The Frugal Foodie: Protein Power

The start of a new year not only brings a flood of new gym rats, but a sense of renewal and opportunity to start fresh. One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to stay in shape. To do this properly, you should strive to balance both eating healthily and working out. One of the easiest ways to make a diet fit in with a healthy lifestyle is to add protein. Not only does protein make you feel full longer––that way you can evade all those mid-day munchies––but it also helps you build muscle and lose fat. An easy way to incorporate more protein into your diet is to eat some protein bars. The perfect protein bar is one that is packed with vitamins, minerals, a ton of protein and actually tastes edible. Here are some quick and easy recipes for some protein bars that have gotten my seal of approval. Not only that, but the ingredients required to make these bars are college student budget-friendly. Saving money and packing in the protein is a win all around, and who doesn’t need a win to start off the New Year?


Super Simple Peanut Butter Bars



1 cup peanut butter

1 cup honey

3 cups oatmeal



Combine all ingredients listed and press into a 13x9 inch pan and let it sit overnight. These bars can be kept in the refrigerator if preferred.


Almond Fudge Protein Bar



1 1/2 cup quick oats

1/2 cup crispy rice cereal

1/2 cup almond butter

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3 tablespoons dark chocolate for melting



Blend oats with blender, pour into a medium bowl and add crispy rice cereal. In another bowl, microwave almond butter and honey until completely melted. Pour mixture into oat and crispy rice bowl. Add vanilla and stir until completely mixed.

Firmly press mixture into a pan of desired size and let cool. Drizzle melted, microwaved chocolate on top of bars if desired.



Chewy Carrot Cake Bar



2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup shredded carrot

2 tablespoon ground flax seed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup almond or peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cups walnuts



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients listed above plus shredded carrots. In another bowl, fully melt honey and desired nut butter. Combine with original mixture.

Press mixture firmly into pan and bake for 17-19 minutes or until golden brown.

Let bars cool and enjoy!