I like the idea of protein bars because they are easy to eat on the run and theoretically, they make a healthy snack before or after exercise.

What I don’t generally like is how most of them taste, the ingredients they contain, or their prices.

There are definitely some exceptions (Lara bars, for example), but many so-called healthy energy bars are made with low quality ingredients such as soy protein isolate; they also often contain trans-fats.

Homemade Protein Bars | Healthy Green Kitchen

Homemade protein bars (aka homemade granola bars), on the other hand, can be packed with nutrient-dense ingredients. They are also super easy to make. This healthy protein bar recipe is so simple to add to or change–just use your imagination to create your favorite customized healthy protein bars.

Recipe for Homemade Protein Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

*3 cups organic raw oats
*1/2 cup whole sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, or hemp seeds
*1/2 cup unsweetened organic shredded coconut (I prefer this one)
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1 teaspoon Himalayan salt or sea salt
*1/4 cup organic brown sugar
*1 cup Greek yogurt, preferably organic (I use plain; vanilla would make the bars a little sweeter)
*1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or honey, preferably local/raw
*1 cup organic peanut butter (or use almond butter or the nut/seed butter of your choice)
*1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
*1/4 cup organic coconut oil, liquified if solid (coconut oil will be solid at room temperature in cooler weather...this one's my favorite)
*1/2 cup chopped organic dark chocolate or chocolate chips (70% dark (or more) is the healthiest; use fair-trade chocolate, possible)
*1/2 cup chopped seeds or nuts or a combination ex. sunflower, pumpkin, or sesame seeds or almonds, walnuts or pecans (or use additional peanut or other nut butter)
*1/2 cup chopped dates, raisins, figs or other dried fruit--optional (if you want the bars sweeter but you don't want to add more sweetener; I don't typically add these)
*up to 1 cup vanilla or chocolate whey protein powder--optional (go with 1 cup if you want the bars to have significant protein content; use 1/2 cup or omit if you dislike the taste or the idea of protein powders; I am not a big protein powder fan, but Garden of Life Raw Protein is the one I like for this purpose

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with a little coconut oil or organic butter.

2. Combine dry ingredients (oats through brown sugar) in a large bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients (Greek yogurt through coconut oil).

4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined, and then mix in the chocolate.

5. Taste a little of the homemade protein bar mixture. Is it tasty? You can add more peanut butter or the optional nuts at this point if you like. Is it sweet enough? If not, you can add some additional sweetener or some of the optional dried fruit. Now is also the time to add in the protein powder if you are going to use it. Mix well using very clean hands (warning--it will be sticky!)

6. Spread the mixture into your prepared dish and bake for 15 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven, let them cool a little, and then slice the bars as you desire. Your homemade protein bars can be sliced into squares, or into the more typical bar shape you would purchase, if you prefer. Spread the bars out onto a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes more. Allow to cool, and then wrap and store in the refrigerator.

Enjoy as a healthy snack anytime.

homemade protein bars | healthy green kitchen

 

79 Comments

  1. 1

    Sharon Vollett — June 2, 2009 @ 6:42 pm

    I was curious about the yogurt. I love it, but doesn’t the baking kill the good bacteria??? Thanks, I have been looking for an organic protein bar I can make.

  2. 2

    drwinnie — June 2, 2009 @ 7:08 pm

    Good question Sharon!
    Yes I believe baking does kill the majority of the probiotics but the purpose of including Greek yogurt in this particular recipe is really for the protein, not the probiotics…

  3. 3

    Michelle — June 3, 2009 @ 2:14 pm

    These look to be wonderfully tasty!

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  4. 4

    Elena — June 11, 2009 @ 8:34 pm

    So, are these bars healthier than the muffins I would make which have wheat flour, oat bran, flax, apple sauce, rice dream, brown sugar, and blueberries?

  5. 5

    drwinnie — June 12, 2009 @ 4:46 am

    Hi Elena,
    Your muffins sound delicious! The ingredients you mentioned have no protein, though, so it’s not that the protein bars are necessarily healthier, it’s that they are different.
    Many people, especially women, do not eat a balanced diet, and protein is often lacking. And if you are going to snack, having some protein in the snack is helpful for balancing blood sugar. So this is why these bars are packed with healthy natural protein like Greek yogurt, nut butter, nuts and seeds, and whey protein powder, if you choose to use it.
    Lastly, my recipe contain no wheat- I try to bake without it whenever possible because it is generally over consumed and many individuals can’t tolerate it.

