How to make protein bars at home in 5 delicious flavors – with NO baking required!
Easy Homemade Protein Bars
Just FOUR ingredients!
If you’re still buying protein bars at the store, this quick and simple vegan protein bar recipe might completely change your life…
You’ll honestly never need to buy another packaged protein bar ever again!
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Reasons To Make Your Own Protein Bars
– The best reason to make your own? YOU get full control of what protein bar ingredients to include.
Even if you use real sugar (no erythritol, stevia, or monk fruit), each bar has under 3 grams of sugar, with 12 grams of protein!
– The flavor possibilities are endless, and you can choose to make them soy free, dairy free, keto, paleo, low carb, nut free, or sugar free to fit your own personal dietary requirements.
– It’s both much cheaper and more environmentally-friendly to make your own protein bars at home. Think of all the wrappers you’ll save.
Many so-called healthy protein bars on the market, even ones you can find at a health food store, are filled with processed ingredients such as corn syrup solids, maltodextrin, sucralose, sugar alcohols, GMO soy isolate, and so much added sugar and oil that it’s hard to believe they could possibly pass for a health food.
With this recipe, you get an entire pan of homemade protein bars for not much more than you would’ve paid for just one bar at Whole Foods.
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Protein Bar Flavors
Chocolate Protein Bars: Replace 2 tbsp of the protein powder with cocoa powder. Stir a handful of mini chocolate chips into the dough. You can also use a chocolate flavored nut butter if desired.
Peanut Butter Protein Bars Recipe: Use peanut butter in the base recipe below. Feel free to dip in chocolate like I did, for a protein bar that tastes like a Reeses peanut butter cup!
Banana Bread Protein Bars: Omit the maple syrup and use 1/4 cup overripe mashed banana instead. Add a pinch of cinnamon and frost with melted coconut butter if you wish.
Cookie Dough Protein Bars: Stir mini chocolate chips into the batter, and add 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract and 1/8 tsp baking soda (this gives it a cookie dough flavor). I especially like to use cashew butter in this version.
Protein Bars Without Protein Powder: Use the base recipe below, with 1 cup oat flour in place of the 3/4 cup protein powder, and increase the sweetener to 1/3 cup. Even a small oatmeal protein bar (1/16th of the total recipe) made with peanut butter will still have 7 grams of protein.
Do you have a favorite protein bar flavor?
Other versions for this recipe that I haven’t yet tried include cinnamon roll, cake batter, lemon cookie, fudge brownie, caramel, peppermint, pumpkin pie, cookies’n cream, coffee, vanilla, maple, s’more’s, blueberry, white chocolate, Nutella, and coconut.
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What Kind Of Protein Powder?
At the grocery store, you can find bars made from all sorts of different protein powders, such as brown rice protein, pea protein, whey protein, pumpkin seed, egg whites, hemp protein, collagen, casein, and soy protein.
Popular brands include Perfect Bars, Clif Bars, Luna Bars, RXBAR, Quest Bars, Kind, Think, Pure, One, Gatorade protein bars… the list goes on and on.
In this recipe, I’ve found that unsweetened protein powder is best, because the bars are sweet enough on their own without adding extra sugar or artificial sweeteners from the powder.
However, if you have a specific brand of flavored protein powder that you love, feel free to experiment (possibly cutting back on the sweetener in the recipe?), and let me know how it goes if you do!
Depending on the type of protein powder you choose, each of the bars in this healthy protein bar recipe will have around 10-12 grams of protein, or over 20 grams of protein if you make them into larger (60-gram) bars.
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The Best Protein Bar Recipe
People eat protein bars for a variety of different reasons including muscle gain, weight loss, as a post workout portable snack or meal replacement, to curb hunger or help them feel full longer, as an easy way to add protein to their diet, or simply because they like the taste.
When I became a vegetarian in high school, I initially relied on energy bars as a convenient way to replace protein from meat.
Recently, I’ve started to make my own because I prefer bars made with sugar over erythritol or monk fruit and have been seeing fewer of those options available (or some that are available taste too sweet).
The best part about making your own protein bars is that you get to choose every single ingredient – Try one of the flavors above, or throw a handful of shredded coconut, chia seeds, or chopped dark chocolate into the dough to make your own custom flavor!
Above – watch the video how to make protein bars!
- 1 1/2 cup peanut butter, or allergy-friendly sub
- 3/4 cup unsweetened protein powder of choice (90g)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, honey, or agave (or try these Keto Protein Bars)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 oz melted chocolate chips, optional
- See earlier in this post for five protein bar flavor ideas
Stir all ingredients except optional chips to form a dough. Either shape into bars with your hands or smooth into a lined 8×8 pan, refrigerate until chilled, then cut into bars. For the optional chocolate coating, spread the melted chocolate over the pan before chilling. (I usually stir 2 tsp oil into the melted chocolate for a smoother sauce, but it’s not required.) Or you can dip the bars into the chocolate sauce individually and then chill to set.
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