Healthy Chocolate Protein Bars are made with 6 real food ingredients and no added sugar. The perfect low calorie and gluten free protein snack that's simple to make and a treat even picky eaters will love! Low Calorie + Gluten Free + Vegan + Paleo
One of my favorite recipes from my cookbook are my homemade protein bars. I consistently have women writing to tell me how much they and their family love that recipe!
Today I'm sharing with you a DIFFERENT protein bar recipe from the cookbook. CHOCOLATE PROTEIN BARS!
They're made with just 6 ingredients, no added sugar and have a ton of protein - something store-bought protein bars always seem to be deficient in. If you're going to make a protein bar, it should actually have the RIGHT amount of protein in it, ya know?
Healthy Chocolate Protein Bars
Best of all these protein bars are made with HEALTHY ingredients and they're easy and tasty! Here's a few more reasons why I love this low calorie protein bar recipe.
- High Protein - 14 grams per serving from the protein powder and peanut butter which has healthy fat and some protein.
- Low Calorie - This protein bar is 236 calories which is considered low calorie. Calories are important, but the nutrient balance is more important as unbalanced protein, fat and carbs in a recipe will driving hunger and cravings.
- Gluten Free - All the ingredients in this recipe are gluten free.
- High Fiber - Fiber is key for hormone balance, weight loss, to make you full and so much more! This protein bar has 5 grams of fiber per bar which is great.
- Healthy Fat - The healthy fat in the recipe helps to balance the protein and carbs and to keep you full!
Ingredients For Chocolate Protein Bars
- Bananas, ripe
- Chocolate Protein Powder
- Peanut Butter, unsalted with no sugar added
- Cocoa Powder, unsweetened
- Vanilla Extract
- Chocolate Chips
What Protein Powder To Make Protein Bars
There are many protein powder options on the market and it really comes down to your personal preference, but here are a few tips for protein powders and the ones I recommend.
Look for a protein powder that has least number of ingredients. Many protein powders have chemicals and additives that are unnecessary. I recommend a protein powder that is low in added sugar or uses stevia or monkfruit to sweeten it. From a nutritional standpoint, look for a protein powder that has less than 7 grams of fat per serving, has 20-30 grams of protein per serving and is lower in carbs 15 or fewer per serving.
Some protein powders do contain whey protein which some individuals cannot tolerate. Here's a few options I recommend: whey protein, this plant-based protein or this plant-based protein, beef protein powder (this one is surprisingly tasty).
How To Make Chocolate Protein Bars
You won't believe how easy this homemade chocolate protein bar recipe is to make! Step one is mixing the ingredients together in a food processor or blender, reserving the chocolate chips for the top.
Preheat oven and prepare a baking dish with parchment paper (for easy removal) then pour the blended mixture into the baking dish. Smooth the mixture into an even layer. It will be sticky and so I recommend wetting a spatula to help with the smoothing process. Top with the chocolate chips then bake!
Once the protein bars are baked, remove them from the oven and do not slice until they are FULLY cooled - approximately one hour.
How To Store Homemade Protein Bars
Store these homemade protein bars in the refrigerator or freezer. They should not be kept at room temperature for more than a day. Store the protein bars in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks or in the freezer up to 3 months. You can eat them right out of the refrigerator. If you freeze them, be sure to thaw them before eating.
Substitutions For Chocolate Protein Bars
Here are the substitutions I recommend for this recipe. As always, any substitutions, changes or additions you make will change the nutritional data you see in the detailed recipe card below.
- Peanut Butter - Any nut butter works! Almond butter, sunflower butter, cashew butter, tahini would all work with this recipe.
- Bananas - I have not tested this recipe without the bananas and they are the ingredient that binds the protein bars together. You can try replacing one banana (not both) with 1/2 cup of applesauce or avocado, or replacing with 2-3 egg whites. If you try this, please let me know in the comments as this helps others!
- Protein Powder - Use any chocolate protein powder that you like. I used the Garden of Life Plant Based Protein Powder. But there are MANY protein powder options on the market - I listed some of my favorites above. I recommend you buy the single protein powder packets to find what you like.
- Vanilla Extract - Use almond extract, chocolate extract or omit.
- Cocoa Powder - Cacao powder may be used instead
- Chocolate Chips - Use dairy free if needed.
- Optional Add-Ins - Raw nuts, raw seeds or dried fruit could easily be added to this protein bar recipe.
More Protein Packed Recipes To Try
Healthy Chocolate Protein Bars
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare an 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- Blend all ingredients except chocolate in a food processor or blender. Scrape down the sides and blend until smooth.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish and smooth into an even layer. The batter will be sticky. Wetting a spatula with a small amount of water can help with this. Add the chocolate chips on top.
- Bake for 30 minutes then remove from the oven and cool at room temperature at least 1 hour before slicing into bars.
- Store the bars in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks or in the freezer up to 90 days. My cookbook has another protein bar recipe and other protein snack options.