Make Your Own Protein Snacks

Bars and smoothies for post-workout

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I exercise pretty much every single day. Yesterday I ran 13.1 miles then this morning I was in the gym running my daily #runstreak mile before lifting weights. The sheer amount of exercise means I've had to up my protein intake - protein helps repair muscle and helps it grow. But protein can be pretty expensive - think about chicken, beef and fish (vegetarians take note: Greek Yoghurt is high in protein), they don't come cheap and protein bars are pricey too especially if you're not just buying them once in a while.

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So, my boyfriend and I have taken to making our own protein smoothies and bars. I'll blend a smoothie before a workout and take it with me with a seperate pot of 35g unflavoured Whey Protein Isolate from Pulsin that I mix into the smoothie post-workout before drinking it. Or I'll blend one up post run to enjoy at home.

The base for my smoothie is always the same:

200ml Rice Dream Vanilla Rice Milk (contains no added sugar)

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2 cups frozen berries (around 75-80g)

50-100ml water

I then play about with extras like a spoon of peanut butter (Meridian Peanut Butter is just peanuts), a small spoon of coconut oil, Bioglan Beetroot or Acai Powder. My boyfriend adds frozen bananas that we de-skin, cut in half and freeze in freezer bags so they last longer.

I add 35g Pulsin Whey Protein Isolate (they also do vegetarian/vegan alternatives) to the shaker before drinking. You can get shakers from Holland & Barrett or GNC.

The priciest additions are the protein and powders but you bulk buy and they last ages. A 5kg tub of protein powder is £95 but it will last you months.

As for protein bars, these work out around 20p per bar which is a LOT cheaper then store bought alternatives and they are super easy to make. Also, you're in control, you know exactly what is in your bars - a lot of shop bought protein bars have additives.

We follow the Shredded Chef Mike Matthew's Recipe, although have tweaked it slightly (it's worth buying the Shredded Chef book on iTunes, £4.49, he has a mean recipe for guacamole!).

3 cups oats (we use Mornflake oats)

1/2 cup peanut butter (if you don't like peanut butter you can try replacing with jam that has no added sugar)

3/4 cup skimmed milk

cinnamon

100g Pulsin' Protein Powder

20g raw cacao powder

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in the peanut butter and gradually add the milk and stir until you get a stick consistency. Coat a square dish with coconut oil and spread the mix into the bowl and score into 8 bars. Sprinkle with 3 teaspoons of Xylitol or Maple Syrup, cover and leave overnight in the fridge.

Ta-da, affordable and healthy homemade protein bars.

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