Peanut Butter Apple Oat Bars

peanut_butter_apple_oat_bars2-2 Hello my very favourite readers. Last week I held a very informal poll on my Facebook Page asking my readers what kind of recipe they’d like to see next. The overwhelming answers were “healthy snacks” and “fitness and health informational posts”. So today I give you Peanut Butter Apple Oat Bars, a perfect little transportable snack that is very easy to make, inexpensive and perfect for before or after the gym, or even if you just can’t make it one more minute without sustenance. These bars are moderate carb/high protein and very low fat. Now, I’d like to take a minute and talk about those macronutrients. As someone, in the always friendly world of online commenting, tried to point out that high carb/low fat automatically means that it is unhealthy because, let’s face it, that is what the dreaded food pyramid has been pushing on us for years and is mostly to blame for the obesity epidemic (or so they say). That being said, I’d like to point out that anyone who performs any kind of intense physical activity NEEDS carbs for fuel, as does our brain. Brains running on fat are logey and slow, as our brains preferred energy source is and always will be glucose…as in, carbohydrates. Before, during and after an intense lifting session (and/or especially long endurance sessions), ones body is in need of carbohydrates to replenish their glycogen stores (the energy our muscles utilize for fuel). So please, if you expend lots of energy in your workouts, do replace that with more carbohydrates. Your muscles will be much happier and will have the energy to grow, which is a goal of most people who get their fitness on. Even if your goals are only to tone or lose weight, you still need carbs, though the amount varies greatly from individual to individual. adrian eating doughnuts While we’re on the subject of what other people think about the food we eat, I was also asked to discuss how to go about not eating everything our friends or eating…what I refer to as sympathy eaters. Let’s have an example: You’re going out with friends for a night on the town and you’ve got it in your head that you will order a nice lean piece of protein, maybe a salad, no dessert and no alcohol. Then you meet up with your friends, you start having a good time. You sit down for dinner. Everyone orders a cocktail or a delightful local craft ale. You say, no thanks, I’ll just have water. That’s when your friends start grinding your gears. “Come on! Have a little fun! You only live once!” or something along those lines. And you know, they’re right…some of the time. Living does not mean indulging every time you go out to a restaurant, being with friends does not mean boozing it up, likewise, being social does not mean doing everything your friends do. At this point the waiter comes for your food order, whereupon all your friends order juicy steaks, loaded potatoes, burgers and fries, etc. You order your chicken with side salad and veg and you feel no fucking guilt about that. Because you eat what you want, okay? That is how you don’t let your friends intimidate you or weaken your resolve if you have a goal you want to attain. You want to have a burger? Commit to that and don’t feel bad about it later and do not, for the love of God, punish yourself with more exercise the next day because it is pointless. Honestly, these are the reasons I love the If It Fits Your Macros lifestyle so much. You have the freedom to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, as long as it fits into your personalized macros. You want a burger and fries? Fit it into your macros. Want a crisp, refreshing salad? Fit that into your macros. It’s just the very easiest way to get to your goal, whatever it is. Of course, like anything it can be misrepresented on the internet as a Pop Tart and Cheetos binge, but that’s not how I decipher it. For me, it’s the freedom to eat whatever I want (which is about 75% Paleo and 25% whatever the hell I want), while still maintaining my core values of eating local, organic and natural foods. Next week, I’m making you doughnuts. peanut_butter_apple_oat_bars1-2 One year ago: Apple Pie Pancakes Two years ago: Better Than Lara Bars Three years ago: Creamy Peanut Butter Pie Four years ago: Rootbeer Float Cupcakes Five years ago: Signature Big Ass Salad 

Peanut Butter Apple Oat Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 12 bars

Serving Size: 1 bar

Calories per serving: 151

Fat per serving: 3.1

High protein, high carb and high fiber snack (with limited fats). Perfect for before or after your workouts, or for energy on the go. Gluten and sugar free!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup powdered peanut butter (such as PB2 or Just Great Stuff)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup oat flour (to make your own, just blend oats on high speed until powdered)
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp psyllium husk powder (optional but adds fiber)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 3/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp powdered stevia (or equivalent sweetener of choice)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla seed powder or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 apple, grated (skin on), about 3/4 cup grated

