Homemade Quest Protein Bars

I’m so excited to share with you how to make your very own Homemade Quest Protein Bars! Quest bars are my favorite because they are made with quality ingredients that I can understand, and they make a great healthy dessert.

The catch is, spending $2-3 per bar everyday can get expensive, and they aren’t sold at a lot of places. Discovering how to create my own solves these problems, and I can control the ingredients to make them even healthier!  Another BONUS is they can be made in 3 minutes!

The magical ingredient that allows the protein bars to be ‘Quest like’ is a low carb and chewy (binder) syrup, IMO (aka. isomalto-oligosaccharide) called Vita-Fiber.

The company that makes Vita-fiber shares this nutrition information about the product:

Zero Sugar – No Aftertaste – Low Calorie – Super Versatile
Baking to  Beverages – Gluten Free – Non-GMO – Vegan
Nothing Artificial – No Stevia – No Sugar  Alcohols – Low Glycemic
Supports Digestive Health – Excellent Source of Prebiotic Fiber
Does Not Cause Tooth Decay – Diabetic Friendly – No Allergens

This is pretty awesome, right?!  I like not having to use nut butters, honey or any other fat or sugary substance to hold the bars together.

Here is a link to FAQs about this product: http://bioneutra.ca/frequently-asked-questions/

I bought mine at amazon: http://www.amazon.com/VitaFiber-IMO-Syrup/dp/B00TIX50OQ

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These were some of the firsts ones I made: Double Chocolate Brownie, Peanut Butter, Cookie Dough, Cinnamon Roll, Oreo and Chocolate Peanut Butter

Ingredients needed: VitaFiber, favorite protein, extract of choice, and any mix ins you like.

😊Once you get started it’s so much fun creating new flavors the time flies!

Here is the base recipe:

  • 2 TBS VitaFiber
  • 1 scoop Protein Powder
  • 1/4 tsp extract
  • 1 tsp milk (I use almond) *gradually add a splash more if you find it’s too dry

You can adjust the recipe based on what you want in your macros.  For instance if you don’t want as much protein or if you don’t want to use 2 tbsp of the syrup then you might want to go with 1/2 scoop protein powder; 1- 1/2 tbsp VitaFiber; and 1 tbsp milk.  Play around with it and enjoy creating your own!

Here are the steps:

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  1. Use a small pot and have all your ingredients ready to mix in.  Heat the syrup in a saucepan on medium-low heat until it starts to bubble.  It takes about a minute.

*Another option is to microwave the syrup in a glass bowl for 20-25 sec.

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2.  Once it starts bubbling, remove it from the heat and immediately stir in your ingredients, except for your special add ins like chocolate chips, dried fruit, sprinkles, etc.

3.  Let cool for about 2 minutes.

4.  Scoop the dough into a Ziploc snack bag. Fold in your add ins and form into a bar.  (trust me on this, otherwise it will stick to your hands).

5.  Cool in refrigerator for an hour to set.

I love ‘almost done’ cookies so I bake them at 350 degrees for 5 min. or pop them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.😋

Here are the recipes I used for the bars in the photo:

Double Chocolate Brownie – 2 tbsp VitaFiber Syrup, 1 scoop protein, 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp vanilla, 1 tbsp dark chocolate morsels.  Splash of almond milk if too dry.
195 calories, 28 carbs, 30 protein, 21 grams of fiber
Chocolate Peanut Butter- same as Double Chocolate Chip except add in 1 tsp peanut butter.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough- 2 tbsp VitaFiber Syrup, 1 scoop protein, 2 tsp almond flour, 1/4 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp almond butter, 1 tbsp dark chocolate morsels (make sure not to mix in until the dough cools).
Peanut Butter- 2-1/2 tbsp VitaFiber Syrup, 1 heaping scoop protein, 1/4 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp crunchy peanut butter.
Cinnamon Roll- 2 tbsp VitaFiber Syrup, 1 scoop protein, 1/4 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 6-8 raisins.
Oreo- 2-1/2 tbsp VitaFiber Syrup, 1 scoop protein, 1 oreo cookie crumbled up and mixed in.

I’ve been having so much fun creating these bars, and I’m still tweeking and trying new things!  I would love to hear back from you about what you try.  Enjoy!

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Homemade Almond Milk

Those seconds between the alarm clocking going off and our getting up can be the most challenging part of our day, but once we get ourselves vertical, we’re good.  We wash our face and leave the house with the intention to give our best.

There is great satisfaction in a hard days work.

Most of the significant contributions that have been made to society have been made by people who were tired.  Winston Churchill

I left the house a couple of days ago with a spring in my step and came home creeping to the door and unable to stream words together…(I’m sure being carb deprived had something to do with it).  I guess I can blame some of this on the fitbit I just starting wearing.  It’s causing me to be crazy competitive with myself!  If I don’t get in at least 10,000 steps I’m disappointed in myself.  Does it have this effect on you too

With trying to increase my steps through the day, health coaching clients in route between visiting a patient and officiating a funeral I was a deflated balloon when I got home.😖  

However, today was a different kind of day and I was feeling great coming home, until I got pulled over by a cop on the Causeway Bridge.  I just knew my crazy fiance’ was playing a joke on me.  He knows how terrified I get when I see a police car when I’m driving.😓 I think I asked the cop twice, “are you messing with me?”  LOL!  Luckily the officer took it all in stride, and when I told him who my man was, he laughed, and I skedaddled!

📝Note to self…never ask a cop if he or she is messing with you, even if you think you’re guy is playing a practical joke on you.

When you’ve come home tired from a long work day, sometimes you just need the comfort of good old fashioned milk to soothe and refresh you.  When I got home I was thankful that I had some homemade almond milk in the frig.

Let me tell you, it hit the spot!!  Once you try this stuff you will never want to buy almond milk from the grocery again!

Store bought almond milk doesn’t compare to the flavor of fresh almond milk.  It’s so much more rich and creamy and delicious!  Not to mention it is free from all of these ingredients!

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Making homemade almond milk is actually really simple, and here is my easy peasy recipe and process:

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Ingredients

3 cups filtered water

1 cup raw almonds (soaked 4 hours or overnight)

1 Tbsp maple syrup (*optional)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract *

Other optional sweeteners: honey OR 1-2 pitted dates, OR 2-5 drops or 1 tsp of Stevia

*Experiment to find the perfect flavor for you -:)

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender
  2. Gradually crank your blender up to high
  3. Blend for 45 seconds to 2 min until smooth.
  4. Strain through a nut milk bag

This is the one I used and it was AWESOME!  http://www.amazon.com/Commercial-Lifetime-Guarantee-Reusable-E-Booklet/dp/B00K2IN692/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

Here is the process:

First you want to strain the almonds and rinse them off.  Soaking them unlocks their inherent nutritional goodness.

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Then you put these babies into your blender with all of the ingredients.

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Blend them until it becames frothy and you have a smooth consistency.  I used a Vitamix so I only had to blend for 1-1.5 min.

At this point you could taste the milk, and adjust the vanilla and sweetener or you might want to add a pinch of salt.  The salt brings out the other flavors in the milk.

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Place your milk nut bag (or cheesecloth) over a bowl and gently squeeze from the bottom up.  This takes a few minutes, but it’s actually kind of fun to milk the bag!  It makes me feel like a farm girl;)

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The almond pulp is what holds all the fiber.  You can make into almond flour to make cookies with or put it in your oatmeal or smoothies.

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I decided to freeze mine until I’m ready to make almond flour with it.  To do that I will bake it on 170 degrees for 3-4 hours.

When I first made this I was so amazed at how delicious it was, and I know you will be too!  Enjoy!