More homemade Quest-like protein bars

Here’s a post following this post where I made my first homemade Quest-like protein bars using IMO / VitaFiber. The first bars I made were pretty basic, but I’ve now gotten more creative. I don’t live in the US and I can’t easily get my hands on ready-made, fancy-flavored Quest bars. So I just come up with my own original recipes!

For some bars, I’ve used calorie-dense ingredients like nuts, or some sugar-containing ingredients like mini-marshmallows, but overall, the quantities are limited so that these bars have similar nutrition facts compared to the “official” Quest bars. These bars are also definitely lower in sodium (I find real Quest bars way too salty). And lastly, you can use your favorite kind of protein powder to make these; you don’t necessarily have to use whey protein.

I’ve used half a ‘baby cookie’ crumbled into pieces to create a “pie/cookie” flavor in some of the recipes. I bought these baby cookies in the supermarket’s baby food section. They’re gluten-free and very low in sugar and sodium. But you could also use pieces of ladyfinger biscuits instead.

Directions

The process is always the same for every recipe: you heat up the IMO/VitaFiber in a pot until bubbles start to form. You remove it from the heat, add the other ingredients and mix to get a sticky dough. You press the dough onto a silicone tray and stick it in the fridge for an hour so it sets.


Lemon Meringue Pie Quest bar

– 1/4 cup vanilla flavored protein powder
– 2 tbsp VitaFiber
– 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/4 tsp turmeric (for color)
– 1 tbsp mini marshmallows
– 1/2 baby cookie, crumbled into small pieces

Lemon pie homemade Quest bar


Pistachio Quest bar

– 1/4 cup vanilla flavored protein powder
– 2 tbsp VitaFiber
– 12 pistachios
– a few drops of pistachio flavoring

Pistachio Quest bars


Pecan Pie Quest bar

– 1/4 cup caramel flavored protein powder
– 2 tbsp VitaFiber
– 7 pecans
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/2 baby cookie, crumbled into small pieces

Pecan pie homemade Quest bar


Rocky Road Quest bar

– 1/4 cup vanilla or chocolate flavored protein powder
– 2 tbsp VitaFiber
– 1 tbsp crushed walnuts
– 1 tbsp cocoa
– 1 tbsp mini marshmallows

Rocky Road Quest bar


Chocolate Chip Cookie Quest bar

– 1/4 cup vanilla flavored protein powder
– 2 tbsp VitaFiber
– 1 square of unsweetened dark chocolate
– 1/2 baby cookie, crumbled into small pieces
– a few drops of pralines & cream flavoring

Chocolate Chip Cookie Quest bar

Eating my homemade choco chip cookie Quest bar


Where can you buy IMO-syrup?

Bioneutra.ca usually sells to wholesalers but has opened a webshop for customers: http://vitafiber.myshopify.com. (This isn’t an affiliate link). Prices are in Canadian dollars, and one kilo syrup costs $14 CAD.

You can also find other oligosaccharide syrups on Amazon.com. Korean and Japanese people use similar syrups that they call Oligo sugar or Oligo dang. Here are two Amazon-affiliate products:

Comments

  1. Bogi says

    Hi Elise, these bars so look awesome, that I ordered 2 kg VitaFiber yesterday. Shipping to Hungary was unfortunately 45 CAD :-( But still cheaper than 1 piece of Quest bar here, which is 3,8 EUR and up. I’m really curious how my bars will taste and look like. Thank you for all your creative and healthy posts.

    • says

      Hi Bogi! That’s indeed a lot of money in shipping costs :(
      But with 2 kg of VitaFiber, you should be able to make around 60 bars :)
      VitaFiber syrup tastes very neutral: the bars’ taste & look mostly depend on the kind of protein powder and on the other ingredients you’ll be using. Have fun experimenting!

  2. Kasey says

    Hi Elise!
    Thanks for the post. Have you ever worked with the VitaFiber powder? Do you know why one would choose the syrup over the powder?