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8" x 8" pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together powdered peanut butter and water.
  3. Stir in the oats, oat flour, coconut flour, psyllium, and almond milk until blended.
  4. Add remaining ingredients (except apple) and stir to blend.
  5. Stir in apple.
  6. Pour batter into parchment lined pan and place in center of oven. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes in the pan, then remove to a cooling rack and cool completely. Cut into 12 squares, or however you like...:)

Notes

Calories: 151 Fat: 3.1 Carbs: 14 Protein: 18

peanut_butter_apple_oat_bars_diptych1-2

8 comments to Peanut Butter Apple Oat Bars

  • Adrian

    Well said! These look awesome save me some!

    And who is that striking gentleman in that picture. What a strapping young man.

  • Danielle

    Hi Elizabeth! I feel like I’ve been following you forever. I believe we had our first child around the same time frame and I remember because we both have redheads and redheads always stick together! :) Nonetheless, it has been years since I’ve commented, but I’ve been here watching you transform and riding along during your journey for a healthier you. You seem to have learned so much and I appreciate that you are passing that on to your readers!

    I was hoping you might have time to answer a question for me. It’s probably more complex than a simple yes or no, but I’d appreciate any direction you can give me. Several months ago, my husband and I started the P90X3 program (that’s the 30 minute program, in case you aren’t familier). Prior to this, neither of us did any exercise but we ate well and didn’t have an issue with weight. We weren’t seeking to lose weight with the exercise, rather to tone and build balance, stamina, etc. I have maintained my same weight, despite the cardio routines. However, my husband has lost about 10 pounds. Like I said, that is not ideal. He was already pretty slim and now he’s concerned he’s losing too much. He’s cut out all but 1 day of cardio and is focusing more on strength training with a little yoga/pilates added in. Here’s my question (finally!), what is he doing wrong that is causing him to lose the weight? I assume he’s not consuming enough calories, so what do you suggest he do about that? We’re not ones to add a bunch of empty calories to our diet just for the sake of adding them. Would adding healthy fats like nuts, avocado, eggs be enough? And when do you suggest he do that? Before exercising, after? He has been focusing a lot on his protein intake and I think he feels like he’s getting enough in that regard.

    I think I’ve told you everything. If you have time, I’d love to hear your take on the situation. I really appreciate your time and wish you the best!

    • Elizabeth

      Hi Danielle! Thank you for being along for such a looooong time too! I really appreciate you taking the time to come out in the open and make a comment. I do think I have a solution. If he’s eating all the same food as before but has now lost 10 lbs, there is definitely a calorie deficit. I would suggest adding a starchy carb in before and after the workout (along with protein in the post workout window), this could be as easy as having a banana before the workout or after if he is so inclined. As well as that, he could add in another form of carbs with dinner. The carbs are what are going to help you grow those muscles. Carbs, carbs, carbs, I cannot emphasize them enough if you are trying to put on muscle. Fruit is not the best way though, as too much fructose can lead to weight gain, no matter what (and mostly adipose tissue, or fat). I would suggest the banana and then you could also add sweet potatoes, white rice, oats, etc for extra carbs. Just before and in the window after a workout are the best times to consume carbs, also first thing in the morning as well if he is an active guy.

      Hope that helps!

      • Danielle

        Thank you SO much! I will pass this info on to him. I think the carbs could be the answer because after years of having “no carbs” drilled into our brains, it’s our tendency to steer clear. He does usually follow up his workouts with protein (either chocolate milk, a protein shake with banana, or jerky) but not the carbs necessarily. You’ve helped a lot and I’m anxious to tell him so he can try it. This morning he got on the scales again and was disppointed that he was still losing. He had a crazy active metabolism when he was younger and in college and he said he feels like he’s jump started that again. He could not put on weight (muscle or fat) for anything back then. What a terrible problem to have, right?! Ha! Thanks again!

  • Those look great! And while I don’t do IFFYM (I’m a terrible tracker! Although I’m curious what change I would see if I DID commit to tracking…), I eat kind of like you. Great thoughts about eating out with friends, the value of carbs and that recipe is one I will have to try! Thanks.
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