Homemade Quest Bars/Cookies
For those who have an insatiable sweet tooth and a guilty conscience; I present the homemade Quest Bar/Cookie. Most gym aficionados are quite familiar with the dangers found in a quest bar wrapper. A 5, or so, ingredient bar packed with 20 grams of protein, comes in a great variety of flavors and is only 200 calories; they are dangerously delicious and cost about $3.00. My favorites from Quest Nutrition are Cinnamon Roll, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and Cookies & Creme.
There are a few people who find the Quest bar texture to be undesirable however that can easily be changed after being heated, either in the microwave for about 20 seconds or in the oven at 350°F for a few minutes; heating a Quest bar makes them soft and warm.
Homemade Quest bars are quite simple to make and require one key ingredient, IMO (isomalto-oligosaccharide). IMO is a dietary fiber, prebiotic, and a low-calorie sweetener. The best place I know to find IMO is on Amazon; the brand I use is VitaFiber. Here is the link: VitaFiber Syrup. VitaFiber does also offer a powder however for bar making purposes its best to stick to the syrup as it helps hold the bars/cookies together. The syrup runs anywhere from $22-$30 in the US and weighs 1.2kg. Each homemade Quest bar/cookie requires only 25g of syrup meaning you can make about 48 homemade Quest bars/cookies.
Since IMO is a sweet and natural fiber it is great for digestive health. However, be careful you don’t eat too many of these in one day because too much fiber will lead to unwanted bathroom consequences.
The next important ingredient in the Quest bar/cookie is the almond meal. You can but this from a store (like Trader Joes or Whole Foods) or make it yourself.
Depending on how you like your Quest bars you can choose for them to be harder or softer. Quest Bars are slightly on the harder side and this is because the IMO is warmed prior to combining the ingredients. Heating the VitaFiber, for about 20 seconds, slightly cooks all of the ingredients; as is it cools down it binds them together making it harder.
If you prefer a softer Quest bar then you can heat it for less time (i.e. 10 seconds in the microwave) or opt to not heat it at all. An unheated Quest bar is a bit stickier are slightly more similar to a PowerBar PERFORMANCE ENERGY Bar.
Putting it all Together
Quest Bar/Cookies only have about 5-6 ingredients that you need.
- 1 Scoop (32-40g) of Whey Protein Powder
- Chocolate or Vanilla work fine, but feel free to get creative with your flavor choices (i.e. Cookies and Creme, Birthday Cake, Pumpkin Spice, etc.)
- 2 tsp (5g) of Almond Meal
- 5 tsp (25g) of Vita Fiber
- 1 tbsp (15g) of water (depending on dryness)
- ≈50-100 calories (≈10-20g) worth of your fun additional ingredient (i.e. chocolate, chocolate peanut butter cups, chocolate pretzels, etc.)
Note: You can you protein other than whey; however, it is the easiest to use and there is normally a large variety of flavors to choose from. Additionally, if you really want to minimize your ingredients your can opt to use only protein powder, VitaFiber, and water.
- Mix protein, almond meal, and funadditional ingredient of choice into a bowl until well stirred.
- If you use chocolate and want it not to melt entirely you may want to add it with step (4) or coat it over the Quest bar once your are done..
- In a separate bowl add 5 tsp. (25g) ofVitaFiber.
- If making a harder Quest bar heat in microwave for 10-20 seconds (or until the syrup bubbles).
- If making a softer Quest bar you can skip this step and place all the ingredients together into a plastic zip bag without heating.
- Remove the bowl from the microwave and add dry ingredients to the VitaFiber bowl and mix ingredients together.
- Add syrup protein mix into a plastic zip bag then add ≈1 tbsp of water and knead until the mixture begins to clump together.
Note: If making a softer Quest bar it will be stickier and harder to remove from the plastic zip bag.
- Knead the mixture into a ball in the bag
- Over a decent sized clingfilm sheet, place the ball mixture in the middle then turn your plastic zip bag inside out and flatten the mixture down into a cookie shape.
- Once the cookie is shaped you can close fold up the clingfilm around the cookie and store it in the fridge or you can heat it in the oven at 350°F for 5 minutes or in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.
- Shape the bar while kneading the bag.
- Once the baris shaped you can leave it in the bag and store it in the fridge or you can heat it in the oven at 350°F for 5 minutes or in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.
- If you prefer to store it in something other than the plastic zip bag you used, clingfilm is a good alternative.
Quest Bar vs. Homemade Bar/Cookie Nutrition Comparison
Homemade Quest Bar/Cookies:
- Chocolate with Mini Peanut Cups (9 pieces |13g)
- 280 Calories | 32g Carbs | 8g Fat | 32g Protein | 8g Sugar
- ChocolatewithBiscoff Cookie (2 cookies |15g)
- 270 Calories | 35g Carbs | 6g Fat | 32g Protein | 7g Sugar
- Vanilla Oatmeal Cranberry Dunker (1 cookie |18g)
- 300 Calories | 37g Carbs | 7g Fat | 32g Protein | 9g Sugar
Note: For all of these Quest bars I used a protein powder that had 30g of protein per serving. As such, the carbohydrate and protein quantity of these bars is higher than those found in a standard Quest Bar. The carbohydrate-to-protein ratios are still about the same as those in a normal Quest bar.
- Chocolate Chip Cookies Dough (1 Bar)
- 190 Calories | 21g Carbs | 8g Fat | 21g Protein | 1g Sugar
- White Chocolate Raspberry (1 Bar)
- 190 Calories | 23g Carbs | 8g Fat | 20g Protein | 1g Sugar
- Cookies & Creme (1 Bar)
- 180 Calories | 22g Carbs | 7g Fat| 21g Protein | 1g Sugar
Note: Most Quest Bars contain Sucralose, a 0 calories sweetener, in order keep sugar quantity low while still sweetening. If you are worried about potential health effects of Sucralose you can find a protein powder that does not contain sucralose; however, powders that have palatable taste and do not contain sucralose are far and few between.
Homemade Quest Bar/Cookie Recipe Ideas
For those with a knack for getting creative with your flavors, this next section is for you.
- Chocolate Almond
- Chocolate Chip
- Chocolate Chip Oatmeal
- Dark Chocolate Mint Pattie
- Cookie Dough
- Cookies and Creme
- Chocolate Pretzel
- Strawberry Pretzel
- Peanut Butter
- Peanut Butter Cup
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal
- Cinnamon Brown Sugar
- Biscoff Cookies
- Digestive Biscuit (any flavor)
- Girl Scout Cookie (any flavor)
- Cinnamon Roll
- Red Velvet
- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut
- White Chocolate Raspberry
- Chai Mocha
- Chocolate Raisin
- Yogurt Raisin
- Banana Nut
- Yogurt Almond
- Apple Pie
- Pecan Pie
- Peach Cobler
- Pumpkin Pie
- Lemon Cream
- Frosted Flakes
- Fruity Pebbles
- Peanut Butter Puffs
- Rice Krispies
If you do plan to use fruit in your homemade Quest bars/cookies make sure it is freeze dried or dried to extend shelf life. Real fruit is likely to spoil; so if you do use real fruit make sure you don’t let it sit for extended periods of time.