Safety belts, gloves, and protein shakes are every gym goers essentials. While the first two are considered friends, many have associated the last one as a foe. Do you think so, too? How about switching to homemade protein bars?
The reasons can be numerous. While many debate on the advantages and disadvantages of consuming protein shakes, most amateur workout freaks do have apprehensions about indulging in the so-called easy route to bulking up. But, there could be a solution to this in your kitchen – easy to make protein bars – to replace store-bought protein powders. And they’re are economical, too.
Aakash, one such gym-goer at a gym in Darsait, says, “I have been into weights since the last few years. Though I see the changes slowly, I never ever preferred protein shakes as they tend to have a severe health impact later at life. I prefer to build my muscles, slowy and steadily, consuming normal home food.”
Protein is the essential element in one’s diet for building muscles while carbs pose the biggest danger. Powdered protein often supplies this necessary element to help speed up the building of muscles. Yet, many consider the powdered proteins available as not an healthy option. They suggest a better solution – homemade protein bars.
Homemade protein bars are very easy to make and can be stored and eaten in due course of time for a reasonable cost, far less than readymade protein powders. These bars are easy to prepare, easy to carry along and consume whenever needed. And the ingredients are easily available, too.
Nadeesha Basheer, dietician at Badr Al Samaa Hospital, Ruwi, said, “It is safer and quicker to make protein bars at home. Safe because it doesnt contain any artificial ingredients. And most importantly, never use honeya s a natural sweetener as the process involves cooking and honey should never be heated. So the safer alternative is to use maple syrup (instead of jaggery) as an emulsifier.”
Pure cane sugar jaggery is a locally available ingredient in the melted form and could also be used along with toasted flax seeds, oats, and other ingredients rich in antioxidants, she suggested.
Here’s an easy to make recipe for protein bars:
300g rolled oats
100g wheat flour
75g jaggery powder/coconut sugar or brown sugar
2tbsp flax seeds
2tbsp flax meal + 5tbsp water
2tbsp cinnamon powder
2 scoops whey protein
½ cup roasted peanuts
½ cup chopped almonds
½ cup chopped dark chocolate
¼ cup virgin coconut oil
½ cup raisins
1/3 cup pure sugarcane jaggery
½ cup water or almond milk
Mix all the ingredients together, set in a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 180º C for 20-22 minutes. When cooled, cut into neat bars (around 4cm x 8cm) with a sharp knife. Wrap each bar separately with waxed paper or aluminium foil and store in an air-tight glass jar.
(Prepare the bars regularly, as per your consumption pattern, to avoid storing them for too long.)
(Text: Anirban Ray)