If you’re a clean eater, you know how hard it is to find a good healthy protein bar these days. Most contain some type of junk your body just doesn’t need: dairy, gluten, soy, sugar (in many cases, unfortunately, it’s all of the above).
My criteria for a “healthy” protein bar are quite simple. It should have:
1.) Only organic, real food ingredients, and
2.) No added sweeteners. Sugar should come from only real fruit sources like dried fruit … I don’t touch anything with over 10 grams.
If you want to make your own healthy protein bar, here’s one of my favorite recipes.
Homemade Healthy Protein Bar Recipe
What’s In It:
- 1/4 cup organic quick cook rolled oats
- 4 scoops raw cacao protein powder (make sure you choose a high quality vegan protein)
- 1 cup organic nut butter (I used peanut but any nut butter will work)*
- 1/4 cup organic pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup organic dates, chopped into small pieces.
- 1.5 cups organic coconut cream (or 1.5 cups coconut milk powder and 3/4 cup warm water)**
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- Dark chocolate shavings (optional)***
*I recommend organic nut butters with a maximum of two ingredients: nuts and salt. If yours has other oils or added sugar, look for another brand.
**Most coconut creams have some type of gum or filler added. I prefer to buy organic coconut milk powder on Amazon and mix it with water. Native Forest coconut cream.
**I recommend an organic dark chocolate bar with 70% cacao content or higher, 5 grams of sugar or less, and no soy (you’d be surprised how many of them have it … check the ingredients list).
How to Make It:*
- Whip the coconut cream until smooth.
- Stir in the almond flour and let sit for 20 minutes.
- Stir in almond/peanut butter, dates, salt, pumpkin seeds, and protein powder. Mix thoroughly by hand (or pulse in a food processor).
- Spread the mixture evenly into a pan or baking dish lined with parchment paper.
- Refrigerate overnight then cut into 8 bars.
*I used a mixer for steps 1-3 but you can do it by hand too.
Nutrition Facts (per bar)*:
- 299 calories
- 19 g fat
- 18 g carbs (4 g fiber, 6 g sugar**)
- 15 g protein
*I cut it into 8 bars. At ~300 calories a bar, you can cut it into 16 if you prefer something closer to 150 calories (it’s still filling too!)
**If you want to cut down the sugar content, cut back even more on the dates. To sweeten it up, add more dates or a dab of raw honey.