While most energy-bar companies deserve praise for their ecofriendly practices, it can be even better for the planet--and your taste buds--to make your own. Here's a high-protein recipe from Jonathan Miller, cofounder of ElementBars.com, a Web site that lets visitors create and buy custom energy bars.
High-Protein Energy Bars
1 cup steel-cut oats
3/4 cup yogurt
1/4 cup almond or peanut butter
3/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup flaxseed meal
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon nutmeg
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups soy or whey protein powder
1 cup raisins or other dried fruit, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a glass pan with nonstick spray, and line a cookie sheet with wax paper. In a medium-size pot, heat 4 cups of water and boil the steel-cut oats for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium-size bowl, mix the yogurt, almond or peanut butter, applesauce, honey, and vanilla until the nut butter is evenly dispersed. In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and protein powder, making sure there are no clumps. When the steel-cut oats have finished cooking, add them to the large bowl along with the chopped fruit and the yogurt-applesauce mixture. Stir until the fruit is evenly distributed.
Spread the dough into the glass pan with a silicon spatula coated with nonstick spray and bake it for 22 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut into 9 to 12 bars. Transfer the bars to the cookie sheet and bake for another 22 minutes, or until they're golden brown. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or refrigerate for up to 2 months.