Being a full time college student paying for my own education, I know the only thing harder than affording something decent to eat is finding something that doesn’t pack on those Freshman 15. But don’t give up my fellow college kids! Cheap, delicious, easy, AND healthy does exist! Each week I’ll be posting recipes and tips to lead a healthier, happier lifestyle that you can afford.
My first blog post is one of my favorite recipes- not only because it tastes so darn good, but because you don’t need to cook or bake it. All you need is access to a microwave and a refrigerator.
Easy Oatmeal Protein Squares
Difficulty level: Super duper EASY
Supplies Needed: Microwave, Refrigerator, Large bowl, Square dish or pan, Measuring cups, Saran Wrap
Food allergies: DOES contain nuts, Gluten FREE
1/4 Cup Natural Peanut Butter (OR Almond Butter)
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Soy milk (OR milk of your choice)
4 tsp Honey
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
4 scoops Vanilla Protein Powder
2 Cups Rolled Oats
1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries (OR dried fruit of your choice)
1/4 Cup Unsalted sunflower seeds (OR another seed or nut of your choice)
1 tsp Cinnamon powder
Go to the Dollar Tree for: honey, cinnamon, vanilla extract, measuring cups, saran wrap and maybe even more. I got the rest of the ingredients at Trader Joes for a good price, but you can find these at most stores. These items will make MANY batches and many other recipes. The protein powder will cost the most ($11 at Trader Joes) but will not only last a while, it’s VERY good for your body. Protein plays a HUGE important role in the human body- building healthy skin, muscles, hair, hormones, and enzymes. Protein also helps keep you feeling full longer.
Mix wet ingredients- PB, milk, honey, vanilla- in a large bowl and microwave for 45 seconds. Stir well. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until even. Line a square dish with saran wrap and scoop mixture into the pan. Push down evenly with a spoon. Optional step: sprinkle a handful of dry oats on top and push down to make the bars less sticky to handle.
Refrigerate for at least one hour and cut into squares (8 larger or 12 smaller).
These Oatmeal Squares are the PERFECT quick breakfast when you wake up late or as a snack between classes.
And remember: eating healthy isn’t just about staying fit. A good diet will increase your energy, pump up your mood, increase your brainpower and memory, and make you an overall happier human being!
So get out there and treat your body like the temple it is. When you put good in, you only get good out!
By Tia Jay