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DIY Protein Bars: Healthy Bars In 5 Easy Steps

DIY Protein Bars: Healthy Bars In 5 Easy Steps

Tired of searching through stores to find the perfect protein bar? Now you can make your own! Follow these easy steps to protein bar wonderland.

It's a recurrent scene at health food stores worldwide: people parked on the protein bar aisle reading the ingredient list and macronutrient breakdown of protein bar after protein bar. Eventually, somebody might settle on one, but a fair amount just sigh and return the bar to its place on the shelf.

Picking out a wholesome and nutritious protein bar is no easy task. Far too many bars?the majority, in fact?contain an inordinate amount of sugar, hydrogenated oil, preservatives, and a whole list of fillers and other nutritionally-void ingredients. Despite the downsides of packaged a, href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/best-protein-bars.html">protein bars, we continue to buy them because they contain protein, they're convenient, they're easy to carry, and they're supposed to be healthy?even though the worst bars are just glorified candy bars.

This article is designed to make the madness stop. Once you start making your own protein bars, I promise you won't ever want to step food in the protein-bar aisle again. By making your own, you'll end up with bars that are far tastier, far healthier, far easier and far, far cheaper in the long run. Plus, because you made them yourself, you'll have the added bonus of feeling oh-so-proud.

Steps to Protein-Bar Mastery

Making a protein bar at home could not be any easier. With these simple steps, anyone can master it!

Step 1

Select your protein powder and add a type of flour to it. Makes sure to select a flour that can be eaten raw: coconut flour, almond flour, or a grain-based flour like oat flour or quinoa flour are all good choices.

Step 2

Bind the powder and flour with milk. You can use cow's milk, coconut milk in a carton, or a tasty nut milk like almond milk. If you want, you can also add nut butter. You want to add enough liquid, (and nut butter if you like), to make the batter come together like dough. The goal is to end up with a batter that you can form into bars with your hands.

Step 3

Shape the above batter into bars.

If, after mixing your ingredients, your batter is too moist or sticky to mold, add a tiny bit of coconut flour or casein powder until you get the desired consistency. You want to be able to shape the bars, so getting the batter dry enough is essential.

If, after mixing your ingredients, the batter is too dry, add a bit of milk until you get the desired consistency. Don't make it too liquid-y though, or you'll have to go back to adding flour.

Step 4

Melt some chocolate in a bain-marie or in a glass bowl on top of a pot of boiling water. Once it's melted, dunk the bars in the chocolate or pour it over the bars.

I like to coat my bars in 90-100% chocolate, but you can go as dark (or light) as you want. Obviously, the darker the chocolate, the less sugar and more antioxidant goodness it contains. In my experience, really bitter chocolate goes extremely well with sweet fillings. But like I say, it's up to you.

Step 5

Place bars in the freezer for at least 30 minutes and BOOM! They're ready to pack up and take with you or you can eat them on the spot!

My Favorites, Bar None

Below are some of my favorite protein bar recipes. Remember, once you get the hang of this, experiment with ingredients. Set your creative, food-loving inner child loose!

Try adding nuts, flavorings, spices, seeds, or dried fruit to the batter before you shape it. You can also bind the bars with cream instead of milk and use more unusual nut and seed butters in the mix. It's also fine to tweak them so they better fit your macros. Bite into some bliss!

1
Toasted Coconut and Vanilla Whey Protein Bars

Ingredients
Nutrition Facts
(Makes 3 medium-sized bars) ?
Amount per serving
Calories 212
Total Fat13 g
Total Carbs8.8 g
Protein16.6 g

Toasted Coconut and Vanilla Whey Protein Bars PDF (73.1 KB)

2
Orange and Goji Berry Whey Protein Bars

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup of Organic Unflavored or Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
  • 3/4 cup of Ground Almonds
  • 1/4 cup of Coconut Flour
  • 3/4 cup of Goji Berries
  • 1/4 cup of Coconut Milk (from the carton, not the can)
  • 1 tbsp of Vanilla Essence
  • 1 tbsp of grated Orange Rind (optional, but highly recommended!)
  • 1 tsp of Chili Powder (optional but highly recommended; it gives the bars a really nice kick)
  • 40 grams melted 85% Dark Chocolate
Nutrition Facts
(Makes 5 small bars) ?
Amount per serving
Calories 256.8
Total Fat16.5 g
Total Carbs12.5 g
Protein13.5 g

Orange and Goji Berry Whey Protein Bars PDF (73.5 KB)

3
The Incredible Red Velvet Pumpkin Seed Protein Bars

Ingredients
  • 2 small cooked Beets
  • 1/2 cup of Vanilla Whey
  • 1/4 cup of Coconut Flour
  • 1/4 cup of Milk (I used cartoned coconut, but any will do)
  • 1 tbsp Organic Pumpkin Seed Butter (or peanut or almond butter)
  • 40 grams melted 85% Dark Chocolate
Nutrition Facts
(Makes 4 medium bars) ?
Amount per serving
Calories 200
Total Fat9.35 g
Total Carbs8.7 g
Protein17.5 g

The Incredible Red Velvet Pumpkin Seed Protein Bars PDF (73.1 KB)


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About The Author

Anna's passion for exercise and nutrition inspired her to create proteinpow.com while she was still in the last year of her Ph.D. program.

