Homemade Protein Bars
Our Homemade Protein Bars are made with oats, peanut butter and a drizzle of chocolate.. they are easy to make and are a delicious, healthy, and satisfying snack that might just become a favorite for the whole family!
Why You are Going to Love our Homemade Protein Bars
There are a lot of decent protein bars available on the market today. But they can be expensive, and I like having control over the ingredients that I am feeding my family. Plus- making your own protein bars is so easy! Not only that, but we have tried a LOT of different protein bars over the years.. and these are hands down our favorite. We keep a batch in the fridge at all times. They are perfect for an after school or on-the-go snack before sports practice.
You only need a handful of ingredients to make these tasty little bars. The chocolate drizzle makes them much more appealing to my kiddos, but they are also delicious without it. Customize them however you like! I used peanut butter for my bars, but you can use whatever nut butter you have in the house or whatever works for your family’s allergies.
Ingredients for Homemade Protein Bars:
- Oats– We use regular rolled oats. Oats are filling, nutrient-dense, and a great source of fiber.
- Vanilla Protein Powder– Protein powder is a great, easy way to add protein to homemade protein bars. We like this one.
- Crisp Rice Cereal– adds great texture to the bars. Puffed rice works great too!
- Peanut Butter– peanut butter is essential for binding these bars together. Any nut butter will work here!
- Honey– this is our favorite sweetener for these bars. We haven’t tried any other, but I’m sure pure maple syrup would make a good substitute.
- Vanilla Extract– totally optional, but boosts the yummy vanilla flavor.
- Coconut Oil– coconut oil adds great flavor and texture and helps hold the bars together.
- Chocolate Chips– we always use dark or semi-sweet chocolate.
How to Make Homemade Protein Bars
- Put the oats in a blender or food processor. Blend until it resembles a coarse flour.
- Add the oats to a bowl along with the protein powder and crispy rice; stir to combine.
- Heat the peanut butter, honey and coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until combined. Stir in vanilla extract.
- Pour the peanut butter mixture over the oat mixture. Stir.
- Press the mixture firmly into a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
- Melt the chocolate; drizzle over the bars.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before cutting into bars.
- Store in the refrigerator.
I have two tips for this recipe… ONE: If the mixture seems a little dry, add in a little more of your nut butter. Each nut butter has a different moisture level so you may need to add a tablespoon extra to keep the bars from crumbling apart. TWO: Press the bars into the pan firmly! This is what keeps them together so pack them down. You don’t need to be Iron Man, but make sure you don’t just give it a pat and move on. Even let the kiddos help!
If the mixture seems a little dry, add in a little more of your nut butter. Each nut butter has a different moisture level so you may need to add a tablespoon extra to keep the bars from crumbling apart.
Press the bars into the pan firmly! This is what keeps them together so pack them down. You don’t need to be Iron Man, but make sure you don’t just give it a pat and move on. Even let the kiddos help!
You can cut these into any shape you want. The loaf pan makes perfect sized bars for kids! But the little squares are perfect for the younger ones.
How to Store Homemade Protein Bars:
You will want to store these protein bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator to maintain freshness, hold their shape, and stay nice and chewy. They will stay fresh for about one month.. if they last that long!
More Healthy Snack Recipes for Kids:
Homemade Protein Bars
- 1 cup oats
- 1/3 cup vanilla protein powder
- 1/2 cup crispy rice cereal
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 tablespoon chocolate chips melted
- Line and 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Add oats to a high speed blender and blend until the oats have turned into flour.
- In a large bowl, add oat flour, protein powder and crispy rice cereal.
- In a small saucepan add peanut butter, honey and coconut oil. Melt together over medium/low heat and stir until combined, then add vanilla extract.
- Pour peanut butter/honey into dry ingredients and stir. Pour mixture into your prepared pan and press firmly into the bottom until spread evenly.
- Melt chocolate chips in the microwave. If the chocolate is too thick to drizzle, you can add 1 tsp of melted coconut oil to thin it out. Drizzle on top of your bars.
- Let cool in fridge for at least 25 minutes and then cut into bars or squares! Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
What brand of protein powder do you like? I’m not a fan of artificial sweeteners and I struggle with the gooey texture when drinking certain brands, so I love suggestions!!
I used Young Living protein powder and my bars came out crumbly….could i add more peanut butter and some coconut oil?
I don’t see a link or anything that says “Save to my Recipe box” on any of the member recipets?
Great base recipe! I was trying to make this so my boyfriend would like it as well so I replaced the rice cereal with chopped pecans and added in 1/4c dried cherries. Very hardy breakfast 🙂
What the hell do I do with this 1tsp of vanilla extract ?
I’m so sorry! Just add it in with the peanut butter and honey!
Lizzy!! You are so cute and I love your recipes. Great idea! This will be well-loved by my little one. Thank you for creating and sharing!!
Is the nutritional content correct? How could these have 24 g of sugar?
You mention that your readers are hesitant to use protein powders. I’ve found that coconut flour, buckwheat flour, and even oat flour work equally as well in most recipes as a substitute…
That’s a great tip, thanks!
Hello! This is a lovely recipe. I have a question though, how long will these be ok to eat after being stored in the fridge in a sealed plastic box? Thank you 🙂
I made these with high hopes of something delicious. They were a crumbly mess. I pressed them down hard but to no avail. My husband said sand crabs could live in this. It was that dry. I looked at the recipe and did use all the ingredients as instructed. Don’t know what I did wrong or if recipe is not good.
I found that this recipe was a bit dry, but when I added a 1/2 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips and about 6 tsp of milk these are marvelous.
Thanks for posting this 🙂
How are these super healthy or even mildly healthy? 24 grams of sugar? Candy with artificial colors, preservatives, GMO’s and so on? Super gross…
These were super yummy! I added some coconut oil to the bars (so they were super moist), and drizzled melted dark chocolate chips on them. The kids gobbled them up! Thank you!
I made these and they were a hit with my family?
How much grams of sugar does 1 bar have?
for diabetics please
Hi Leonora! If you cut the recipe into 12 bars, each one will have 11 grams of sugar.
Great recipe. The best tasting protein bars I’ve found.
The recipe omits the temp to cook.
These bars are actually no-cook. 🙂
I made these and they were too dry so I added a 1/4 cup of apple sauce and they won’t harden
These were so crumbly so I don’t know what went wrong. Could you tell me please what I can do so they will stick together?
Hi. Are the nutritional values per bar, assumed its cut into 12 equal pieces, or for the entire recipe? Thanks
The nutritional values are based per bar, when cut into 6 pieces. So if you are cutting it into 12, halve the nutritional values.
THANK YOU for this recipe. I’m at my wit’s end with my meat-hating, protein-avoiding toddler who wants to live off pretzels and vegetables. Even though I know this is only a phase, having any way to get some protein into him is amazing! I made these tonight and he was hesitant, but then ate his whole bar. Success!! Thank you!!
So glad it was a hit- thanks for sharing!
These were great ! Are you able to freeze them ?
Yes- these should freeze well.