  6. 6

    Marie M — June 23, 2009 @ 6:55 am

    These bars sound really really good. I especially love coconut and oats together. I’ll have to try them asap!

  7. 7

    Amber — June 26, 2009 @ 11:52 am

    I was curious if you know the calorie count on these per bar??

    • drwinnie replied: — June 26th, 2009 @ 1:28 pm

      Amber,
      I honestly haven’t a clue. I am not one who counts calories…

  8. 8

    Caro — June 28, 2009 @ 11:37 am

    Great recipe! I love baking with yogurt. This recipe will save me lots of money on the packaged protein bars I rely on for meals on the go.

  9. 9

    Amber — June 30, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

    about how many bars do you get out of this receipe??

  10. 10

    Cindy — July 13, 2009 @ 2:36 pm

    We made these yesterday–they are really great! We also did the math and they have approx 9.5 grams of protein, 18 grams of carbohydrate and 200 calories per bar, with 32 bars. We used chocolate whey protein powder, dried figs and chocolate chips. I also added 2 eggs and used only 1/4 cup of maple syrup (because that was all I had!). I found that I had to cook for 30 minutes to be able to cut them and have them hold together, but they were still remarkably chewy and moist. Thanks for a great, healthy recipe!

  11. 11

    Cindy — July 13, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

    Addendum to previous comment–we also added 1 cup of chopped walnuts!

  12. 12

    drwinnie — July 14, 2009 @ 11:10 am

    I am so glad you did the math, and I’m so glad you liked the recipe!
    Your additions sound delicious!

  13. 13

    Elena — July 18, 2009 @ 10:06 pm

    I’m excited to try these, only heard the best :) and I started to incorporated yogurt into my muffins…and laying of the the wheat–thank you for the tip!

  14. 14

    ash — July 30, 2009 @ 3:05 pm

    These sound really nice but i’m worried that the heat from oven would denature the protein? Or is that just a myth?

  15. 15

    Cindy — August 2, 2009 @ 11:15 am

    We just made the bars again today. New variation: because we wanted more protein in the bars, we added two cups of chocolate whey protein powder and 1/2 cup of cottage cheese–for 14 grams of protein, 19 grams of carbs, and 224 calories. Same great taste and texture–so much better than pre-packaged bars!

  16. 16

    CherylK — October 9, 2009 @ 6:33 pm

    I think these sound delicious, too. What could I substitute for the chocolate…is that something that’s important for the protein? I just think I’d like them better without the chocolate pieces.

  17. 17

    drwinnie — October 9, 2009 @ 6:36 pm

    Cheryl-
    The chocolate is only there to make them taste good, for folks who might not otherwise like them…
    You can just leave the chocolate out; maybe add a bit more peanut butter or nuts. Taste as you go and see how you’re liking the flavor…

  18. 18

    healthy protein bar — October 21, 2009 @ 1:52 am

    Nothing beats a home cook meal. I am not fond of commercial based chocolates. I live away from home now and i usually ask my mom to make me her best chocolate delights… I will email this to my mom so i can try it next time…

  19. 19

    best protein bars — January 6, 2010 @ 5:19 am

    Protein bars are also a good supplement especially if you want to replace your beloved candy bar with a nutritious and still chewy bar. Since fructose is mostly used as a sweetener in supplement bars.

  20. 20

    natural protein supplements — January 7, 2010 @ 5:51 am

    Natural protein supplements, it is also a good idea to try a whey blend. Whey blends contain different types of protein to allow longer shelf life in the stomach. Whey blends also offer higher amounts of healthy reusable protein.

  21. 21

    Andrea Breau — February 7, 2010 @ 11:36 am

    Just made the bars and they are awesome! thanks for the great recipe!

  22. 22

    shilpa — February 9, 2010 @ 11:59 am

    do you know how much calories these are? and how much protein/carbs/fat?

  23. 23

    Ali — May 27, 2010 @ 11:30 am

    I was wondering about these wonderful protein bars, what would be their expiry date or shelf life after placed on an airtight container?

  24. 24

    drwinnie — May 27, 2010 @ 11:57 am

    Ali,
    I’m not sure…2-3 days? I would keep them in the refrigerator and they should last at least a week. You could also freeze them…

  25. 25

    shannon — May 31, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

    I recently learned that yogurt actually has more carbs than protein. I can’t wait to try these though!

