Homemade Protein Bars

Appetizers & Snacks  |  Published Aug 11, 2021  |  Updated Aug 11, 2021  |  By Tawnie

homemade protein bars on parchment paper

If you love my 5 ingredient energy bar recipe you’ll be sure to adore these homemade protein bars too!

As a busy mom, I need all of the convenient and healthy snacks and it’s a bonus if I can eat with one hand. If you’re a mama, you’re probably shaking your head yes in agreement! 🤣

a stack of protein bars on parchment paper

I love a good protein bar recipe especially one with no baking involved! This one is made with peanut butter (or your favorite nut butter), is gluten free, and is perfect post workout or for an afternoon pick me up.

You’ll love this homemade protein bar compared to others because:

  • Has only 10 basic pantry staple ingredients
  • Naturally sweetened
  • Salty and peanut buttery
  • Packed with protein
  • Customizable
  • Vegan friendly, dairy free and gluten free
  • PERFECT for meal prep
  • Delicious freezer friendly snack
  • Much cheaper than store bought protein bars

Ingredient Notes

The great thing about making your protein bars from home is having the flexibility to add what you want into your bars. Here is what you’ll need:

ingredients in small dishes needed to make protein bars

  • Medjool Dates: Medjool dates are a wonderful way to naturally sweeten your protein bars. They have notes of caramel and hints of honey which compliment the other flavors in this bar beautifully.
  • Cashews and Walnuts: I recommend soaking the cashews and walnuts prior to adding to the food processor so they are soft enough to blend smoothly. 15-20 minutes is all you need to soak them.
  • Almond flour: I love using almond flour to add more protein to these bars. However, oat flour works as a great substitute as well. You can easily make your own by blending oats in a high powered blender until they reach a fine powder.
  • Peanut Butter: I love using a drippy, smooth peanut butter. You can use a cashew butter, almond butter or any nut butter you prefer.
  • Chia Seeds or Chia Seed Powder: I’ve been loving this chia seed powder because you get the benefits of the chia seeds (antioxidants, omega 3’s, fiber) but the powder acts as a great binder for these protein bars.
  • Chocolate: Melted dark chocolate with a little coconut oil is a great way to finish off these bars. You can add just a drizzle or pour over the top and smooth it out.

Step by Step Directions:

step by step directions making protein bars
  1. Soak: if Medjool dates are a little on the hard side, soak in lukewarm water until soft. Soak cashews and walnuts in a separate bowl.
  2. Prepare loaf pan: line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper, if desired.
  3. Combine: Pulse chopped dates and nuts in a food processor to incorporate. Then add in the remaining ingredients and process again until a cookie dough consistency forms (see video).
  4. Press into pan: Press mixture into pan either with your hands or spread with the back of a spoon to pack mixture down into an even, flat layer.
  5. Melt chocolate: Melt your favorite dark chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler on the stovetop, or in 30-second increments in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds to encourage melting. Then pour over the top of bars and spread evenly. Sprinkle with maldon salt.
  6. Freeze: Freeze bars for 2 hours, or until firm.
  7. Cut into bars: Once chilled, cut into bars or squares and enjoy. Bars are best stored in freezer. I love keeping mine in Stasher Bags!
homemade protein bars stacked on a white plate

Expert Tips and Variations

  • Soak the Medjool dates in a bowl with lukewarm water if they are not soft. This can easily be done while the nuts are soaking!
  • Melt the peanut butter: Microwave the peanut butter or nut butter of choice in a microwave safe container for 30 seconds to get it drippy. This will make it easier to blend with the other ingredients.
  • Use ground flaxseed in place if chia seeds if desired. Or, even a combination of both flax & chia!
  • Use any size pan! I’m using an 8×5 inch loaf pan, but you can also use an 8×8 inch or a 9×9 inch.
  • Cut the bars into larger bars (as shown in photos), or smaller squares for convenient snacking.
  • Store in freezer to keep bars firm, and not soft & mushy.

