Cookies/ desserts & baked goods/ Low Carb/ Protein Powder/ Snacks

Homemade Quest Style Protein Bars

August 4, 2014
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If you are into anything remotely fitness related and haven’t heard of Quest nutrition bars, sorry to say it but you are most likely living under a rock.  These bars are easily the most popular around, great quality, variety of flavors, crazy AMAZING taste, and the macros on them are superb.  Unfortunately, if your tummy is anything like mine and SUPER sensitive to whey protein (isolate and concentrate), sadly most store bought bars like these are going to be off limits.  You have no idea how sad I was when I narrowed down my sensitivity to the protein.  I can only tolerate whey in VERY small amounts and/or in protein blends like my absolute all time favorite and the only protein I use: Trutein by Body Nutrition (contains whey, casein, egg protein).  Since the main ingredient in Quest bars is whey, I can usually only have a few bites before I start noticing some discomfort.  Having the option to grab a protein bar when I was pressed for time, running around with the kids, at an amusement park, or even as a quick and easy snack at home was ideal but I just couldn’t justify the stomach issues for it.  Again… sad sad times.  Fortunately, I think I may have stumbled onto magic… A few weeks ago, a company named Sweet It reached out to me and asked if I wanted to try their product out.  The company  not only claims that Sweet It (vita fiber) is the “secret ingredient” in Quest bars, but also claims  the following: “Zero Sugar  ~  No Aftertaste  ~  Low Calorie  ~ Super Versatile  ~  Baking  to  Beverages   ~ Gluten Free  ~  Non-GMO  ~  Vegan  ~ Nothing Artificial  ~  No Stevia   ~ No Sugar  Alcohols ~ Low Glycemic  ~ Supports Digestive Health ~ Excellent Source of Prebiotic Fiber  ~ Does Not Cause Tooth Decay   ~ Diabetic Friendly  ~  No Allergens” Yeah, I thought the same thing.  TOO GOOD to be true.  Either the company is full of crap or this is a miracle product.  I was hesitant and skeptical, but definitely wiling to try it out for myself before I came to a decision.  The product arrived and to be completely honest, I was even more skeptical (and confused).  This is how the products looked (bottle of Sweet It and their custom almond brittle mix which is just powdered vita fiber and sliced almonds). CORINANIELSEN-QUEST-28

 

CORINANIELSEN-QUEST-29 See what I mean?!  Totally strange right?  I looked at this little bottle and had NO clue what I was going to do with it.  How was I supposed to use it in baking.  Would it have a chemical reaction to other ingredients?  Did it have a weird taste?  Why was the texture so thick?  These literally sat on my kitchen counter for5-7 days because I was scared to use it.  I couldn’t even think of what I was going to do with it.  Luckily, the company sends out a sweet little letter and some recipe ideas so I figured that should be a good place for me to start!

One little test run for a Quest style protein bar turned into SEVEN bars within a very short block of time.  Once I dove in and saw how FAST and EASY it was, I couldn’t stop myself.  Start to finish for one bar is under 10 minutes and that included heating, mixing, shaping, and baking.  One idea led to another, which led to another, and another.  Had I not been forced to pick a kid up at football practice, I probably could have used my entire bottle of Sweet It that day.
Take a look at these beauties…

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Mocha Caramel Chip

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Orange Creamsicle

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Red Velvet

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Blueberry Cheesecake

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Coconut Crunch

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S’Mores

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What I absolutely LOVE about the Sweet It is that it doesn’t change the flavor of anything you use.  It sweetens it of course, but the main flavor will solely come from the protein powder you use as well as any extracts and/or extra ingredients you decide to incorporate.  The base recipe was the exact same in all of these… ready for it?  SO simple, it’s nuts.

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Sweet It
  • 1/2 scoop Trutein
  • 1/4 tsp extract
  • 1 tbsp milk (I use almond)

** Just keep in mind that I used these ratios for MY macros.  Most recipes you will see for Vitafiber will call for an entire scoop of protein, but I personally just get the majority of my protein intake from actual food. The recipe is very very forgiving and easy to play with so you can easily just add a little of this, take out a bit of that, etc. and find a good ratio.  The protein powder you use will also have an impact on the taste, quality, and texture of your bar.  Again, I LOVE my Trutein because its a blend of whey, casein, and egg so it bakes great AND has different release times for your body…  it’s also hands down the BEST tasting protein I have ever had!  **

OK ready for a quick little run down to show how easy this product is to work with?  Let’s go!

