Nourishing Protein Bars – A Great Whole Foods Snack

IMG_6688I am thankful for all the input that I received on my recent twitter request for yummy and nutritious larabar and granola bar recipes. Thanks for all the recipes! I wanted to share a collection of the recipes received here today with you all. My purpose in finding a good recipe was to have a good snack bar to have on hand. The hubby in particular was requesting something to give him a little boost occasionally during his long work hours. Here is my version of a good protein bar that we totally love thanks to Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship for her tweaked almond bar! Let me say that again…it is awesome! A great source of protein and a fun way to get those nutritious nuts, seeds and dried fruit into your diet. Great for pregnant mommies too! I simply threw all the ingredients into my Blendtec Blender (my favorite kitchen appliance and functioning food processor at our home) and pulsed it for a few seconds and it turned out beautifully, but you can also use a food processor as described below.

2 cups almonds
1/4 cup flax seeds, chia seeds or pumpkin seeds (ground in a coffee grinder or blender)
1/2 cup dried prunes, dates or raisins (we used prunes!)
½ cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
½ cup peanut or almond butter
½ cup coconut oil or butter (melted)
1/4 cup honey
2-3 teaspoons vanilla extract
a few squares dark chocolate, less than half a bar needed for thin layer (optional) – I melted about 1/4 bag of chocolate chips in a small saucepan for the topping

Place almonds, flax meal/seeds, dried fruit, shredded coconut, almond/peanut butter in a food processor. Pulse briefly for about 10 seconds.In a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil over very low heat. Remove coconut oil from stove, stir sweeteners and vanilla into oil. Add coconut oil mixture to food processor and pulse until ingredients form a coarse paste. Press mixture into an 8 x 8 glass baking dish. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour, until mixture hardens. In a small saucepan, melt chocolate over very low heat, stirring continuously. Spread melted chocolate over bars; return to refrigerator for 30 minutes, until chocolate hardens. Remove from refrigerator, cut into bars and serve. Makes about 12-15 bars. Store in refrigerator or freeze for later enjoyment!

Other Snack Bar Recipes

Granola Bars – (Danielle @ Naturally Knocked Up)
Larabar Recipe – (Clean Eating Online)
Granola Bars (Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship)

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

108 Responses to Nourishing Protein Bars – A Great Whole Foods Snack

  1. Rachel March 26, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    Hi,
    I tried doing this in my Vitamix and it realized it was too sticky and it made my machine shut off as a overheating precaution. I think it would have worked if I had the dry attachment for doughs. Needless to say it scared me to death since my machine is only 3 months old.
    I did end up transferring everything to my food processor in the end, I guess my food processor isn’t strong enough either (old, handmedown).
    For anyone looking at add protein, I added a couple scoops of chocolate whey protein and a splash of water to account for the extra dry ingredient.
    Thanks,
    Rachel

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  3. Stephanie November 15, 2012 at 5:16 am #

    I have been making your recipe for a number of months now, and everyone who tries them loves them and wants the recipe. I have sent tons of people your link and would also copy the recipe that I had printed out especially for the people my husband works with, but it got annoying pulling out of my recipe book all the time, so I came back to your website to make another copy and save it so I could more easily print it out. I noticed that you changed it, why did you change it?
    I noticed that you omitted the salt and increased the honey to 1/4 cup instead of the 1 T and changed some of the choices. I made them again, this time with the changed recipe and I, surprisingly, missed the salt. I would usually cut down a little on the salt anyways, only because I use Himalayan crystal salt and sometimes I would get a stronger taste of salt in some bites, but it helped bring out some of the other flavors that I didn’t taste with the salt completely cut out. I was just curious of why you changed it?

  4. kathryn October 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    Thank you Lindsay and all of you repliers for the good ideas!

  5. Glynis October 6, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    If I have almond flour on hand (which is really just ground almonds) how much should I use? I assume 2 cups of unground almonds is less once ground… Can’t wait to try this!

