Monday, September 16, 2013 / 20 Comments / , , ,

Homemade Protein Bars

Two recipes for protein bars. Homemade protein bars with hemp and chia seeds are a tasty, healthy, and frugal alternative to store bought protein bars. 
Yummy Hubby is training for a century cycling race. Yes, that's one HUNDRED miles.

He had asked me to pick up some protein bars he could take on his long rides or to have right after. I always try to have a green protein smoothie within 30 minutes of my own workouts to build muscle, but that's not always convenient. I usually avoid protein bars because they often have added junky ingredients, excessive sugar, and are very processed. Not to mention the cost! At $1 to $3 per bar, I noticed my grocery bill increasing with Mr. Yummy Mummy's protein bar consumption. So it was time to make them myself. I've made these homemade protein bars several times this week because they went so quickly. I grabbed a couple of protein balls for myself as I ran out the door with the girls for school, not having time for breakfast. They are great for active kids who need energy for sports too. 

The great thing about making your own food is that YOU are the quality control manager. YOU can choose the sweetener you like - brown rice syrup, coconut nectar, stevia, honey. YOU can choose to use organic peanut butter (peanuts are heavily sprayed with pesticides FYI) or gluten-free oats. 

Continue reading for the recipes! 

 The pumpkins in our mini patch are almost ready, and getting me into the fall spirit. So I made some pumpkin protein balls with hemp and chia seeds in addition to our a peanut butter version.
The peanut butter protein bars were the winner of our taste test. But we did like the pumpkin as well, and they are a fun seasonal variation. Plus they are much lower-cal if that matters to you. Personally I'm fine with fat/calories from nuts. 

Protein Bar Recipes 

Pumpkin Protein Balls with Dark Chocolate and Pecans
printer friendly recipe

Yield: 16 balls

  • 1 ¾  cups rolled oats (gluten free if needed)
  • 3 scoops vanilla protein powder (gluten free if needed) 
  • 1-2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds 
  • ¼  teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree (not sweetened)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate (gluten free chocolate if needed) 
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/4 cup additional chopped chocolate for drizzle (optional) 

  1. Place oats, protein powder, chia seeds, hemp seeds, salt, and pumpkin pie spice into the bowl of a mixer. Whisk to combine.
  2. Add pumpkin puree and syrup and beat on low just to combine. Add chocolate and pecans and again stir to combine. Roll heaping tablespoonfuls into balls and set on a cookie sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. If adding a chocolate drizzle on top, melt additional chocolate chunks in a microwave safe bowl at 20 second intervals, stirring between, until melted. Use a fork to drizzle chocolate over the tops of the balls. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.  
Nutrition Information: *as calculated by My Fitness Pal. Facts are approximate. 
Serving size: 1 ball without chocolate drizzle 
Calories: 86
Fat: 3.6 grams
Sodium: 5.9 mg
Total Carbs: 10.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 3.6 g
Protein: 4.5 g


Peanut Butter Protein Bars
printer friendly recipe

Yield: 25 squares

  • 1 ½ cups oats (gluten free if needed) 
  • 3 scoops vanilla protein powder (gluten free if needed) 
  • 1 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (if using unsalted peanut butter) 
  • 3/4 cup peanut or almond butter (sun butter should work as well) 
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate (gluten free chocolate if needed) 
  • ¼ cup toasted pecans
  • 3 tablespoons water


  1. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with waxed paper. 
  2. Place oats, protein powder, seeds, and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Whisk to combine. Add peanut or almond butter, honey, chocolate, and pecans and beat on medium-low to combine. 
  3. Add water until mixtures is still slightly crumbly, but holds together well when pressed. Press dough evenly into the prepared baking dish. Refrigerate until firm and chilled, about 1 hour. Using the wax paper liner, pull the entire dish of oat mixture out and set on a cutting board. With a very sharp chefs knife, cut into squares. I like to cut mine into small bite-sized pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

 Nutrition Information: *as calculated by My Fitness Pal. Facts are approximate. 
Calories: 97.1 
Fat: 5.7
Sodium: 3.4 mg
Total Carbs: 7.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.4 g
Sugars: 2.9 g
Protein: 4.5 g 

Vegan Option: use a vegan protein powder like PlantFusion, vegan chocolate, and maple instead of honey. 

Gluten Free Option: Make sure your oats, protein powder, and chocolate are gf. 

Nut-Free Option: Omit the pecans and use sunflower seed butter instead of nut butter. 

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