  26. 26

    Tania — July 13, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

    I’m wondering whether there is an ingredient that can replace the peanut butter? I’m allergic to nuts/nut products. Thanks!

  27. 27

    drwinnie — July 13, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

    Tania,
    Can you have seeds? Sesame butter/tahini or sunflower seed butter would work well, I think.

  28. 28

    Emily — August 13, 2010 @ 10:56 am

    So, I made them without the yogurt bc I’m vegan and didn’t have any soy yogurt on hand. I used a little bit of soy milk to make it wetter but I guess I’m missing a binding agent bc they’re too crumbly. Anything else I could use next time? They taste amazing (I used walnuts, choc chips, raisins, dried cranberries, maple syrup and almond butter) but are more like granola than bars :(

  29. 29

    drwinnie — August 13, 2010 @ 11:23 am

    Emily,
    It’s been a while since I made them, but yes, sounds like they would end up more like granola…how about adding something sticky…like blended soaked dates or figs, that would hold everything together? Might want to adjust the sweetener, then, so they weren’t too sweet. Maybe a little more almond butter too? I might skip the soy milk and try the soy yogurt next time, too…hope that helps!

  30. 30

    Amy — August 13, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

    I can’t wait to try these! I have been looking for something exactly like this and want to make it for my whole family. Thanks

  31. 31

    Erika @ Food, Fitness, & Fun — September 18, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

    Great recipe! I love how it is so easy to customize! :-)

  32. 32

    Rose — January 19, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

    I love the recipe but wish you have the nutriional info. Would like to know how much calories, fat, protein, carbs, fiber, sodium, sugar etc. is there in each bars or the total recipe.

  33. 33

    Joy — April 18, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

    Do I have to use Greek yogurt? I make my own yogurt and it isn’t quite as thick as Greek yogurt.

  34. 34

    Whey Protein – A Powder-ful Muscle Booster | Greatist — June 15, 2011 @ 10:09 am

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  35. 35

    Fathers Day!, Favorites and Bootcamp? — June 20, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

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  36. 36

    Maree — December 23, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

    Hm this is good but too much fats and not much protein really.
    How is it healthy with brown sugar and vanilla essence in it??

  37. 37

    Sara — January 15, 2013 @ 11:43 am

    Just curious what is the serving size for these bars? I want to make them for my daughter’s school snacks. And do you know how many this recipe yields?

  38. 38

    Lauren — January 15, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

    Thanks for this great recipe! I just made these today and LOVE them. I was looking for an inexpensive, low-fat, high protein alternative to a CLIF-type bar, and these really seem to fit the bill. The true test will be if my b/f likes him, but I’m pretty sure he’ll gobble them up! Thanks again.

  39. 39

    Emily G — January 19, 2013 @ 4:01 pm

    I’m so glad I found this recipe! I used cultured coconut milk in place of the yogurt, just want to share w/ those who are vegan/dairy free. It seems to have held together just fine. The bars are delish! The Garden of Life protein powder works well. I also like Plant Fusion, another vegan brand.

  40. 40

    Lissa Brooks — January 27, 2013 @ 11:28 pm

    I’m wondering if there is anything else you could use in place of the yogurt. It’s not that I don’t like it, but I just don’t usually have any in my fridge and I hate buying it just for one recipe. I see others have used a liquid as a binder, but end up with a crumbly product. Wondering if an egg (which has more protein anyway) would work instead. Maybe two eggs plus sufficient liquid to make it work.

    • Winnie replied: — January 31st, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

      Hmmm…I really don’t know about using an egg her. Now I would like to try it and see how it works!

  41. 41

    vince — February 4, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

    do you have to use coconut oil? will canola do?

  42. 42

    PT Lauren — February 8, 2013 @ 4:10 pm

    These are a great post-workout re-fuel. For those worrying about carbs/calories/ etc it really doesn’t matter all that much because after a hard workout you need an optimal amount of complex carbs and protein…all of these ingredients cover this. They’re also a great breakfast substitute for the same reason. My apartment smells wonderful right about now as these finish up in the oven!

    • Winnie replied: — February 10th, 2013 @ 9:40 pm

      Thanks so much for this comment!

