Homemade Protein Bars:
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup protein powder (whey, pea, or your preferred type)
- 1/2 cup nut butter (peanut, almond, or cashew)
- 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, sunflower seeds)
- 1/4 cup dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, apricots), chopped if large
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- a pinch of salt
- In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, protein powder, chopped nuts, seeds, dried fruits, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a separate microwave-safe bowl, heat nut butter and honey/maple syrup for about 20-30 seconds until they are easier to mix.
- Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well until everything is combined evenly.
- Line a baking dish with parchment paper, leaving some overhang for easy removal.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and press it down firmly to form an even layer.
- Place the dish in the refrigerator for about 1-2 hours to set.
- Once set, remove the mixture from the dish using the parchment paper overhang and place it on a cutting board.
- Cut into bars of your desired size.
- Store the protein bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Simple Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette:
- 4 cups mixed salad greens (lettuce, spinach, arugula)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cucumber, sliced
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup nuts (walnuts, almonds), toasted and chopped
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large salad bowl, combine the mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, feta cheese, and toasted nuts.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey/maple syrup, salt, and pepper until well combined.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat all the ingredients evenly.
- Serve immediately as a light and refreshing meal or side dish.
- Customize the protein bars by adding dark chocolate chips, coconut flakes, or your favorite dried fruits.
- Experiment with the salad by adding grilled chicken, roasted vegetables, or avocado slices for added flavor and protein.
- Double the protein bar recipe and freeze half for longer storage.
- Adjust the dressing ingredients to achieve your preferred balance of sweetness and tanginess in the salad.