Protein bars – supermarkets, sports stores and everything in between have shelves packed with convenient ways to get a post-workout protein hit. But with a such a huge range of options and an often hefty price tag attached, are the shop bought bars the right option?

I’ve bought my fair share of bars but I’m often left speechless by either the price – Carb Killa Protein Bars £2.49 each, SiS Protein20 bars £2 each or RX Bars £2 – or the list of ingredients – from bulking agents, beef gelatin, sweeteners and many many more. This can become an expensive and ‘unclean’ way of fuelling and repairing the body.

That said there is a rise in more simple, low ingredient bars that still pack a decent protein hit – enter the RX Bar, with its clear, simple list of 4 to 5 natural ingredients. I wondered, if they can do it so simply, then surely I can replicate this at home for a fraction of the price!?

A quick Google search and I’m clearly not the only one who’s had the same idea. I’ve tested a few different variations and here are my two favourites and how I’ve arrived at making them.

Ingredients and substitutes

A lot of the recipes I’ve found are American and appear to use Egg White powder – well, I’m not sure if its me but this appears to be as rare as hens teeth in your common high street supermarkets here. Based on what I’ve got in my cupboards (and to avoid unnecessary waste) I’ve been subbing this out and using a regular protein powder and find it works equally well.

Note here – I used Raw Sports Elite Repair Protein Powder because its gluten, dairy, soya, GMO and sugar free (massive plus for my IBS) and each scoop delivers 25g of digestible protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants from the finest plant based proteins. Now if you want truly clean eating or for the younger members of your family to enjoy these the Egg White Powder is the way to go, as it is literally dried egg white, but as ever you can choose what’s right for you.

Dates. Now, most recipes call for medjool dates, but I’ve been subbing for your standard dried date. Medjool are, apparently, sweeter due to their higher fructose content and are slightly larger in size. If I’m being honest – medjool dates are just more expensive and I’ve always got a packet of dried dates in the cupboard.

Nuts. You could use any mix of nuts to be honest, I’ve gone with Cashews and Almonds because that’s what is in the real RX Bars. You could sub in walnuts or pecans which are similarly high in protein and good fats.

Cacao vs Cocoa – I’m no expert on the difference, but you could use either powder to bring the chocolate flavour to your mix. It is just worth noting they are different products with different nutritional levels and costs attached.

Recipes

If, like me, you want a natural version of a protein bar for that tastes great and won’t break the bank then give these ones a try!  You won’t be disappointed! 

The only equipment you need is a good food processor – a jug blender or a standard Nutribullet type blender just won’t cut it (excuse the pun!) – scales and a baking tin!

The biggest tips I can give you are in getting the blend right, so as to get a mixture that is fine and just sticky enough to be pressed in to the pan and secondly to make sure they are really pressed in. You could use a pastry roller to compact your mix, however I just used a tin of beans to squash and roll it flat.

Chocolate & Sea Salt Homemade RX Bar

Ingredients

  • 140g almonds, raw
  • 140g cashews, raw
  • 1 scoop (30g) of protein powder
  • 59g cacao powder, unsweetened
  • 1 pound dates, Medjool
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
My version of the Chocolate & Sea Salt bar

Instructions

  • Line an baking sheet (I used a 20cm square tin) with parchment paper.
  • Add the nuts to your food processor and blend until they resemble a crumb consistency. This takes a minute or so to achieve.
  • Add the protein powder and cocoa powder and quickly blend together, scraping down the sides if necessary.
  • Add in the dates to mixture and process 1-2 minutes or until you have reached a sticky consistency. The processor is likely to be very full at this point so you may need to give the mixture a turn over with a spoon to help get it fully blended.
  • Add water, a tablespoon at a time, to help bring the mixture together – you want it when it just starts to stick, any more and your bars will be too sticky!
  • Press the mixture into your prepared dish – the trick here is to make sure you are really compressing it, use another piece of parchment paper and a flat, weighty object to help you. Sprinkle with salt and gently push into mixture.
  • Stick in the fridge for an 1 hour.
  • Pull your block out of baking dish by lifting parchment and cut into 15 – 20 bars (aim for no more than 50g per bar). Add to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Mango & Pineapple Homemade RX Bar

Ingredients

  • Approximately 30 dried dates
  • 140g almonds, raw
  • 140g cashews, raw
  • 56g dried mango
  • 56g dried pineapple
  • 1 scoop (30g) of protein powder
  • 4 – 6 tablespoons of water

Instructions

  • Line an baking sheet (I used a 20cm square tin) with parchment paper.
  • Add the nuts to your food processor and blend until they resemble a crumb consistency. This takes a minute or so to achieve.
  • Add the dried fruit, dates and protein powder and blend together, scraping down the sides if necessary.
  • At this point you may need to add the water, a tablespoon at a time, to help bring the mixture together – you want it when it just starts to stick, any more and your bars will be too sticky!
  • Press the mixture into your prepared dish – the trick here is to make sure you are really compressing it, use another piece of parchment paper and a flat, weighty object to help you. Sprinkle with salt and gently push into mixture.
  • Stick in the fridge for an 1 hour.
  • Pull your block out of baking dish by lifting parchment and cut into 15 – 20 bars (aim for no more than 50g per bar). Add to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
The finished Mango & Pineapple bars

If you’ve tried this recipe or you’ve adapted (and improved) it – comment below or tag me on social media and let me know what you think – @milesforwishes (Instagram) and @Miles4Wishes (Twitter)

2 thoughts on “Homemade RX Bars

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