    • says

      Hi Kasey,
      I’ve made meringues with VitaFiber powder (You can see a photo at the end of this article). The powder can work in recipes like meringues, mousses or cakes = recipes where you need something that adds texture and volume, just like sugar does. I use the syrup in recipes where you have different ‘solid’ ingredients that you need to ‘bind’ together, like these bars.

    • says

      Hi Audrey, you can find it online on vitafiber.myshopify.com but the shipping costs are 45 Canadian dollars (around 30 euro) if you live in Europe. There isn’t really any substitute for it if you want to keep your bars low-carb and low-fat. The only alternative is to make “traditional” homemade protein bars using binding ingredients such as pumpkin puree or nut butters.

  3. Ray says

    These look mighty fine! Can’t wait to make them myself. Just ordered the Vitafiber syrup and powder, I live in the Netherlands and can’t wait to experiment!

  4. Carla says

    Hey,

    I have the syrup and powder. Have you tried using the powder for the bars by mixing some liquid in? I find the powder easier to me sure as the syrup is a bit messy, I found.

    • says

      Hi Carla, I prefer the syrup, I find it easier to dose. I prefer using the powder as a powered sugar replacement in recipes like meringues.

  5. Carla says

    Another question- what was the exact protein powder you used? I used casein and it didn’t seem to turn out as well texture-wise as when I used regular, low carb pro powder.

  6. Carla says

    Your bars look so good! Just like real Quest bars. I live in Canada so have easy access to more affordable ones. I eat two a day. But I want to make my own just for fun :)

  7. Jen Richey says

    I just received my VitaFiber, and tried to make a bar:) How many grams (2 Tbl) of IMO syrup do you use for one bar? Also, when you say a few drops of the LorAnn Oil type extracts how may drops exactly? :)

    Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Jen, As I wrote in the article, I use 2 tbsp (= 30 ml) for 1/4 cup protein powder (= 60 ml)

      For the number of drops of flavoring, it depends on the product, if it’s really potent or not. Add 1-2 drops, taste the batter and make adjustments if necessary!

  8. Steph says

    Do you know what silicone mould you have to make these in?

    My VitaFiber is on it’s way and I would like to make pretty bars :)

    Btw, I got an email saying they are looking into shipping costs, and they hope to have cheaper international options in a few weeks

  9. Tobi says

    I have the Vitafiber syrup and have been making bars similar to yours. Mine are not coming out as well as yours look – the texture is a bit off. I suspect it might be my protein powder. My bars are sort of crumbly. The texture in your photos looks perfect. This last batch I really pressed the mixture into a pan and it helps a little but they are still not very smooth. I tried using a little more IMO syrup but that didn’t really make a difference. Any chance you could post a short video showing how you mix your ‘dough’?

    • says

      Hi Tobi, the thing I’ve noticed when making bars is that the more “instantly mixable” your protein powder, the better the result. The IMO should be liquified but not too hot. You have to work quickly, mixing protein powder and IMO and then pressing the mix into a pan.

      Protein powders that are a blend of different kinds of protein work really well. I got slightly ‘sandy’ bars using pure egg white protein powder, but my egg protein bars still hold their shape very well by pressing the mixture into the pan.

  10. Tobi says

    Thank you so much for your response and tips. I think it is my protein powder that is causing the issue and I am probably overheating the syrup as well – I think it might be sort of curdling or cooking the whey making it crumbly. I am going to get a blend and see if that does better. I like casein for it’s mixability and texture so I will see about mixing some of that in with the whey. Thanks again – your bars look great! I have a FB friend who makes a batch of the dough and then bakes it like cookies. so many possibilities!

  11. Dorka says

    First of all I would like to say thanks for you to made this site. I love your recipes.

    I would like to buy Vitafiber, but I’m from Hungary as Bogi and the shipping price is really high for me. I would like to ask , if I order Vitafiber to your address can you send it to me? It would be much cheaper that way and I would pay the shipping of course.