All you need to get going is a measuring spoon, spatula, small pot, Sweet It, your favorite protein, extract of choice (not shown), and any mix ins you like.  I’m showing how to make a “Cake Batter” bar so I needed sprinkles as well!  Saran Wrap and a cookie/baking sheet will also be needed.

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  • Place Sweet It and 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract in a small pot over low-medium heat.

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  • After about 1 minute, you will see the mixture begin to bubble.  Stir and immediately turn OFF heat.

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  • Add your almond milk, vanilla protein powder, and mix well.  It will be very thick but should slowly come together.  If you are having problems and find there is still a good amount of power that won’t mix in, you can add a tiny amount of almond milk or water.  Add it slowly just until the it comes together.

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  • Let the mixture cool slightly (maybe 1-2 minutes) until you can pick it up with your hands.  Lay a small piece of plastic wrap on your counter (maybe 10×10 in size).  For extra insurance, you can lightly spray the plastic wrap with some non stick spray.

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  • Lightly spray your hand and rub with your other hand.

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  • Pick up the mixture from the pot and form into a small ball.

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  • Using your hands, shape into a small rectangle (Quest size).  You can also use the plastic wrap to help shape the bar if you are having problems with things being sticky.  I noticed that depending on the flavor of protein I was using, some were stickier than others.

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  • Add sprinkles.

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  • Fold and roll the mixture up again to create a marbled effect if you like, reshape into a bar, and add MORE sprinkles.

CORINANIELSEN-QUEST-21CORINANIELSEN-QUEST-22CORINANIELSEN-QUEST-23Now, you could EASILY eat the bar just like this.  You could throw it in the fridge or freezer to harden up a bit, wrap it up and store it for later, use pieces as toppings on things like pancakes, waffles, proyo (protein frozen yogurt), etc. OR my FAVORITE way to eat a Quest bar is to bake/broil it for a couple of minutes… seriously, you haven’t eaten a Quest bar unless you have had it baked for a couple of minutes!   Obviously, thats what I did with these home made ones!

  • Place your bar on a cookie sheet (be sure to remove the bar from the plastic wrap) lined with a Silpat or parchment paper and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 5-6 minutes.  I’m an under baked, soft cookie kinda girl, so I’m perfectly happy with it being super squishy.  My husband prefers crunchy cookies (yeah, total weirdo) so I use a longer cooking time for his.  Again, base recipe is the same but very forgiving.  So easy to experiment with these!

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BAM!!!!  How ridiculously easy was that?  Not only is Sweet It everything it says it is… I swear it does have magic in it!!!!  Thanks to Sweet It and my amazing high quality Trutein protein, I never have to be without another bar ever again!  The possibilities are endless.  No need to stop at the thousands of flavors and ingredients you could whip up for the bars, the Sweet It can be used ANYWHERE you need to replace sugar.  Cookies, brownies, cakes, oatmeal, ice cream… ANY and all desserts.  Not only do you get the sweetness you need, but the additional nutritional benefits as well.  You also know exactly what’s going into your bar and can control your ingredients AND macros!  Another huge bonus?  SAVING $$$!  Cost on a very simple bar is easily less than $1.00!!!!!
Bottom line for me?  I’m a fan…. you can expect to see lots of other recipes using Sweet It!!!  These bars were just the beginning for me….
Here are the tweaks for the other bars shown here:
Mocha Caramel- 1 1/2 tbsp Sweet It, 1/2 scoop Mocha Caramel Trutein protein, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tbsp cold pressed coffe, 1/2 tbsp Enjoy Life chocolate chips
Almond Orange- 1 1/2 tbsp Sweet It, 1/2 scoop Orange Creamsicle Trutein protein, 1/4 tsp almond extract, 1 tsp almond milk, 1 tbsp sliced almonds, 2 slices of Trader Joes dehydrated oranges
Red Velvet- 1 1/2 tbsp Sweet It, 1/2 scoop Red Velvet Trutein protein, 1 tsp almond milk, 1/2 tsp cacao powder, 2 pieces Red Velvet bites (roughly chopped)
Blueberry Cheesecake-  1 1/2 tbsp Sweet It, 1/2 scoop Vanilla Trutein protein,  1 tsp JELLO cheesecake mix, 1 1/2 tsp almond milk, 1 tbsp dried blueberries
Coconut Crunch- 1 1/2 tbsp Sweet It, 1/2 scoop Chocolate Truffle Trutein protein, 1/4 tsp coconut extract, 1/2 tbsp shredded coconut, 1 tbsp chopped Coco Crunch Squarebar
S’Mores- 1 1/2 tbsp Sweet It, 1/2 scoop Chocolate Truffle Trutein protein, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tbsp marshmallow fluff or dehydrated marshmallow bits, 1/4 sheet graham cracker sheet (roughly chopped)
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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Car_dudek@yahoo.com
    August 5, 2014 at 12:28 am

