You’ve done your research, read the labels on every protein bar in the grocery store and now you’re ready to make your own homemade bars. You know what you want them to taste like, but how do you get that flavor?
When it comes to making high-protein snacks at home with ingredients that are healthy and delicious – there’s no need to compromise. With these recipes, all of which have less than 200 calories per serving – you’ll be able to enjoy a guilt-free snack any time of day.
20g Protein Bar Recipes
It would seem that all 20g protein bars have the same composition, however, this is not always the case. There are different types of protein bars and it is important to know what type you have before you look for a good protein bar recipe. If you read the label, you will find that the majority of them will list the protein as a percentage of the weight. This can be useful in determining the best protein bars to help you lose weight, but there are many other factors that go into determining the content and therefore the price of these products.1
The first factor that you should consider is whether or not the product is water-soluble or oil soluble. Water-soluble proteins are easier to digest and absorb. Since protein is a building block of muscles, it makes sense to make sure that you get enough of these proteins so that you can build up your muscles.2 Since most protein bars have little to no fat, it would not be helpful to consume one that has large amounts of fat in them since these will only clog your arteries and increase your chance of developing cardiovascular disease.3
You may also want to consider the amount of protein per serving. You do not want to eat too few calories since this could result in fat gain and you certainly don’t want to have too many calories either since protein bars should be kept to around 20g per serving. This is easy to do when you look at protein bars that have already been prepared. Most companies that sell these types of products will list the percentage of protein per serving. If you cannot find the information on the label, then look online for information about the amount of protein per serving.
The Benefits of Making Homemade Protein Bars
With the wide range of snack foods available in most supermarkets these days, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a good quality protein source that is also easy to prepare and enjoy. Some of the protein bars on the market do offer some protein but are very high in carbohydrates and fat, which can make it very hard to maintain a healthy diet. In addition, most protein bars also have a rather tasteless variety which can be off-putting for some people who do not particularly like their food to taste like cardboard.4
The benefits of making homemade protein bars are that they can provide you with all of the necessary protein that your body requires without loading your stomach with additional carbohydrates that can add to your daily calorie intake without providing the nutrients that are necessary for building muscle. There is no doubt that protein is extremely important for our overall health and should be included in all diets. However, there are many different sources of protein and some are easier to prepare and make than others. The benefits of making homemade protein bars, therefore, are primarily aimed at providing your body with the protein it needs in a way that is easy to make and delicious.5
The first benefit of making homemade protein bars is that they can be made at home without the use of complicated ingredients and cooking equipment. These types of bars are also much easier to maintain since you will not need to buy any additional food to eat on them such as cheese, sugar, or other types of carbohydrates.
The second benefit of making homemade protein bars is that they are an excellent way to provide your body with protein in the form of snacks that can be enjoyed throughout the day without having to worry about counting calories or worrying about portion sizes. Another benefit of these bars is that they are an ideal way to get your daily amount of protein that is required for building muscle and burning fat. You can easily make these protein bars from just about any type of protein you would like, including egg whites, chicken meat or even soy. With a simple combination of these protein-rich ingredients, you can easily make your own protein bars that are healthy and delicious.6
Step by Step Protein Bar Recipes
A 20g protein bar should have a nutritional profile similar to something like this:
• 130 Calories
• 6g Carbs (3g fiber)
• 16g Protein (~80% pure protein)
The Ingredients & Equipment You Will Need
This recipe assumes that you have a small scale so you can measure ingredients in grams.
• 1 Serving Protein Powder (I used Optimum Nutrition 80% Whey Gold Standard)
• 5 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (The type you drink with milk, Sweetened or Unsweetened doesn’t matter)
• 6 Tbsp Oats that have been ground into Flour
• 6 Tbsp Coconut Flour
• 2 tsp Baking Powder
Other Ingredients You Can Use To Flavor Your Mix-Ins:
• Peanut Butter (Tbsp per serving) or any other nut butter replacement. They do taste a bit sweeter if used.