    Thanks in advance for your answer,have a great day!

  12. says

    Yum! I got some shipped to Aus on Monday and played around with it! I am struggling with it being a little bit too sweet? Do you have that issue? x

    • says

      Not really. I find it a lot less sweeter than other sweeteners. When my homemade protein bars taste too sweet, most of the time it’s because of the brand of protein powder I use.

    • Ash says

      Hey Keira,
      Just wondering how you managed to get some shipped to Aus? It’s not coming up as a shipping option on their website…?

  13. Inez says

    Can u make a video of how you making them? i don’t really understand, the “cake” with dots on, do i need it?

    • says

      The “dots” are just mini-marshmallows. If you can’t find mini-marschmallows, just take a regular marshmallow and cut it into small pieces.

  14. Horace says

    Honestly, these look amazing. I just started trying to create my own bars with the VitaFiber. I measure out my 2 tablespoons or 35g and I have my 1 scoop of protein powder, but when I try mixing everything in a plastic bag after heating the VitaFiber, I never get it to come out right.. Can you make a youtube video showing how you do it?

    • says

      No, I can’t make a video. I’m not paid by VitaFiber to promote their product.
      You need to use a bowl and a fork to mix the protein powder and the VitaFiber, not a plastic bag. The VitaFiber just need to be heated up slightly to liquefy, you shouldn’t let it boil.

    • Kris says

      To Horace
      Honestly, it’s not that difficult. Use a 1/4 cup measure for your powder, add your flavouring, and then add your 2 tabs liquid (simmered) and stir.

      The trick is to work quickly, so what i do is add the liquid into a ceramic bowl with the ingredients and stir fast, then grab the dough whilst its still warm and work it into shape.

      I also find the dough can vary depending on protein powder used. Generic powders work best for me as they ‘re not full of fillers.

  15. Anneju says

    Just bought my pot :)
    cant wait to try these !
    wich one was best tasting in all your atemps :)???

    • says

      I’d say the Chocolate Chip Cookie :) But the taste also really depends on the taste of the protein powder you’ll be using.

  16. Jess says

    Thanks for the great recipes!
    What protein powders have you found mix best? Would you be willing to go into specifics with the brand name?

    • says

      Hi Jess, the protein powder that I’ve found mixed best was Atkins’ protein powder. It’s a milk protein powder but it also contain some soy protein.

      • Jess says

        Elise, thanks so much for the response! I think Atkins’ protein powder may be unavailable in my location (at least I am assuming because my online research was inconclusive:( ). Have you tried optimum nutrition 100% whey gold standard? I know you mentioned in one of your other responses that protein powders that mix well tend to work nicely with this recipe so I was just wondering if I should try investing in the milk protein or if the brand I currently own, optimum nutrition, tastes good?

        Thanks again! Love your website! :)

  17. Bruce says

    Instead of heating up the IMO on the stovetop, could you microwave it? If so, any idea for how long? THX!

    • says

      I think so, but I’ve never tried. You could try to heat it up in 30 second bursts until you see small little bubbles appearing.

    • says

      By multiplying the quantities. If you have more IMO-syrup, it may take more time to start bubbling, but generally it’s a matter of second before it starts to do so, regardless of the quantity of syrup.

      • Bruce says

        I was curious about making multiple bars at the same time too. I was thinking of multiplying the recipes and pouring the entire batch into a cake pan, then cutting them out to individual bars…almost like brownies.

        • says

          Hi Bruce, yes sure, good idea! You may need a good, sharp knife (sometimes the bars can be quite hard depending on the ingredients and the temperature they’re in) but that should definitely work.

    • says

      No, it depends on the type of protein powder I’m using. But it’s always 1/4 cup (60 ml ; the plastic spoon included in the jar is often equal to 60 ml).

