Everyone knows how important protein is for good health. So it’s a good thing so many different protein and energy bars are making their way onto the grocery store shelves, right?
Not necessarily. With high amounts of sugar and other less-than-nutritious ingredients, many store-bought protein bars aren’t much more than glorified candy bars (click here to learn more about the problems with these bars and other popular sports nutrition products.)
Fortunately, there are plenty of great healthy alternatives out there. Take a look at these homemade protein bars that anyone can make!
Quick ‘N Easy No-Bake Protein Bars
That’s right, no baking. I told you anyone could do it! These healthy vegan, gluten-free, raw bars are made with peanut butter (or any nut butter you like, including sunflower seed butter), high-quality protein powder, gluten-free oats, puffed rice and dark chocolate.
The recipe creator recommends Sunwarrior natural-flavored Warrior Blend Raw Protein – a choice we fully support here at Natural Healthy Concepts. Sunwarrior is a great company that makes raw, plant-based sports nutrition supplements and is particularly well-known for its quality protein powders. You can get the one used in the recipe here, or feel free to browse more of their products here.
Get the full recipe from Oh She Glows.
Grain-Free, No-Bake Protein Bars
This recipe is similar to the recipe from Oh She Glows, but for this bar you’re going to start with a base of nuts and seeds. You’ll need two cups, but the combination is completely up to you, so you can go for the unique nutrients and flavors you want. Go ahead and browse our selection to start getting some ideas.
You’ll also need flax meal, which is a great source of fiber and healthy omega fatty acids. You can get it pre-ground or buy whole flax seeds and grind them yourself, just be aware that the flax meal should be refrigerated.
To top it off, you’re given a couple different chocolaty options.
Get the recipe from Whole New Mom.
Homemade Chocolate Fudge Black Bean Protein Bars
Who says fudge can’t be healthy? These moist, chocolaty bars are vegan-friendly and get an awesome protein boost from black beans. Skeptical? Black beans blend surprisingly well into fudgy treats.
Check out the Crafty Cooking Mama for the recipe.
Dark Chocolate Matcha Hemp Protein Bars
What’s almost as trendy as protein bars? Matcha tea. This special green tea is a good source of antioxidants and is gaining popularity in the West. You can learn more about it here. It may be a bit tricky to find in your typical grocery store, but don’t worry, we’ve got it here!
This recipe makes for one powerful bar. Not only does it get complete protein from hemp seeds (learn more about them here) and hemp protein powder, but it also has antioxidants, thanks to the matcha and dark chocolate.
The recipe calls for chocolate hemp protein, but you can also use a more easily found unflavored hemp protein powder and add a little cocoa powder to get that chocolaty flavor. Of course, you could use another plant-based protein powder as well, like this chocolate one with a blend of plant proteins, including hemp.
Go to Kara Lydon’s page for this unique and eye-catching recipe.
Cranberry Almond Protein Bars
Not a fan of protein powders? This recipe relies on protein from almonds, combining them with dried cranberries, puffed rice cereal and some hemp seeds, if you’d like.
For a balance of sweet and salty, use these roasted almonds with sea salt.
Get this light, whole-food recipe from Gimme Some Oven.
Protein Puppy Chow
Let’s step away from the traditional bar and have a little fun with our protein. This recipe takes classic, kid-friendly puppy chow and gives it a protein-rich makeover.
Like standard puppy chow, it has chocolate and peanut butter. It also gets some natural, sticky sweetness from honey. The recipe calls for all of this to be slathered onto Honey Nut Chex, but feel free to use whatever cereal you like. You might even want to choose something unsweetened to keep things a little healthier.
The big change up comes with the final coat. Instead of powdered sugar, shake the chow around in vanilla protein powder. This bourbon vanilla flavored, rBGH-free whey powder might make a tasty choice, but choose whatever you like.
Get ready to shake things up. Get the recipe from Food Faith Fitness.
For those days when you just haven’t had time to spend in the kitchen, you can also check out our selection of nutrition bars from great brands using quality ingredients. And check out this post for some protein-packed smoothies!
Want more recipes and health tips? Subscribe to our blog!