    • Lindsay October 9, 2012 at 5:51 am #

      That’s a good question as I really don’t know. I’ll try measuring it next time.

  6. Cara September 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    I love these!! I’ve made them about 5 times already. I went through and figured out the nutritional info (quickly so it’s an approximation) of the bars if they are made exactly as the recipe is and cut into 25 bars. Also, I usually use 4 squares of bakers semi-sweet chocolate (too much I know…).

    (per bar when cut into 25):

    Calories – 233.8
    Fat – 17.8g
    Sodium – 29.35mg
    Sugar – 7.78g
    Protein – 4.69g
    Carbs – 13.67

    I would like to try to cut back on the sodium and increase the protein content. I’m going to try a batch with less flax, less shredded coconut and less peanut butter as those are the main sources of sodium..I will see what I can get away with. I’m also going to try including some whey isolate for more protein. I will post if it’s successful!!

    • kathryn October 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

      Thankyou so much for the nutritional breakdown. I also would like to get a higher protein count and am interested in how yours turned out with the whey protein. Thanks!

  7. Kaila Dawson August 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    I made these yesterday and they are awesome! We’ve been cutting grains, dairy and refined sugars out of our diet and that’s been challenging. These will be perfect to take camping and hiking this weekend! Thanks!

  8. Sean June 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    Any chance you know the nutritional info for the bars (or approx.)? Fats, Protein, Sugar, etc.

  9. Vilma May 26, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Do you soak your’ nuts before making these?

    • Lindsay May 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

      Sometimes…

  10. Michele May 5, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    Just for your website. Love it! Love your mission. Can’t wait to spend more time here. I just started a blog, http://www.MommieCan.com. It’s purpose is to encourage Christian moms toward the abundant life Jesus gives. Thanks for being an inspiration and great example of intentional living for Jesus!

    And, of course, can’t wait to try these bars:)

  11. Lindsey April 17, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    I loved this recipe so much, linked back to this recipe in my blog, http://www.dotlessis.blogspot.com Thanks!!

  12. Diana April 13, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    I loved the flavor but my first batch didn’t want to stay together. I doubled the dates and covered them with a thin layer of chocolate chips. We LOVE them! Thanks for the recipe! It’s a keeper!

  13. Hollie March 3, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    Hi,
    I was wondering if you measure the 1/4 cup of flax seeds before you grind them or the 1/4 cup is the ground flax seed? I just don’t want to put too much in. My Dad once ate too many flaxseeds at one time and had a severe gallbladder attack. My kids will be eating these scrumptious bars, so I want to make sure the measurement is right. Thanks!

    • Lindsay March 3, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

      I usually measure the whole flax seed before putting it into the processor.

  14. Nicole January 18, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    Has anyone priced out how much they spend per batch to make these wonderful bars? I would love to make them weekly!

  15. jeanette January 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Can someone provide the nutritional content on these bars, if cut 12-15 bars per batch?

    Thank you.

    • nicole January 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

      It would depend on your own variations. I use cashews, add rice protein powder and double the coconut oil, and I get 19g protein per bar, depending on how evenly I spread and cut them.

    • Lorena June 6, 2012 at 6:19 am #

      I made this recipe with my homemade almond butter instead of peanut butter, skipped the coconut and chocolate, and used raisins. For 15 bars, my NI for one bar came out to be:

      Calories: 231
      Carbs: 10
      Fat: 19
      Protein: 6
      Sugar: 5
      Sodium: 4

      In the future I will cut out the salt since I salt my almond butter a bit. I am also going to try it with less oil to cut back on the fat content as mine seemed very oily. However, these taste amazing!!! I limit myself to one bar a day.

      • Glynis October 6, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

        Lorena – how do you make homemade almond butter?

  16. nicole November 22, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    So my brand new blender died on the second batch. Lesson learned. What food processor do you use? (or anyone that makes these on a regular basis).