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Holly444

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Holly444

yummmmm

Oct 18, 2012 6:43pm | report
 
aznrtypes

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aznrtypes

SO GOING TO TRY THIS! I'm a ectomorph so I rely on theses between meals during my day or else I end up binging on food.

Oct 18, 2012 7:15pm | report
 
17KyleRussell

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17KyleRussell

Getting a bit fancey with the latter recipes but might give the cocnut one a try, sounds easy enough.

Article Rated:
Oct 18, 2012 7:20pm | report
 
kwilly89

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kwilly89

Can't wait! Gives me another excuse to buy multiple flavors of protein at once

Oct 18, 2012 7:35pm | report
 
BenderFitness

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BenderFitness

These look amazing!!! Can't wait to try it! Lately I have been craving coconut. :)

Oct 18, 2012 7:48pm | report
 
reporich

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reporich

It doesn't saw how much of each ingredient to use?

Oct 18, 2012 8:36pm | report
FDMagnitude

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FDMagnitude

totally going to try this right after i pick up the stuff from the grocery today:)

Oct 18, 2012 8:44pm | report
 
Maximilian07

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Maximilian07

These are doppppeeee =] thank you. I just worry I'll eat ALL of them on the spot LOl =].

Oct 18, 2012 9:37pm | report
 
vol8615

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vol8615

awesome article it will give me something to do this weekend!

Oct 19, 2012 1:03am | report
 
weswes420

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weswes420

any suggestions on peanut butter?

Oct 19, 2012 4:51am | report
 
AnnaSward

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AnnaSward

What do you mean suggestions on peanut butter?

Oct 20, 2012 10:33am | report
Ahbee3

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Ahbee3

don't feed it to the dog...

Jan 28, 2013 5:13pm | report
jumper11

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jumper11

Love Amanda's protein pow website and FB page. Great tips and recipes. Thanks for sharing.

Oct 19, 2012 5:27am | report
 
AnnaSward

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AnnaSward

Who's Amanda? hehehe ;-)

Oct 20, 2012 10:35am | report
issaw

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issaw

it's anna.
http://www.proteinpow.com/p/about-me.html

Nov 6, 2012 6:52pm | report
issaw

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issaw

hahaha Anna. it's Anna. Up there^

Nov 6, 2012 6:53pm | report
godzilashotput

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godzilashotput

omg i really love it as a chocolate .... and as a protein bar ..

Oct 19, 2012 7:39am | report
 
LBman

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LBman

THANK YOU!!! I'm excited to start making my own protein bars, It will save me money and be more nutritious! Great article, I will be adding some oatmeal to give me some carbs pre workout!!!!

Oct 19, 2012 7:49am | report
 
deltasniper

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deltasniper

PERFECT NOW I CAN STOP SNACKING ON JUNK...

Oct 19, 2012 9:10am | report
 
Tremayn

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Tremayn

looks so awesome but I have never seen coconut or almond flour :(

Oct 19, 2012 9:43am | report
 
Rockerweezy

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Rockerweezy

Tremayn, if you live near a Sprouts or Trader Joe's, they both sell the coconut & almond flour. Hope it helps.

Oct 23, 2012 5:22pm | report
kilgore55

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kilgore55

Made the first one without the chocolate its great!

Oct 19, 2012 9:53am | report
 
fightingforfit

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fightingforfit

I've made tons of protein pow's recipies and they ALWAYS turn out outstanding. great macros and amazing texture and taste. this woman's a protein goddess

Oct 19, 2012 9:57am | report
 
SugarNation

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SugarNation

Agreed. In addition to Anna's feature articles, like this one, we're about to launch a twice-monthly column called Ask the Protein Powder Chef. Stay tuned.

Oct 19, 2012 10:57am | report
vijayendra29

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vijayendra29

Thank you for the article now i wont be spending money on those stupid overrated bars filled with Sugar Alcohol ...I am going to try these all this weekend :D .. Thanks a ton!

Oct 19, 2012 10:47am | report
 
Showing 1 - 25 of 150 Comments

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