Stop overspending on store-bought protein bars that can cost you as much as $5 a pop. This recipe for homemade protein bars not only tastes better but saves you calories and cash.

By Nicole Crane
December 02, 2019
Nicole Crane

Protein bars are one of the most popular snacks to eat on-the-go, but if you reach for one all the time, the habit of purchasing store-bought bars can get expensive. (Related: Is It Bad to Eat a Protein Bar Every Day?)

Plus, not all store-bought protein bars are created equal nutrition-wise, and some contain ingredients you may not even realize are snuck in there—think corn syrup, which can spike blood sugar, or fractionated palm kernel oil, which can lead to increased LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Down to save a few bucks and be in control about what's going into your protein bars? Make them at home with this healthy protein bar recipe that's actually pretty easy. (Related: 9 Refrigerated Protein Bars That Will Make You Rethink Your Go-To Snack)

Healthy Protein Bar Recipe

This homemade protein bar recipe features wholesome ingredients like fiber-rich oats and healthy fat-packed almond butter, both of which contain slow-digesting complex carbs to provide you with energy and keep you fuller for longer. Instead of refined sugar, these bars are sweetened with honey (or maple syrup, if you prefer). To amp up the protein, the recipe also includes a few scoops of vanilla protein powder (just use your favorite brand), chia seeds (high in omega-3 fatty acids), and almond flour. (Related: What Eating the *Right* Amount of Protein Every Day Actually Looks Like)

Your best bet is to use a protein powder that's mild in taste so that it blends in well and doesn't overpower the flavor of the other ingredients. To get that perfect sweet and salty combo, this recipe also calls for mini chocolate chips and fine sea salt. (Related: These Keto Protein Bars Taste Amazing and Only Have Two Grams of Sugar)

One more piece of good news about these no-bake, dairy-free, and gluten-free DIY protein bars: They're actually really easy to make. All you need is a food processor, a square pan, five minutes to spare (yes, you have it), and some ingredients you likely already have in your pantry.

Salted Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Protein Bars

Makes: 10–12 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (preferably on the drippy side)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder (around 2 scoops for most brands)
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Line a square 9x9 baking dish with parchment paper or tinfoil.
  2. Place 1 cup oats in the food processor and pulse until ground into oat flour.
  3. Add almond butter, almond flour, protein powder, honey/maple syrup, chia seeds, coconut oil, cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt. Process until mixture forms a few balls of dough.
  4. Add chocolate chips and remaining 1/2 cup oats, and pulse just until they're incorporated evenly.
  5. Transfer mixture into the baking dish, pressing down firmly. Sprinkle sea salt on top, pushing gently into bars.
  6. Move baking dish into the refrigerator. Allow to cool for at least 2 hours before cutting into bars. The bars keep best when stored in a dry, cool place.

Nutrition information per bar (if making 12): 250 calories, 12g fat, 25g carbs, 4g fiber, 10g protein

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Comments (1)

paulalee4736215
December 18, 2019
This recipe looks great but the ingredients call for 1/4 tsp of salt and the recipe instructions call for 1/2 a tsp. Which is correct? I want to make sure before I make the recipe. Thanks.