Easy Protein Bars
Published Aug 18, 2021, Updated Sep 15, 2023
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These no-bake peanut butter protein bars are made with simple ingredients and super easy to whip up. They’re an awesome protein-packed snack to meal prep for the week.
I always try to eat protein with each meal and snack. There are some quality store-bought snacks that are high in protein, but a lot of protein bars at the grocery store are loaded with questionable ingredients.
That said, one of my favorite store-bought protein bars are perfect bars. They have a ton of different flavor variations and are made with real ingredients. My favorite flavor variation is dark chocolate peanut butter (obviously!), so I took it upon myself to make a homemade version.
And if I do say so myself, this homemade version tastes just like the real deal! They seriously taste like dessert, but are packed with protein and made with minimal, nutritious ingredients.
Protein Bars vs. Granola Bars
There are a few differences between these protein bars and my granola bars. The obvious difference is that these have protein! I mixed in some vegan protein powder to make these more filling. These also seem a little bit denser to me compared to the granola bars. They’re almost like protein balls in bar form where as the granola bars have more texture and seem a little lighter to me. You really can’t go wrong, both recipes are on regular rotation in our house, it just depends on what we’re in the mood for!
Here’s What You Need
- vanilla protein powder – any vanilla protein powder works. My favorite brand is Nuzest which is plant-based and has a minimal, clean ingredient list. You can use my code eatingbirdfood for 15% off your order.
- oat flour – make your own by grinding rolled oats or buy store-bought oat flour. Make sure to grab gluten-free if needed.
- salt – omit if peanut butter has salt.
- natural creamy peanut butter – you want to use natural, drippy peanut butter not a thick peanut butter spread. I usually go for the store brand and read the label to make sure it just one or two ingredients, the nuts and salt. Any natural creamy nut butter will work. Almond butter or cashew butter would be great options.
- honey – this natural sweetener holds the bars together and gives the bars a subtle sweetness. I haven’t tested this recipe with anything else, but I think another liquid sweetener like maple syrup or date syrup would work well.
- coconut oil – you want it to be in it’s liquid state when you measure so heat it for a bit if needed!
- vanilla extract – a delicious flavor enhancer.
- chocolate chips – I recommend Lily’s chocolate chips because they have zero sugar added.
Are Protein Bars Good For You
Protein is a super important macronutrient to consume and many people find it hard to meet their protein goals without supplementing with protein products like protein bars. I personally think it’s best to get your protein from whole, real foods when possible, but protein bars are a great option when needed. And they can help with weight loss because they can keep you feeling full and satisfied between meals and prevent mindless snacking.
Of course, you can buy protein bars at the store, but I really like making my own so I know exactly what’s in them. There are some protein bars on the market that really aren’t much better than a candy bar… loaded with artificial sweeteners and preservatives. These homemade bars have 12 grams of protein and they’re made with simple whole food ingredients!
When to Eat Protein Bars
These protein bars could be a breakfast replacement if you don’t have time for a full meal or are a great snack option. I like to have one as an afternoon snack… you know, when that 3:00 PM hunger rolls around! But they’re also a great post-workout snack as well. The protein helps repair and rebuild your muscles!
How to Store
One of the best things about these bars is that they store really well! I love making a batch every couple of weeks so I have healthy, protein-packed snacks ready to grab. After the bars have set, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. I like to store them in single portions so they’re ready to grab and go! If you do freeze them, just thaw in the fridge before enjoying.
Popular Protein Snacks
- Easy Protein Shakes
- Protein Balls
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Bars
- Strawberry Protein Muffins
- Peanut Butter Protein Cookies
- Double Chocolate Protein Muffins
- Protein Coffee
- Protein Chia Pudding
More Bar Recipes to Try
- No Bake Chocolate Coconut Bars
- PB&J Bars
- Curry Granola Bars
- No Bake High Fiber Bars
- Healthy Pumpkin Bars
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars
- Protein Brownies
- Peanut Butter Protein Bars
- Nut Free Granola Bars
- Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars
- ¼ cup vanilla protein powder (I used Nuzest)
- 1 cup oat flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt, omit if peanut butter has salt
- ½ cup natural creamy peanut butter that’s drippy, or almond butter
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil (to help moisten), more if needed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-4 Tablespoons chocolate chips, plus extra chocolate chips for topping
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Combine protein powder, oat flour and salt.
- Add in peanut butter, honey, vanilla and coconut oil. The dough will be quite thick. I suggest combining the dough with your hands. If it’s still too dry add more coconut oil, 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Mix in chocolate chips with hand or spoon.
- Press dough into a lined loaf pan and add more chocolate chips on top. Press the chips in with your hands.
- Let bars chill in fridge for at least one hour before cutting.
- Remove bars from the fridge, cut into 6 equal-sized bars and enjoy.
- Bars will last about one week in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Honey: I haven’t tested this recipe with anything else, but I think another liquid sweetener like maple syrup or date syrup would work well.
- Peanut butter: any natural, drippy nut butter should work. You can try almond butter, cashew butter or sunflower seed butter.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.