  43. 43

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  44. 44

    Friday Blessings – {#39 – #49} | The Point Ministries — March 8, 2013 @ 2:21 am

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  45. 45

    Janet Redbond — March 9, 2013 @ 4:24 am

    Think this protein bar sounds great – but I am trying to go dairy free because of an allergy. Could I sustitute coconut cream for the yoghurt? Has any one tried this?

    • Winnie replied: — March 9th, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

      You could definitely try that, though it would reduce the amount of protein. How about using a nut milk? Maybe?

  46. 46

    Janet Redbond — March 9, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

    Ok thank you Winnie. Maybe Almond Milk – but I am also trying to find yoghurt made from goat milk. I don’t realy want to reduce the protein.

  47. 47

    Claudia — March 12, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

    Do you think you can make the same recipe but substituting the oats for quinoa? I made a really delicious quinoa and apple bar recipe before. Thoughts?

  48. 48

    Destiny and Lexi — March 30, 2013 @ 12:16 pm

    works but its runny

  49. 49

    Juliet Wood — April 19, 2013 @ 10:44 pm

    This looks good to me, I live in Venezuela and we can’t get half this stuff but I am going to try with what I can as there are no decent commercial biscuits available let alone a healthy protein bar that keeps you going until you can get home and eat a proper meal. This recipe looks easy enough for me to have a crack at it and see what comes out. Thank You.

  50. 50

    Juliet Wood — April 20, 2013 @ 10:54 pm

    This to say Thank You! I tried making these today with the best ingredients I could get hold of, we are entering serious shortages here of basics. It is 3 months since we could get whole oatmeal. However, the bars came out really well, the only hiccough was my mistake of not chopping the fruit finely so they were hard to cut into bars, I’ll know better next time. My husband is really pleased and impressed. I soaked I cup of texturized soya in 1/2 cup of tea to soften it and added that instead of the protein which is prohibitively expensive here. I hope you consider that stuff acceptable to eat!

  51. 51

    Jewell Muwwakkil — April 26, 2013 @ 12:39 am

    Energy bars, like all food, supply the body with physical energy, as measured in calories or joules. Energy drinks, by contrast, are intended to improve mental energy by stimulating the central nervous system, usually with moderate to large doses of caffeine.’*

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  52. 52

    Sophie — May 13, 2013 @ 9:49 pm

    I know this is an old blog post but it’s interesting that you mention Lara bars, and it would be good for us all to ponder this…
    While their ingredients are not certified organic, Lara bar does boast on its product labels that their ingredients are non-GMO. But how are consumers supposed to take comfort in Lara bar’s non-GMO ingredients when General Mills, the company that owns Lara bar, is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to defeat proposition 37, the GMO labeling initiative, in California?

  53. 53

    AJ — May 15, 2013 @ 2:06 am

    I just made this today and it tastes really good! I’ll keep making these… Thanks again!

  54. 54

    Trevor — May 15, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

    Just wondering what the nutritional value of these bars are. i used one cup of protein powder. just the average if anyone knows

  55. 55

    Leah Adams — May 30, 2013 @ 5:09 pm

    I made these protein bars for several months and loved them. However, I had to stop eating them because they caused significant constipation. Not sure if it was the oats or the protein powder, but whew! it was bad. If one doesn’t tend toward constipation then these are incredible.

  56. 56

    Shalyse — July 2, 2013 @ 8:40 pm

    I made a few changes due to taste preferences of my fiance and I, used soy protein, and almond milk to sub for the yogurt bc I’m a vegetarian but followed your recipe almost perfectly. He tried the mix and loved it…. I’m about to take them out the oven. Excited. Thanks for sharing this recipe

  57. 57

    Jerry Spadoni — July 5, 2013 @ 12:24 am

    Soy protein refers to the protein that is found in soybeans that is often used to replace animal proteins in an individual’s diet. The soybean is a legume that contains no cholesterol and is low in saturated fat..,-;

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  58. 58

    Homemade Protein Bars | Nutrition.Health.Life. — July 10, 2013 @ 6:46 am

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  59. 59

    Marilyn — July 31, 2013 @ 12:26 pm

    Yum! I just made these for the first time, I only put 2T of maple syrup and the 1/4c brown sugar and chopped figs for the dried fruit and no chocolate. I loved that they weren’t sweet yet chewy and crunchy. I seems most people feel that every food created must be sweet and I disagree! This was flavorful without excess sugar I also added two eggs (with wet ingredients) like another reader and whey protein with the dry ingredients…these have endless flavor possibilities with different nut butters, seeds (chia, flax), nuts (any kind) and dried fruit combinations: cherry/almond blueberry/pecan. fig/walnut…thank you so much!

