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Homemade Protein Bars (No-Bake)

Have you tried virtually every protein bar on the market and can’t seem to find one that actually tastes good?

It’s time to make your own!

These homemade protein bars require no baking, are gluten-free, and have 21g of protein per bar!

Imagine some of the best cookie dough you’ve ever had, but with a chocolatey coating and in the shape of a bar.

Oh yeah, and packed with tons of protein.

These protein bars are not only very easy to make but are sure to be some of the best protein bars you’ve ever had.

And if protein cookies are more your style, be sure to check out my No-Bake Protein Cookie recipe– it’s very similar to this recipe, with some key changes to make deliciously soft cookies.

No Bake Protein Cookies

 

How to make homemade protein bars

As much as I am in love with my Protein Cereal Bar recipe, it requires a bit more prep than some people would like.

With these no-bake protein bars, all we really have to do is mix everything up and form the dough into bars. It couldn’t be easier!

We’re going to mix together most of the ingredients, but we’ll be mixing in the protein powder last.

I’ve found that the order in which you mix your ingredients can make a huge difference- by adding the protein powder last, it makes the dough way less sticky and easier to work with.

For this recipe, we have the option to make a classic chocolate chip cookie dough, or a chocolate protein bar.

In both cases, we’re going to follow the same exact instructions, but the chocolate version will require slightly more liquid to bring it all together.

For the standard cookie dough protein bars, we’ll be adding 2 teaspoons of milk to bring it all together into a workable dough. For the chocolate protein bars, we’re going to add 1 tablespoon of syrup (or any liquid sweetener) plus 1-2 tsp of milk.

Since we are adding cocoa powder to the chocolate protein bars, which is a very dry ingredient, the dough requires slightly more liquid.

Once it all comes together to form workable cookie dough, it’s time to shape the bars!

Break the dough into 2 equal-sized pieces, add to parchment paper, and begin to shape the bars.

I use my hands to form my protein bars, but I will use the side of a butter knife to put the bar against to give me straighter edges:

Refrigerate the bars for one hour to allow them to firm up a bit.

Once the protein bars have chilled, we’re going to melt down chocolate in the microwave to dip the bars into. The chocolate coating is optional, but it makes these bars hold up significantly better since the bar itself is soft.

Once dipped, add the protein bars back onto the parchment paper, then refrigerate until the chocolate hardens.

The hardening should only take 10-15 minutes, but I much prefer to let the bars chill overnight! Not only do they firm up even more, but the flavor really enhances as the bars sit.

If you have extra chocolate left over, you can drizzle some over the top as I did.

This step is totally optional, but I love the look it gives these protein bars.

 

How to measure the chocolate coating

If you’re making these protein bars and trying to get the most accurate calorie count possible, you may be wondering how to measure out the perfect amount of chocolate.

While you could weigh the chocolate chips and melt the perfect amount, I prefer an even simpler route.

I like to add a bunch of chocolate chips to a large bowl (more chocolate chips than I’ll need) to make for easy dipping. While this will leave you with leftover chocolate, it makes coating the bars much easier.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave, letting it heat for 30 seconds at a time and stirring in between. Then, place the entire bowl on a kitchen scale and zero it out.

Dip your protein bar into the chocolate, and see how much weight the bowl lost…

In this case, dipping the bar used 15g of chocolate, which is equal to one serving of chocolate chips!

Using this method will make your life so much easier, especially when it comes to something like breading chicken.

 

More high-protein cookie dough recipes

If you’ve made it this far, that must mean you love cookie dough as much as I do.

Fortunately, I have no shortage of cookie dough recipes here on my blog to dive into! Here are some of my favorites:

 

Chocolate and cookie dough protein bars

No-Bake Protein Bars

Yield: 2 Protein Bars
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

I love some protein bars, but it's no secret that a lot of them simply do not taste very good- that's why we're making our own! These no-bake protein bars taste just like a delicious homemade cookie dough in bar form and pack 21g of protein per bar!

Ingredients

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Flavor

Chocolate Flavor

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, vanilla extract, and sugar/sugar substitute.
  2. Add the oat flour to the bowl and mix that up until it forms a thick paste (if making the chocolate version, add the cocoa powder as well). Add your protein powder last and mix it up until you have a crumbly dough.
  3. Add roughly 2 tsp of milk to add some moisture to the dough to be able to mix it all up into a dough ball. We want these to be thick, so don't add too much liquid! (If making the chocolate version, add 1 Tbsp of syrup and 1-2 tsp of milk as needed).
  4. Note: if you do not want to add a chocolate coating to your bars, you can mix your chocolate chips directly into the cookie dough at this stage instead.
  5. Break your dough into 2 equal-sized pieces, add to a sheet or parchment paper, and form into your two bars. I like to use the side of a butter knife to straighten the edges.
  6. Add your protein bars to the fridge for 1 hour firm up.
  7. After 1 hour, the bars will be thickened up and easier to work with. Add chocolate chips to a wide bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals until smooth. Note that I don't measure out the chocolate chips in this step because I prefer to have more than needed for easy dipping.
  8. Dip the bar into the chocolate, coating the bottom, then return to the parchment paper. When I weighed my chocolate, each bar used exactly 15g of chocolate for the coating. If you have leftover chocolate, you can drizzle some over the top as I did in mine, but that is totally optional.
  9. Add your protein bars back to the fridge to allow the chocolate to harden. This process doesn't take long (about 10 minutes), but I much prefer to let the bars sit in the fridge overnight because I find the flavor to enhance as the protein bars chill.

Notes

  • Any leftovers should be stored in the fridge, and they will stay fresh for up to a full week.
  • If you want smaller bars, you can easily make 3 bars out of the recipe. Each protein bar will have 175 calories and 14g of protein in that case.
  • Note that the type of protein powder you choose really matters here! The protein powder I use is a blend of whey & casein protein which works best for these protein bars. But more importantly, I love the taste. If you do not like the taste of your protein powder, you won't like these bars, so invest in quality protein!
  • Since these protein bars are no-bake, you can get away with more substitutions than you normally would be able to. However, these ingredients are the only ones I tested with. You can try to save calories by swapping the butter for something like applesauce or canned pumpkin, but the result will not be as authentic a cookie dough flavor.
  • If you want to make a sugar cookie version, check out my No-Bake Sugar Cookie Bars.
  • I typically do not count sugar substitutes in my carb totals, but I did for these bars. Just note that there is sugar substitute and fiber involved, so the "net" carbs are much lower.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information
Yield 2 Serving Size 1 Protein Bar
Amount Per Serving Calories 260Total Fat 14.5gCarbohydrates 32gProtein 21g

Did you make this recipe?

Share your photos and tag me on Instagram!

Christy

Wednesday 22nd of June 2022

Can I substitute another gluten free flour option?

Matt

Tuesday 5th of July 2022

Each flour will require different amounts of liquid to get the right texture, but you certainly can

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