Food

5-Ingredient Protein Bars (No-Bake!)

For deliciously nutritious energy on the run, grab a couple of your own homemade Protein Bars! These couldn’t be easier to make and are much more affordable than store-bought bars.
BY Amy Dong TIMESeptember 22, 2022 PRINT

If you’ve ever stashed up on store-bought protein bars, you know it can quickly empty your wallet. The price of high quality pre/post workout energy in the form of a bar…it adds up fast. Not to mention, many pre-packaged energy bars are loaded with ingredients that leave you scratching your head in doubt.

You’re about to leave all that behind, with these super easy homemade protein bars, made of only 5 pure, natural ingredients. You’ll be rewarded with a nice batch of fresh protein bars that cost way less than your typical CLIF-type store bought bars.

Feel energized, fueled, and happily satisfied when grabbing your own homemade protein bars on the go. And have leftover cash for that latte after your workout, because you can.

Protein Bar ingredients
Pure, simple ingredients. (Amy Dong)

Homemade Protein Bars – Only 5 Ingredients

You’ll love the pure, nutritious, simple ingredients that go into these quality protein bars. All you need are:

  • Whole Rolled Oats: whole oats provide a more robust texture than quick or instant oats.
  • Real Peanut Butter: we love chunky peanut butter, as it lends a bit of crunch to the bars.
  • Whey Protein Powder: feel free to use your favorite flavor, though we highly recommend steering clear of artificial sugars, as those tend to have an unpalatable aftertaste. Our personal favorite is pure, unflavored 100% whey protein powder, which we’ve been using for years.
  • Real Maple Syrup or Honey: it just feels better than sugar. Plus, maple or honey has the sticky texture needed to help bind the bars.
  • Milk: we use regular cow’s milk, but feel free to use your milk of choice.
  • Totally optional: add-ins! We love dried blueberries, chocolate chips, or even drizzled chocolate on top.

Tip: If you’re planning to stash these bars in your gym bag, backpack, or lunch sack, we recommend skipping the drizzle on top. They’ll stay a lot neater that way and you’ll like us more.

Protein Bar mixture
(Amy Dong)
Protein Bar mixture
(Amy Dong)
5-Ingredient Protein Bars
Just press into a pan and chill; no baking needed. (Amy Dong)

Homemade Protein Bars Keep Well And Freeze Well

These no-bake, 5-ingredient protein bars are JUST the thing for a nutritious energy boost.  I make a nice big batch, which comes in handy for pick-me-up snacks when the kids get the munchies. They’re even great for breakfast on the go.

Thankfully, these homemade protein bars keep extremely well at a mild room temperature, stored airtight. They keep even longer if kept in an airtight container or in individual baggies in the fridge. If you like prepping ahead, feel free to freeze some protein bars so you can have them on hand all month long.

5-Ingredient Protein Bars
Play with healthy add-ins of your choice. (Amy Dong)
Homemade Protein Bars with Chocolate
Dark chocolate. (Amy Dong)

Try This Maple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal, Too:

5-Ingredient Protein Bars (No-Bake!)

These 5-ingredient Protein Bars are super easy, packed with nutrition, and are the perfect pre/post workout fuel. They’re reminiscent of Clif energy bars, but are way more budget-friendly when you make them at home.

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter
  • ½ cup real maple syrup or honey, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup vanilla, chocolate, or plain whey protein powder*
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats, uncooked
  • Optional: 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Optional Add-ins, 1 cup: chocolate chips, raisins, dried blueberries, chopped dates, or melted chocolate for topping

Instructions

In a medium heavy pot, combine milk, peanut butter, and maple syrup/honey over low heat. Stir just until all ingredients are well combined and warmed through. Remove from heat.

Add protein powder, oats, and optional cinnamon or add-ins. Stir to combine well. Taste and add more maple syrup or honey if desired. (If mixture is too thick to stir, simply add a bit more milk.)

Lightly grease an 8×8 pan. Press evenly into pan, using firm pressure to compress mixture into desired bar thickness. Tip: use wet or lightly greased hands to prevent sticking.

Allow bars to cool completely. Once cool, cut into squares. If desired, drizzle with melted chocolate and let cool. Wrap in airtight container and store at moderate room temp for several days, or chilled in fridge for a week.

Notes
Protein powder is to be measured according to standard cups, not the scoops that come inside the tub of protein powder. If needed, check for certified gluten-free labeling.

We recommend using a protein powder made without fake/artificial sugars, as those tend to have a funny aftertaste. We prefer using pure, unflavored 100% whey protein powder. This one is my personal favorite.

Make it dairy-free or nut-free: use almond or coconut milk or any other milk of your choice. Use sunflower butter instead of a nut butter.

If you’re planning to pack these bars to go, use add-ins rather than drizzling on top.

Nutrition
Calories: 279kcal | Carbohydrates: 38.4g | Protein: 8.6g | Fat: 11.1g | Saturated Fat: 2.4g | Cholesterol: 0.6mg | Sodium: 108.1mg | Fiber: 2.5g | Sugar: 26g
Diet: Gluten Free
Method: Stovetop

This article was originally published on chewoutloud.com.

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Amy Dong
Amy is the author and recipe developer at Chew Out Loud. She is a huge dog-lover, avid runner, and a proud mama of three very busy boys. Visit ChewOutLoud.com.
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