Three protein oat bars with cranberries and nuts in, piled on top of each other. They are on top of a chopping board with nuts and fruit scattered around.

The benefits of making your own protein bars – and two easy recipes

More and more people are discovering the benefits of making their own protein bars at home. Try it – you may never go back to buying them!

3 benefits of making your own protein bars 

  1. You can control what goes in them

Make your own protein bars at home and you’ll have full control over the ingredients, so surprises like high fructose corn syrup and fractionated palm kernel oil won’t sneak in. Also, as your homemade bars don’t need to sit in warehouses and shops for weeks, you won’t need to use additives.

  1. You can tailor them to your taste

Hate honey? Love dates? Adore cashews but loathe almonds? You don’t have to hope your favourite brands come up with the combination of your dreams when you can invent it yourself.

If you have special dietary requirements, you can cater to these, too. For example, homemade low carb protein bars or gluten free protein bars offer you the reassurance you need.

The beauty of making your own protein bars is that most recipes don’t involve baking, so you don’t have to be scientifically accurate with your quantities or risk ruining a batch. No-bake recipes are customisable. As long as you’re getting the texture right, you can play with flavours.

  1. You’ll save money

Protein bars can be pricey, with many bars costing around £3 each.

Although the initial outlay is a factor, if you can get hold of a bag of oats, some nuts and seeds and protein powder, the other ingredients are generally made up of storecupboard staples like honey and salt.

If you eat a protein bar most days, you’re saving around £20 per week with homemade rather than shop-bought.

How do I make my own protein bars?


Registered Nutritionist Isabel Tarrant gives us her recipes for two delicious all natural protein bars.

They’re both free from gluten and can be suitable for vegans. Containing protein, fibre and omega 3 healthy fats, perfect post-workout snack.

Delicious nutty protein bars


Ingredients  - Makes 16 bars

  • 135g of gluten-free oats
  • 4 tablespoons of honey (switch to maple syrup for a vegan alternative)
  • 115g of whole almonds
  • 80g of peanuts
  • 60g of sunflower seeds
  • 80g of walnut halves
  • 70g of sultanas
  • 270g of 100% almond butter
  • pinch of salt

Method

  1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the honey (switch to maple syrup for a vegan alternative), almond butter and water into a smooth paste
  3. Pour the mixed wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir well till fully combined
  4. Line a square baking tray (approximately 8" x 10") with greaseproof paper, and pour in the mixture
  5. Press the mixture down firmly to create an even slab in the baking tray
  6. Place the tray in the freezer for 1 hour
  7. Remove the tray from freezer, lift out the large slab and cut into 16 equal rectangular bars

Store the bars in an airtight container or zip lock bag to preserve freshness

Nutritional information:

Per bar
Energy (Kcal) 306kcal
Fat    Of which saturates   21g 2g
Carbohydrates    Of which sugars 16g 8.7g
Fibre 4.8g
Protein 10g
Salt <0g

 

Healthy choco protein bars


These protein bars are a healthy way to get your chocolate fix and fuel a busy day. Containing protein and fibre, and free from gluten, these bars make a delicious vegan snack.

Ingredients   - Makes 16 bars

  • 80g of gluten-free oats
  • 30g of raw cocao powder
  • 80g of ground flaxseed
  • 4 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 240g of 100% peanut butter
  • 60g of chocolate protein powder
  • 90ml of almond milk

Method

  1. Line a rectangle baking tray (8" x 10" approximately) with parchment paper
  2. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (almond milk, maple syrup, almond milk) till fully combined
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly to form a smooth dough consistency
  5. Spread the dough into the lined baking tray and creating a smooth even layer
  6. Place the tray in the freezer for approximately 45 minutes
  7. Remove the tray from the freezer and slice into 16 even bars

Store in an airtight container to preserve freshness

Nutritional information:

Per bar
Energy (Kcal)   177kcal
Fat    Of which saturates   11g 1.3g
Carbohydrates   8g
   Of which sugars 3.8g
Fibre 4g
Protein 8.5g
Salt 0.03g

How long do homemade protein bars last? 


Homemade protein bars don’t keep as long as the ones you buy.

If stored in a non-airtight container, homemade protein bars will be past their best after about 3 days.

What is the healthiest protein bar on the market? 


If you’re aiming to lose or maintain weight, look for a bar with lower calories, lower fat and lower carbohydrates. If you’re gaining weight, go for a higher-calorie bar.

Shop Sports Nutrition

Last Updated: 5th January 2021

 

Andrea Dobronszki

Author: Andrea Dobronszki, Regulatory Affairs

  • Joined Holland & Barrett: August 2020
  • Qualifications: Master’s Degree in Food Science and Technology Engineering, Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics

Andrea started her career as a clinical dietitian and lecturer at a university hospital, managing the dietetic treatment of patients with various diseases, and giving lectures in nutrition for medical students. Later she worked as a Product Developer at a sport nutrition company where she developed food supplements and fortified foods, and ensured that the products complied with the relevant regulations. Andrea joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate and specialises in food supplements, food regulations, nutrition and dietetics.

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