I’m always on the lookout for healthy snacks for my family, especially easy recipes since I am pretty busy. We love my recipes for healthy chocolate truffles, no-bake cookies, and kale chips, but this recipe for homemade protein bars is one of our all time favorites.
If you’ve been buying protein bars in the store, here is your chance to make them at home for much less money and likely with much healthier ingredients.
Following is one of those great recipes that I like to make in bulk and then place in the fridge or freezer for a fast healthy snack for the family.
I know that a lot of people still purchase ready-made protein bars in the stores for convenience purposes, but it really is great if you can carve out a little bit of time and make a big batch of something like this and have it on hand.
Try it and once you find a mix of ingredients you like, make a bunch of batches, freeze them, then grab them and go when you are on the run.
This protein bar recipe is a lot healthier for you and for your wallet.
How are they healthier?:
- Seeds and nuts give a great dose of healthy fats that are good for you and great for leveling out your blood sugar levels.
- The optional protein powder provides a nice dose of protein. (Yes, I know this is not a “real food”, but for those of us dealing with food allergies, sometimes this is the best we can do)
- Coconut oil is a great healthy fat as well
These originated as a recipe for Almond Power Bars on Elana’s Pantry. I tweaked the recipe a bit, made it more suited to variation, and gave nutrient boosting and sugar-free alternatives.
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Do It Yourself – Homemade Protein Bars
Makes approx. 16 bars (or 1 big bar :). Depends how big you make ’em!)
2 cups nuts or seeds (almonds, sunflower, pumpkin, or macadamia. Mixing several kinds is fine too. Soak and dry these if at all possible.)
½ cup flax meal (flax seeds ground in a blender or spice grinder) (alternatively, use rice bran or protein powder)
½ cup shredded coconut (unsweetened and organic if possible)
½ cup seed or nut butter (again, made from soaked and dried nuts is preferable)
3/8 teaspoon salt (I use Real Salt)
½ cup coconut oil (or alternative solid fat. Use cocoa butter or butter for a more warm weather-stable bar)
2 Tbsp liquid sweetener – use 1/32 tsp of stevia extract (read my post on stevia here.)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Place nuts or seeds, flax meal, coconut, seed or nut butter and salt in the bowl of a food processor.
2. Process until the nuts or seeds are ground into a coarse meal
3. Melt coconut oil over low heat. If the temperature of your home is around 76 degrees, you can skip this step and add the oil directly to the food processor as it will be soft enough to process easily.
4. Add coconut oil, sweeteners and vanilla to processor bowl and process until well combined to form a thick, yet crunchy paste.
5. Press the mixture into an 8×8 square pan (you can be quite flexible here. A 9×9 will work just fine. A larger pan will produce thin bars, while a smaller pan will yield thicker ones.)
6. Place in refrigerator to chill.
7. While bars are chilling, prepare Homemade Chocolate / Carob Bar, but don’t harden it.
8. Top bars with the Homemade Bar. Alternatively, use your own or my Homemade Chocolate / Carob Chips before melting, or melt and top with those.
9. Place back in refrigerator to chill (if you can wait that long :-)!)
10. Cut into squares and serve.
11. Store in refrigerator.
Variations and Notes:
- Use vegetable glycerine as the liquid sweetener for a low carb version. If you don’t need low carb, use Sucanat or honey for more natural options. If you don’t use glycerine, then 1 scoop stevia extract is a good choice or you could alternatively use xylitol or about 1/3 more erythritol.*)
- Substitute up to the total amount of the flax meal with the same amount of rice protein for an extra punch of protein. Nutribiotic makes a great brand from non-GMO brown rice. You could also use some of this great grass-fed gelatin to firm up the bars and give more protein.
- Rice bran is a great nutrient-boosting alternative to the flax meal as well.
- Want to use stevia? Try my DIY Liquid Stevia Drops recipe.
Hope you enjoy the taste and the healthy boost to your wallet!
Oh – and if you’re feeling particularly pressed for time and just want to buy some protein bars with no “Frankenfood” ingredients, try the Dale’s Raw Food Protein Bars. Only 5 g of carbs and 22 g of protein per bar. They’re all raw and yummy. So yummy, my youngest has been known to sneak them!
Other Processed Food Replacements for your kitchen:
Do you have a processed food that you would like me to remake into a “homemade” version?