FAQ

Can I add whey protein powder to these bars?

Yes! Add a scoop of your favorite protein powder for an additional protein boost. If gluten free, looking for protein powders that are grain free.

Can I make these bars into energy bites?

Yes, totally! Using a cookie scoop, roll the mixture into balls between the palm of your hands, drizzle with chocolate if desired and freeze.

How long do homemade protein bars last?

Up to 1 week in the fridge or 2 months properly stored in the freezer.

Do protein bars actually fill you up?

Yes! These homemade protein bars do! They have the perfect balance of carbohydrates, fiber, and fat to give you energy and keep you feeling full.

a photo of a bite taken out of a protein bar

HUNGRY FOR MORE? If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow me on Pinterest or InstagramSign up for my email list, too!

homemade protein bars on parchment paper
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Homemade Protein Bars

These easy to make homemade protein bars are full of fiber, protein and omega-3s and theres NO baking required!
4.86 from 7 reviews
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Freezer Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 7 large bars
Calories: 489kcal

Ingredients

Protein Bars:

  • 10 Medjool Dates, pitted*
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter, drippy*
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seed powder
  • 3/4 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of cinnamon, optional

Chocolate topping:

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (dairy free if needed)
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. flaky sea salt (such as Maldon), optional

Instructions

  • Soak: if Medjool dates are a little on the hard side, soak in lukewarm water until soft. Soak cashews and walnuts together in a separate bowl.
  • Prepare loaf pan: line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper, if desired. I didn't line mine with anything, and it worked just fine too.
  • Combine: Pulse chopped dates and nuts in a food processor to incorporate. Then add in the remaining ingredients: almond flour, honey, peanut butter, chia seed powder, coconut oil and vanilla. Process until a cookie dough consistency forms (see video).
  • Press into pan: Press mixture into pan either with your hands or spread with the back of a spoon to pack mixture down into an even, flat layer. (You can use any pan you prefer, 8×5 loaf pan, 8×8 inch or 9×9 inch square. Larger the pan = thiner the bars).
  • Melt chocolate: Melt your favorite dark chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler on the stovetop, or in 30-second increments in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds to encourage melting. Then pour chocolate over the top of bars and spread evenly. Sprinkle with Maldon salt, optional.
  • Freeze: Freeze bars for 2 hours, or until firm.
  • Cut into bars: Once chilled, cut into bars or squares and enjoy. Bars are best stored in freezer.

Video

Notes

  • Medjool dates: Fresh Medjool dates work well because they are soft and break down easily when processed. If your dates are hard, soak in warm water to soften for ~10-15 minutes. 
  • Peanut butter: a drippy peanut butter is recommended, or microwave for ~30 seconds to make it smooth and drippy. 
  • Boost the protein content even more by adding in 1-2 scoops of your favorite protein powder. I love adding in a vanilla protein powder for a bit of flavor!
  • Nutrition information is based off of 1 large protein bar (as shown in photos). Feel free to cut smaller into bars or squares, and adjust nutritional information accordingly. 
  • Best stored in the freezer in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 2 months. 
Find Kroll’s Korner on Instagram!Mention @krolls_korner or tag #krollskorner

Nutrition

Serving: 1large protein bar | Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 538mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 56IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 2mg

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5 Comments
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Tavo
25 days ago

I love making all kinds of homemade protein bars! These look amazing and the next ones I am making!

Jacque Hastert
25 days ago

No baking required… sign me up! I can’t wait to whip them delicious protein bars up in my own kitchen. This recipe is going to save me tons of money

Andrea
25 days ago

Such a super easy recipe. I love the flavors you used in these and I can’t wait to make them.

Tara
25 days ago

You had me at no baking required! These homemade protein bars look absolutely amazing. Packed with so much flavor too!

Gina
25 days ago

Better than any store bought protein bar I’ve tried (and that’s many!). Added some collagen powder for extra protein and they turned out great!

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