Cereal Protein Bars (Gluten-Free)

Happy FriYAY! Hopefully you have had a smooth week and are now ready to sail into the weekend!

I wanted to share this recipe today to start giving ideas for portable snacks! They are super convenient and fuel your body without adding any junk! I love having handy, on-the-go snacks for weekends away from home spent climbing or just out on an adventure! As many of you might know, my fiancé and I are avid rock climbers and typically spend as much time as we can outside pursuing our passion! These weekend trips always turn out to be my favorite way to spend time, but can be a huge energy drain if not fueled properly!

Between all the driving to the climbing location (hello car snacks!), packing up all our shoes, pads and climbing gear and hiking (usually uphill!) to the climbing location, it takes up a huge amount of energy! The last thing I want to feel is hungry BEFORE I even start climbing! Enter: Cereal Protein Bars.

These bars are a perfect combination of quick carbohydrates from cereal and maple syrup and satiating protein from a clean protein powder! The combinations and substitutions here are endless. You can use whatever cereal you is your favorite, a few of mine include – Cheerios, Cocoa Rice Krispies, Plain Brown Rice Kripies and Quinoa Puff cereal! Really, the options are endless, though I always like to make sure the cereal I choose is gluten-free and made from the most natural ingredients, as well as minimal added sugar.

As for protein powders, I love to use the Vega Protein & Greens – Vanilla Protein Powder because it gives a boost of greens and has pretty clean ingredients overall. The main protein source is pea protein, which I feel very comfortable using and am able to digest well. In terms of protein sources for protein powders, I suggest finding something that you can digest easily or using a supplement that has probiotics in it to help improve digestibility. Other favorite protein powders of mine include: Vital Proteins Collagen Sports Greens (protein source is collagen and watermelon seed protein) and Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein, which is grain free and is made with pea, pumpkin seed and flaxseeds. Honestly, it takes some experimentation to find what works best for your body! I realized pretty quickly I was not able to tolerate any type of dairy or whey protein and had to seek alternatives.

Just make sure the protein powder you choose is a flavor you like because the flavor will be pretty pronounced in these bars. Either vanilla or chocolate seems to do best with the peanut butter used, though a type of berry protein might create a PB&J effect which could be tasty!

Feel free to substitute honey for the maple syrup or even with brown rice syrup if you choose! Other sweetener choices can include coconut nectar or agave. And lastly, for the peanut butter, any other nut or seed butter is fair game. I have made these with tahini (sesame seed), almond butter and sunflower seed butter.

Gluten-Free Cereal Protein Bars

(GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE)
SERVES 8
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOL TIME: 30 MINUTES

Ingredients:

2 c. cereal – I used multi-grain Cheerios

½ c. honey or maple syrup

½ c. peanut butter, smooth

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

½ c. chocolate chips, optional for drizzle

Method:

1. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper or liberally grease with either coconut oil or ghee.

2. In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, slowly melt the peanut butter and honey together until they reach a smooth consistency, remove from heat.

3. Combine cereal and protein powder and pour peanut butter and honey mixture over the top.

4. Get dirty! Use your hands to fully combine until everything comes together evenly.

5. Pour into the baking dish and place in either refrigerator for 30 minutes or freezer for 10 minutes.

6. If doing the chocolate drizzle, melt chocolate chips either in saucepan over burner or in microwave in 30 second intervals, Pour over top of cooled bars and enjoy!

These tend to keep their shape and texture best when kept in the refrigerator or cooler! They will become a bit melty at room temperature.

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