  60. 60

    griddle for pancakes — August 4, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

    Touche. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the
    great effort.

  61. 61

    Katherine — August 12, 2013 @ 10:44 pm

    We just found this recipe and my daughters helped me make it. I used almond butter, and no dried fruit. I left out the brown sugar, kept the honey (but less- maybe about 1/8 cup), and left out the chocolate pieces. Instead we used a tablespoon or so of unsweetened dark chocolate powder, which gave a nice overall, distributed flavor. I really appreciate that these are delicious without being too sweet. It is nice to find a recipe that cuts down on the sugar, but tastes so good that even my children enjoy it as a treat.

  62. 62

    Food That Powers You — August 20, 2013 @ 5:23 pm

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  63. 63

    VeganMoFo #4 - Eating at Dragon Con | The Farthest Star — September 8, 2013 @ 10:01 am

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  64. 64

    Homemade Protein bar Recipe | Smallhorse — September 9, 2013 @ 6:50 am

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  65. 65

    Jane — September 12, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

    Is there any reason these couldn’t be made raw (not baked) and chilled and kept in the fridge? Do the oats need the cooking?

  66. 66

    Shaun — October 14, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

    I calculated the calorie count of the combined ingredients, and it comes to approximately 3500 calories. Depending on the amount of bars made will determine the calories of each bar. I love how you included coconut oil! Even though the fat in coconut oil is saturated, these fats are medium chain fats and are actually used as energy. I can’t wait to make these! If you have any other recipes, I would love to try them.

  67. 67

    Shaun — October 14, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

    @ Lissa Brooks; if you are trying to use eggs to keep the bars together, you may not be very pleased with the results. I have tried them in a different recipe hoping the bars would stay in tact. They did stay in tack but the texture was terrible. If you want the bars to bind, you can use brown rice syrup in substitution for the maple syrup. Less brown rice syrup with make the bars crunchy, and more will make them chewy. For instance, I made protein bars in a 9×9 pan, and used 1/3 cup of brown rice syrup, and they turned out crunchy. I hope this helps.

    • Winnie replied: — October 14th, 2013 @ 10:21 pm

      Thank you so much for your helpful comments, Shaun!

  68. 68

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  69. 69

    Kathy — October 19, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

    Thank you for this recipe! We need quite a low carb formula, so made the following changes and did the math, using 16 bars per pan:
    2 Tbsp Truvia in place of brown sugar
    about a third less honey (just under a 1/4 c.)–no syrup
    no dried fruit
    plus we used 1 cup unflavored whey powder (Bob’s)
    and added 2 egg whites for binder
    We kept 1/2 dark choc chips in, for flavor
    Breakdown (approx.): 15g Pro; 16 net Carbs; 27g fat

  70. 70

    Lindsay — October 21, 2013 @ 11:25 pm

    YUM!! Used sunflower seeds and almonds…. Delish! Thank you!!!

  71. 71

    Homemade Protein Bars Recipe Roundup - Real Food Real Deals — November 12, 2013 @ 9:58 am

    […] Homemade Protein Bars from Healthy Green Kitchen […]

  72. 72

    Vincent @ Best Protein Bars Report — December 20, 2013 @ 11:32 am

    What a great recipe. I’m outta my head right now just thinking about making these bars.

    I am a nut for good nutrition bars. Thanks for posting.

  73. 73

    TaRa — January 19, 2014 @ 1:17 pm

    This is my second batch of these wonderful tasting bars. This time I added 1 cup of blueberry cream granola, increased the oil a bit and used hemp seeds, sunflowers seeds, 8 large dates, pecans and double amount of dark chocolate with a cup of Chocolate Whey Protein powder. Used all maple syrup and no brown sugar, almond butter and almond extract and no cinnamon. They are baking now so have a previous bar and will do a taste test. Will let you know.

    TaRa

  74. 74

    Grain free Chocolate Chip Cookies + Book Giveway “One Simple Change” + Chat with the author!! | The Clean Dish — February 26, 2014 @ 12:32 pm

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