Crunchy Protein Bars

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These crunchy protein bars combine brown rice cereal and rolled oats with honey, coconut, peanut butter and protein powder for a delicious, healthy snack that tastes just like the Luna Bars! Gluten-free, dairy-free + perfect for meal prep!

Something amazing happened…

I was able to recreate my favorite Luna Bar!

My three favorite Luna Bars are Chocolate Dipped Coconut, Chocolate Peppermint Stick and White Chocolate Macadamia, in that order. I don’t even like white chocolate so I don’t know why I love that White Chocolate Macadamia but I do.

Crunchy protein bars scattered around each other.

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making them at home but was intimated by the ingredient list because it’s rather long. I started looking online to see if anyone had tried to make a homemade version and found that Katie from Chocolate Covered Katie had indeed made them before. Using her recipe as inspiration I went to work in the kitchen and made a Chocolate Dipped Coconut version.

A stack of crunchy protein bars.

I could tell by one taste of the “batter” that they were going to be good, but once they were covered in chocolate and chilled they were even better. I haven’t done a side by side taste test to see if the flavor is exactly the same as the real Luna Bar, but that doesn’t really matter to me.

Isaac said that it’s the best bar I’ve ever made, which is a bold statement, but I think he’s probably right. The texture is spot-on and the mix of chocolate and coconut flavors are perfect. I made them into mini bars because I wanted them to be around 100 calories each. Plus everything is cuter in mini form. Right?

A bite taken out of a crunchy protein bar, resting with other bars.

Crunchy Protein Bars

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Crunchy protein bars scattered around each other.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12 bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups crispy brown rice cereal
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats, gluten-free
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla protein powder, I used Sunwarrior
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 Tablespoon natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil + 1-2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips, vegan if needed (might need more chocolate for drizzling)

Instructions
 

  • Add cereal and oatmeal to a small food processor and pulse a few times until the cereal is chopped up. Don’t process it too much or else you’ll end up with flour.
  • Place cereal and oat mixture in a large mixing bowl and add in the coconut, protein and cocoa powder.
  • Add the honey, peanut butter, coconut oil and vanilla to a small saucepan on medium-low heat. Stir mixture and heat until everything is melted and combined, about 2 minutes.
  • Pour over the dry ingredients and stir very well, making sure to coat everything.
  • Line a 8×8 pan with parchment paper and spread the mixture evenly into the pan. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the mixture, then press down as firmly as you can. Really press it down! Place bars in the freezer to set up for at least an hour before cutting.
  • Once bars are firm, add chocolate chips and coconut oil to a medium sized microwave safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals until melted.
  • While chocolate is melting, cut mixture into 12 even bars.
  • Once chocolate has fully melted, dip the bottom of each bar into the chocolate and place on a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet or plate. Drizzle the top of the bars with chocolate and chill in the fridge or freezer until chocolate has set.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 bar Calories: 101kcal Carbohydrates: 15g Protein: 2g Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 3g Sodium: 11mg Potassium: 37mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 6g
Course: Bars and Balls
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate dipped coconut bars

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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    45 comments
    1. Michelle
      August 13, 2016 AT 10:30 am

      My son loves Luna bars, but they are pretty processed and expensive! He loved these and I have to agree….melted in your mouth…now how to stop eating them!

    2. Mirra
      February 28, 2014 AT 1:09 pm

      I didn’t have oats so I just added more brown rice cereal, and I didn’t know where to buy brown rice syrup so I used agave. They didn’t quite taste like the chocolate dipped coconut bar….more like a peanut butter chocolate bar with a hint of coconut. I also felt that they were lighter (a good thing!) than Luna bars and obviously way more healthier with better ingredients (I bought my stuff at a local farmers market!). They were ridiculously delicious and are my go to snack before and after class lectures. They taste even better out of the freezer and I will definitely be making more. Thank you!

      Also, I love the chocolate peppermint Luna bar as well!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 28, 2014 AT 2:58 pm

        So glad you like them Mirra!!

    3. Nisha
      January 11, 2014 AT 10:42 pm

      These are not vegan. Honey is listed in the ingredients which is an animal product. :/

      1. Eating Bird Food
        January 12, 2014 AT 7:15 pm

        Thanks for noticing that Nisha. I just updated the description. You could use maple syrup instead and they would still be vegan. 🙂

    4. katy
      March 18, 2013 AT 1:28 pm

      I’m with Jessica–Lemon Zest! Would that be white chocolate melted with lemon zest/lemon oil, and the same base but with no cocoa powder and some more lemon zest?

      Now that you’ve created the formula…it’s hard to stop experimenting.

    5. Katy
      March 15, 2013 AT 12:53 pm

      yum! I’m in the middle of making these. I’m at the point of pressing it into a pan. 8×8″? 9×9″? I’ll try 9×9 and hope for the best. Smells GREAT!

      Can’t find mini-Lunas anywhere anymore. Thank you for creating this recipe!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 16, 2013 AT 4:33 pm

        Sorry I didn’t catch this earlier! How did they turn out?

        1. katy
          March 18, 2013 AT 1:26 pm

          Brittany! Thank you so much for the recipe. I never, ever would have been able to figure this out without you.

          I did tweak the recip to make it less sweet—using more nut butter in place of the honey (for stickiness with less sweetness) and coconut nectar (as sweet and carb-y but allegedly lower-glycemic) in place of the brown rice syrup.

          I posted my version here: http://bigfootchildhavediabetes.com/2013/03/18/whither-mini-luna/

          Mine are not as chewy and truly Luna-y as yours. I think the brown rice syrup is what gives the Luna its signature weird sweetness that you don’t often taste elsewhere.

          I was trying to make something a little bit less carb-y for my diabetic child who loves chocolate-dipped coconut Lunas.

          Thanks again! You’re amazing! I am looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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