were amazed that this handy, sweet snack bar was actually good for you.
so...i've copied the recipe exactly for you below so you can check out the ingredients. the list is looooonnngg. i thought is sounded a bit involved, like everything he does, but i found the ingredients interesting...i never would have thought to add a whole block of tofu in for protein AND moisture.
you can find the original recipe HERE at Foodnetwork.com for a printable version
Alton Brown's Protein Bars 2005
4 ounces soy protein powder, approximately 1 cup..i used vanilla whey protein powder
2 1/4 ounces oat bran, approximately 1/2 cup
2 3/4 ounces whole-wheat flour, approximately 1/2 cup
3/4-ounce wheat germ, approximately 1/4 cup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 ounces raisins, approximately 1/2 cup
2 1/2 ounces dried cherries, approximately 1/2 cup
3 ounces dried blueberries, approximately 1/2 cup
2 1/2 ounces dried apricots, approximately 1/2 cup
1 (12.3-ounce) package soft silken tofu
1/2 cup unfiltered apple juice
4 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/2 cup packed
2 large whole eggs, beaten
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
Canola oil, for pan
NOTE...i used used 1 1/2 cup total of dried blueberries, diced-dried apricots and approx 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, diced
AND 2 Tsp. flax seeds
Line the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with parchment paper and lightly coat with canola oil. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the protein powder, oat bran, wheat flour, wheat germ, and salt. Set aside.
Coarsely chop the raisins, dried cherries, blueberries and apricots and place in a small bowl and set aside.
In a third mixing bowl, whisk the tofu until smooth. Add the apple juice, brown sugar, eggs, and peanut butter, 1 at a time, and whisk to combine after each addition. Add this to the protein powder mixture and stir well to combine. Fold in the dried fruit. Spread evenly in the prepared baking dish and bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 205 degrees F. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting into squares. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.