• Sugar-Free Syrup (Tbsp per serving) (I used Torani Sugar-Free Maple Syrup, 20 Calories per Tbsp)
• Stevia Drops (~10 drops per serving, these are about twice as sweet as sugar so you probably don’t need more than that.)
Making protein bars at home can save you a lot of money over the expensive pre-packaged types that you have to buy at the store. Protein bars offer a solid alternative to simply eating a big, messy meal. Let’s face it, the protein bars on the market today are often too pricey, and most importantly are filled with chemicals and sugar. The good news is, you can find plenty of different ways to make protein bars at home, all with their own easy-to-make recipes!
If you’re looking for fantastic protein bars at home recipes, try making a chocolate cherry bar with 20 grams of protein. Using a pre-made mix of ingredients (dairy, protein powder, etc.), and a simple blender or processor, you can create a rich, healthy, dessert. All you need are fresh cherries, some low-fat or fat-free cream cheese, and your protein powder if using.
Just combine all of your batter ingredients together in a bowl until they form a dough-like consistency, this shouldn’t be too sticky but if it is add another Tbsp or two of coconut flour until it’s not so sticky anymore. Set aside about 2 tbsp worth of mix-ins for later use, and take the rest and crumble them up and stir them into your dough.
Once you can work it with your fingers, press down your dough into each mold until it completely fills it, and then use a knife to level off the top into each mold. Now just take those protein bar molds out of the freezer and pop out those chocolate bottoms for some delicious white chocolate chips! Then just sandwich those back together with the dough-filled side on top, press down firmly so they stay together, and voila! You have yourself some homemade protein bars worthy of sharing at school or work.
Store these in an airtight container in your fridge (if you’ve done any kind of traveling with protein bars before this will be a very familiar place) and save them for when you are ready to eat them.
Are Homemade or Store Bought Protein Bars Healthier?
There are many different types of protein, so to be able to make the best decision for our needs, we have to know what each one does. Homemade and store-bought protein bars are both great sources of protein for our daily intake. However, when it comes to people who are very serious about their workout, they want to take things very seriously and are willing to spend a few more dollars on quality products, then homemade may be the better choice for them. It all comes down to personal preference and how much money you are willing to spend in order to get the most effective workout possible.7
When comparing the two, homemade is by far the healthier option. Why is this? The main reason is that when you are getting your protein from store-bought products, it is likely to come from a much larger batch, which means that there is more of a chance that it will be over-processed and may contain preservatives. When you are buying your protein from a local nutritional store, you are also more likely to find the freshest products available. Store-bought protein bars are also likely to have been kept longer in storage, which allows for higher shelf life. When it comes to these factors, store-bought protein bars may actually be healthier than homemade protein bars.
When it comes to price, you may be able to save a bit of money when making your own protein. When you buy store-bought protein bars, they are typically being sold by the dozen for as little as 5 cents a serving. When you make your own protein, you are able to cut this price in half and can have protein bars available for less than a dollar a serving.
Gym Beam / Google Stock Images
Healthily / Google Stock Images
Oliver Markets / Google Stock Images
International Baking Academy / Google Stock Images
1 “NutritionFacts.org | The Latest Nutrition Related Topics.” https://nutritionfacts.org/ Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.
2 “Protein: Why Your Body Needs It – WebMD.” https://www.webmd.com/diet/benefits-protein Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.
3 “10 Science-Backed Reasons to Eat More Protein – Healthline.” 8 Mar. 2019, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-to-eat-more-protein Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.
4 “The benefits of making your own protein bars – and two easy recipes.” 5 Jan. 2021, https://www.hollandandbarrett.com/the-health-hub/sports-nutrition/protein/the-benefits-of-making-your-own-protein-bars-and-two-easy-recipes/ Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.
5 “Are Protein Bars Good for You? – Healthline.” 16 Mar. 2020, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/are-protein-bars-good-for-you Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.
6 “43 high-protein foods for weight loss – Medical News Today.” https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321522 Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.
7 “Store-Bought Vs. Homemade Energy Bars – Courtney Medical Group.” 7 Jan. 2020, https://courtneymedicalgroupaz.com/2020/01/08/4816/ Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.