    Awesome Corina! I can’t wait to try this. Your blog is amazing….keep up the great work!

    Carolyn

  • Reply
    Sara
    August 8, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Hey there!
    You inspired me to buy sweet it and I just made my first bars ( lemon confetti and smores!)
    Just wondering if you’ve tried mass producing these yet or have only done them one at a time.
    Thanks!!

    • Reply
      corina
      August 12, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      Hi Sara! No I haven’t BUT its a great idea! Just keep your ratios the same and you should be fine!!! Great idea 🙂

  • Reply
    Hillary
    August 17, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Where is the best or most inexpensive place to purchase Trutein? And what would be your flavor of choice for someone who is normally a chocolate protein powder person?

    • Reply
      corina
      August 18, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      Hi Hillary! You can buy Trutein at bodybuilding.com or direct from their site! I would say vanilla is the most versatile if you like to bake, but I adore ALL of the flavors!!!

  • Reply
    Sulveen
    November 25, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Hi Corina! I’ve recently discovered your blog and I love it!….you are truly inspirational!! Although I am not looking to particularly ‘bulk up’ (the only weights work I do is Body Pump classes), being vegetarian I struggle to get more than 50g of protein in a day without using powders to supplement. Through experimentation I’ve learned that I feel much better when I keep my carbs at around 130g, but struggle to make this up in protein (the fats I do ok with!). I have recently started using Trutein and tried your Protein Pancakes – they were amazing!! I’m looking forward to experimenting with some new flavours! Unfortunately, as I’m following you from the UK I’m struggling to get hold of some of the ingredients you use and was wondering if you could recommend an alternative to the Coco Crunch Squarebar that you use in your Coconut Crunch Bars? Many thanks!

  • Reply
    Courtney
    December 9, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    OMG, these look *ridiculously* amazing. Super excited to try my own now that I found IMO fiber syrup on eBay with FREE shipping!! Could never find it without crazy international shipping before. Can’t wait ’til it arrives. Thanks for the great step-by-step photos!

  • Reply
    Alexandra robertson
    April 27, 2015 at 2:52 am

    Hi these look great!! What are the macros for a bar?

    • Reply
      corina
      April 27, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      This will vary depending on your protein powder and ingredients 🙂

  • Reply
    elizabeth
    May 30, 2015 at 12:58 am

    Just ordered sweet it! I’m wondering what the shelf life of these bars is like? One advantage of the store bought protein bars is they are great for tossing in a purse or gym bag or bringing on vacation. Have to been able to transport them and for how long? thanks!

    • Reply
      corina
      May 31, 2015 at 10:48 pm

      Not quite sure! I usually only make enough to last me a few days or up to a week! I’m sure they would stay fresh if stored in the fridge though too!

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    December 25, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    So I tried to make my own and I turned out very sticky. At first it was very wet so I added more protein powder… But I was never able to pick it up to form it 🙂 I just put it right on the baking sheet. Any suggestions on how to adjust ratios?

    • Reply
      corina
      December 27, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      Hi Rebecca! What type of protein powder are you using? Using one that has a mix of casein and whey (or casein, whey, and egg) will provide allow it to be less sticky. Also, you can try adding no milk/liquid and see if that helps!

  • Reply
    Jill c
    February 9, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    I can’t find the bottle of Sweet It on the site that looks like that. Is it just the zero syrup kind? Or the powder?

    • Reply
      corina
      February 12, 2016 at 5:14 pm

      I use the liquid form!

  • Reply
    Chloe
    December 20, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Cant wait to try

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