  18. Sarav says

    I’ve been using unsweetened beef protein powder with great success. Just wanted to input that for anyone who can’t do whey :)

  19. Brenda says

    Hello,
    I am so happy that I found your page. Buying quest bars all the time became exhausting. There are no replica recipes out there. I was going to ask if you have tried the coconut cashew? That is my favorite! I absolutely love it. Hopefully going to make it very soon. If you were to write the recipe for it what would it be? If you make soon please send a picture. Also, on the package it says they use lo Han guo. Have you heard of that? Thank you sooo much for your help

    • says

      Hi Brenda,
      If I were to write the recipe for a replica of the coconut cashew Quest bar, this would be the following:
      – 1/4 cup vanilla-flavored protein powder
      – 2 tbsp VitaFiber
      – 1 tsp cashew butter
      – 1 tsp dried coconut
      – a few drops of coconut flavoring
      – a pinch of sea salt

      They also use some almonds in the original coconut cashew Quest bars, so if you want you could also add 1 tiny tsp of almond butter.

      If the vanilla protein powder you use is already sweetened, you don’t need to add stevia or luo han guo. Luo han guo is a type of sweetener that isn’t so common but you can also buy it online on Amazon for example.

  20. Daniel Borba says

    Is there any US equivelents to VitaFiber? I ordered some but I wanted to try making these and don’t want to wait.

    Thanks,

    Daniel

    • says

      Yes, the Japanese/Korean products I’ve added at the end of the article. They’re available online on Amazon and in large Asian grocery stores.

  21. Patrycja says

    Hej! Looks delicious… But tell me, I don’t have IMO/VitaFiber is there anything else what I can use instead of this? e.g. just hot water with some other kind of sweetener?

    • says

      No unfortunately there is nothing like it. You could try to melt isomalt candies and use them as syrup but they wouldn’t have the same exact effect.

  22. Emerald says

    I can’t seem to figure out what I’m doing wrong. 2 Tablespoons of VitaFiber never seems to be nearly enough to get the nice moist texture I see in your pictures. My mixture looks dry and crumbly. I’ve tried them with 3 different types of protein powder now, because I thought that may have been part of the issues, but each time I get the same crumbly mixture. Should I just add more VitaFiber or should I use another type of syrup? Or any other suggestions?

    • says

      Maybe you’re heating up the Vita Fiber for too long. The syrup shouldn’t start evaporating. You should take it out of the stove as soon as it starts bubbling.

  23. Devan says

    Do you know if I can use YACON Syrup in place of the VItafiber? When I google IMO this seems to keep coming up, wondering if it works the same and has the similar benefits/cooking effects? Thanks!

    • says

      When I google “Yacon Syrup’s nutrition facts”, I see that 2 tbsp contain 14 g of sugar. It’s not as sugary as corn syrup but it’s still a sugary syrup.

    • says

      I used a baby/toddler cookie. (The baby/toddler cookies I can find here in Holland have the lowest sugar amount of all available cookies.)

  24. Jandy Day says

    I pretty much live off quest bars (we call them questies at our house).. so I am so excited to start making my own!! Thanks for the recipes!

  25. Jorge says

    When using the syrup, do you absolutely need to heat up the syrup? What happens if you don’t? I wanted to add some peanut butter to my bar and was wondering if I could just mix the cold syrup to the peanut butter, then add the other ingredients.

    • says

      Heating up the syrup makes the syrup “harden up” when it cools down. I have no idea of what happens if you don’t. If you try could you let us know how the bar ends up?

  26. Alice says

    Hey Elise, quick question for you. I would love to make these for my son who attends college in Maine. However, I live in Texas so the shipping distance is quite long. Do you have any tips or recommendations on how to send these bars through the mail?

    Since these bars harden and don’t really melt, I don’t think temperature will be a big issue. But what about shelf life?

    Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Alice,
      I would wrap them in aluminum foil and they should be okay for up to a week (if you haven’t added any water or liquid ingredient to the paste of IMO & protein powder). For a longer shelf life, an idea could be using a vacuum food sealer.

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