If you have ever tried a quest bar, you will know how gloriously sweet and sticky they are! You will also know how oozy they become once baked in the oven or microwaved. Well, did you ever think it was possible to make a similar bar yourself? No? Well think again.
Thanks to IMO- a sweet prebiotic fiber that can be used as a binding agent- you can make your own low carb, and low sugar protein bars that are similar in texture and flavor to your favorite quest bars.
Making these bars at home is also a lot cheaper than buying pre-made bars, and you can adapt the flavor and texture to just how you like it. You will also know exactly what you put in to your bars!
To make my bars I used VitaFiber syrup, but I am sure there are other brands that produce IMO syrups that would work equally well. You could also use an IMO powder but if you do, you will need to also add a binding agent such as honey or agave syrup to ensure your bars stick together.
- 2 tbsp VitaFiber syrup,
- 1/4 cup of protein powder (can be any type/ flavor)
- 2 tsp almond meal (just ground up whole almonds)
Using this recipe, the nutritional facts for the final bar are approximately (depending on which protein powder you use): 180 kcal, 25g protein, 25g carbohydrate, 1g sugar, 2g fat, 22g fiber.
I have tried a few different flavor combinations for my bars. My favorites are:
- Cookie dough- I used vanilla whey, and added a square of dark chocolate chopped up. (The chocolate melts in the microwave which is delish!)
- Banana nut muffin- I used banana whey, and added a couple of freeze dried banana pieces and a couple of walnuts, both chopped up.
- Berry cheesecake- I used strawberry whey, and added a few wild blueberries, and 1tsp of cashew nut butter.
Other flavors you could try are chocolate peanut butter (chocolate protein powder and 1tsp of PB), PB and J (peanut butter protein powder and a couple of freeze dried strawberries) or AB and J, or apple pie (vanilla protein powder, a couple of freeze dried apple rings and 1tsp of cinnamon). Just mix things up and see what you like best!
Making the bars is really easy. Like really really easy! Here is how:
If you are wanting to make a bar very similar in texture to a quest bar (i.e. sticky and pretty solid) then I would suggest you follow this:
- Heat up the liquid IMO in a pan until it bubbles,
- Take off the heat and immediately mix in your protein power and almond meal.
- As the mixture cools it will come together into a sticky dough.
- Mold it into a bar shape with your hands
- Put in the fridge to set if you want to eat it later, or put on a plate and microwave for 10 seconds to make it oozy and delicious.
I prefer making a softer bar as it is a little cakier and melts quicker in the microwave, so I do not heat up the IMO before mixing it with the other ingredients. Instead I:
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl,
- Mold it into a bar shape (it is a bit sticky to the touch)
- Microwave for about 20 seconds, or until it starts to expand in size.
The above is a pic of my berry cheesecake bar, and just look at the texture of the bar post microwaving! I love how the blueberries release their juices and give the bar little pockets of taste explosions!
I enjoy having my bars alongside other toppings once they have been microwaved. Yogurt, PB and apple sauce are winners for me at the moment. Find your favorite sides!
Have fun making your bars!!