    • Lindsay November 22, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

      I use a Blentec total blender for this recipe and it works great!

      • nicole November 23, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

        Oh wow…. way out of my budget! I picked up a Hamilton Beach food processor, and I’m going to test that out once the baby wakes up. Thank goodness the batter is fine!

  17. nicole November 3, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Have my first batch in the fridge now, and I can’t wait to try them! I used dates, had cashews, so tried that, and added 12 servings of protein powder (followed by another 1/2 cup or so of coconut oil to get it to blend). Thanks for posting this!

  18. Carlene Snyder September 26, 2011 at 3:29 am #

    Will definitely try this recipe. I love the fact that you are using whole natural foods (with the exception of the chocolate chips). I would experiment with using Cacao powder, coconut oil, and honey for a healthier chocolate topping. As a holistic health coach, I’m always looking for healthy whole food options to recommend to my clients. This recipe is a definite keeper. Thanks so much for sharing!

  19. what does protein do September 18, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    Hello there, You’ve done a great job. I will certainly digg it and in my view suggest to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this site.

  20. Brandi August 7, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    These sound amazing, except that I’m allergic to coconut….it there any substitue for that???

  21. Liz May 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    I have been looking for a recipe like this and I have finally found the perfect one. I melted a little bit of coconut oil in to my chocolate too, it gives the chocolate a nice texture. They are delicious, thank you!

  22. Allie March 9, 2011 at 7:27 am #

    These are way too good. Shame on you!! ;-)
    Okay, so I’m joking, but they did turn out spectacular! Just what I needed as a quick protein snack for nursing. And my little busy bodies love them too.

  23. Rebecca January 11, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    These are SO delicious!! Only 1 problem….they are VERY high fat/calorie. My sister was kind enough to burst my bubble after I made my 3rd batch and was wondering why my scale seemed to be off, lol. According to the calorie counter on myfitnesspal.com, if you cut the bars into 25 pieces, each bar has 189 cal, 16 g fat and 4 g protein. Ands thats a small piece – I would eat few pieces in a day. Just a warning :) I am now feeding them mainly to my skinny boys!

    • Lindsay January 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

      Yes, but this is good fat! Coconut oil is so incredibly nutritious for you. Read more about it on the westonaprice.org site. There is a big difference. I would not worry about it.

      • Amy McCann September 22, 2012 at 8:57 am #

        I agree that good fats are way better, but those of us that have struggled with our weight our whole life know that a calorie is still a calorie. It sucks but when I cut out natural sugars and tracked my calories the weight really fell off. Even with tracking my calories and eating these yummy treats I couldn’t loose a pound. Everyone is different but I think we can’t say a higher calorie/whole food treat is going to be just fine because it is whole foods. I say this with love and mercy, but if you haven’t ever struggled with weight issues (and are under 30 because age is a big factor) you can’t begin to understand how difficult the process really is.

  24. Linda November 5, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    I would like to try these, but would have to make a couple of substitutions. My daughter is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. So, I would use Sunbutter instead of peanut butter, but I’m not sure what I would use instead of the almonds. Any suggestions?

    Thanks
    Linda

    • Racheal November 9, 2010 at 3:40 am #

      You could probably use cashews. I recently substituted them for almonds in a homemade granola recipe, and it worked out great! Sending you blessings in your quest for homemade yumminess!

    • Trish February 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

      Linda, it might not be as rich in protein, but you’d really just need 2 cups of bulk. I’d maybe double the Sunbutter, throw in a bunch of pumpkin seeds and maybe even puffed amaranth or rice (I know that’s more processed) just for fun. Adding some sesame seeds are nutritious, hulled ones might work well too… but, maybe don’t pulse as long in the processor.

    • Jessica Walsh May 6, 2012 at 10:45 am #

      I didn’t have enough almonds on hand so I used oatmeal for filler, they turned out really good, and probably cut down a little on the fat and calories.

    • kathryn October 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

      Oats!