When I started this journey I was on the go a lot. I worked a full time job and going to school at the same time. I needed portable and portion controlled foods. I needed something I could stash in my desk or backpack to keep hunger at bay and keep me away from the vending machine.
LUNA bars first appeared in 1999, the same year I started my journey. They became my go to protein bar. They started with four flavors, if I remember correctly: Nutz Over Chocolate, Chocolate Pecan Pie, Lemon Zest and Toasted Nuts & Cranberry. I would keep cases in my desk drawer at work and have one every afternoon around 2:30 pm with my diet Coke. They got me through the long afternoon between lunch and when I might finally get around to dinner.
I have since kicked my diet Coke habit, but LUNA bars are still a part of my snack bar repertoire. I recommend them to my clients as a transition away from granola bars and a healthier way to satisfy a sweet tooth. They are and always will be one of my favorite snack size protein bars.
I have expanded my protein bar rotation in the past few years. I’ve sampled many new bars over the last several weeks but, as with the LUNA bar, I find myself coming back to my old favorites.
Designer Whey Bar
I’ve used their protein powder for years. When they introduced a bar, I was thrilled. With only 160 calories and 10 g of protein, the Triple Chocolate makes the perfect afternoon snack when paired with fiber rich fruit, like an apple or a pear.
One again the NuGo team brings you a bar that is free of artificial sweeteners. Yes, it has real sugar but only 2 g. The 15 grams of protein far outweigh that small amount of sugar. The Brownie Crunch will satisfy a chocolate craving and is gluten free.
Kind Madagascar Vanilla Almond
While it may not have as much protein as I normally like, the healthy fats from the nuts helps give it plenty of staying power. The texture is more like a granola bar and it is gluten and GMO free.
DIY Protein Bars
My favorite (and less expensive) protein bar is one I make myself. I found a recipe for No Bake Protein Bars in Oxygen Magazine many years ago. The ingredients are simple:
4 scoops protein powder
2 cups oats
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup water
1 tbsp milled flax
Mix and press into an 8×8 pan. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes and voila – 8 ready to go protein bars. If you use chocolate protein powder they taste a little like no bake cookies.
Quite honestly, I am tired of testing protein bars. I am ready to get back to my homemade favorites with the occasional store bought bar. What about you? What’s your go to protein bar? Have you found a new favorite based on my recommendations?