Protein Granola Bars!

Hey My Chocolate Chips!

You guys are the BEST! THANK YOU for all your tips for picking a college that is right for you! Right now I am at the point in my life that I have to make a lot of decisions that will affect the outcome of the rest of my life, so thank you for making this simpler! 🙂 Also, I love your idea to make homemade fig newtons! I love a challenge, so I’ll start brainstorming and having some fun. 🙂

I now present you with my Granola Bars — that it, my PROTEIN Granola Bars.

After I made these lovelies, I compared one bar of my Protein Granola Bars (which accounted to about 49 grams) to 49 grams of the Quaker Oat Chewy Bars (I had to use 2 bars to make an even comparison). For the same amount, my Protein Granola Bars have fewer calories, less fat, less carbs (about half the amount of the QOCGB), less sugar (and even if you add the honey/agave, it is STILL a ton less!), and 4x the amount of protein!

In addition, those Quaker Oat Chewy Bars have an ENOURMOUS ingredient list.

GRANOLA (WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, BROWN SUGAR, CRISP RICE [RICE FLOUR, SUGAR, SALT, MALTED BARLEY EXTRACT], WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED WHEAT, SOYBEAN OIL, DRIED COCONUT, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, SODIUM BICARBONATE, SOY LECITHIN, CARAMEL COLOR, NONFAT DRY MILK), SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS (SUGAR, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, COCOA BUTTER, SOY LECITHIN, VANILLA EXTRACT), CORN SYRUP, BROWN RICE CRISP (WHOLE GRAIN BROWN RICE, SUGAR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, SALT), INVERT SUGAR, SUGAR, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, GLYCERIN, SOYBEAN OIL. CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF SORBITOL, CALCIUM CARBONATE, SALT, WATER, SOY LECITHIN, MOLASSES, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BHT (PRESERVATIVE), CITRIC ACID.

I don’t even want to count how many different sugars are in those Quaker Oat things! How many different kinds of sugar do you need in a little bar?

I would much rather eat these Homemade Protein Granola Bars ANYDAY! Compared to that prepackaged stuff, these Protein Bars fill you up, taste better, and are nutritionally better for you. 🙂

Protein Granola Bars

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Notes: These are Vegan, Whole Grain, Low in sugar, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and absolutely DELICIOUS! They are perfect for an afternoon snack and would be a delicious addition to your breakfast alongside a morning smoothie!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cup rolled oats or oat bran (make sure it’s uncontaminated for gluten-free)
  • 3/4 cup unflavored protein powder (this is the kind I used)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup walnut almond butter
  • 3 bananas, the riper the better
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (1/4 cup of this can be honey/agave — the honey/agave makes it extra yummy, but is optional)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

See below for substitution notes.

Directions:

Combine the oats, protein powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

In a larger bowl, combine the walnut almond butter, mashed bananas, milk, and vanilla. (add your honey/agave too if you prefer bars to be sweet)

Add the dry to the wet and stir to combine.

Fold in the Raisins, Sunflower Seeds, and Chocolate Chips.

Pour the oat mixture into a baking pan (I used a 9×13) and spread it out with a spoon.

Bake at 350* for 16-20 minutes, or until firm and lightly golden brown around the edges. Let cool. Cut into bars. To store, just wrap them in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for easy transportation.

These granola bars aren’t made with sugar, but to make sweeter, just use 1/3 cup honey for agave in place of part of the almond milk, or add stevia to taste. With the protein powder — it can be whatever flavor you want it to be. I like to use unflavored protein powder because I like to control the taste of the bars, but any flavor would do. Vanilla would be VERY yummy. 🙂

If you want to amp up the protein EVEN MORE, replace the rolled oats with oat bran and peanuts with soy nuts. If you don’t care for chocolate, just replace it with more raisins. Still very delicious.

These are better than ANY of those other bars you buy in the store! And cheaper too!

Which do you use more often? Agave, Honey, or Stevia? I use stevia the most.

What kinds of sweeteners do you use? I try to avoid using white sugar; I prefer natural sources of sugar — like stevia, fruit, agave/honey, maple syrup, and molasses. Even though they are natural, I try use them in moderation.

Chocolate or Carob? I’m really liking carob right now, but I love chocolate too! 😉

xoxox,

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78 thoughts on “Protein Granola Bars!

  1. Thank you thank you thank you!! (Can you see I like your recipe? 🙂 These bars sound so good and healthy, the ingredients are awesome compared to anything you can find at stores here 🙂
    I try to sweeten my meals with fruit to keep it simple. But sometimes a bit of molasses is exactly what a recipe needs!
    I am all for carob. Chocolate is great, but I feel like carob offers more possibilites, I like its unusual taste and also that it is not “addictive”. It makes the best choco oatmeal even without using any chocolate 🙂

    • I like carob too! I can eat carob in the evening and I won’t stay up til 3am in the morning, unlike if I eat chocolate! (yes, I have done that from experience; the little bit of caffiene in the chocolate keeps me up.)

  2. Gorgeous bars!! I rarely use any of the above sweeteners just because my grad student budget doesn’t allow for it, haha. I usually just sweeten with white sugar although it’s a mega no-no in the blogging world. I’m not really a chocolate OR carob person! I’m a vanilla girl all the way (even though I just made chocolate overnight oats… whoops!)

    • Don’t worry — I love vanilla too! I have my days when ALL I want is vanilla. 🙂 I totally understand the college thing. Even if the blogging world says no to white sugar, keeping sugar in moderation in general is all that counts (and I know you do that). 🙂

  3. These look amazing! I love using carob as opposed to cocoa, just cause I love how naturally sweet it is! And for sweeteners I usually use fruit!

  4. Ooh are these the granola bars you were emailing me about? I could definitely include these for FFF! I think they look fabulous! They’re just like the granola bars from the supermarket but waaay better nutritionally.
    I use stevia the most, but if I’m going to use other sweeteners I prefer it to be honey, molasses, or agave because they have some great nutritional benefits.

  5. These look tasty! I always spend so much money on buying bars in the store. I’ll have to try these and save money! These look way better than anything I’ve ever bought too!

  6. I prefer carob to chocolate because it doesn’t have the same stimulating effect, and I am in love with brown rice syrup. I’ll use stevia, barley malt and molasses sometimes too, but most of the time I’ll just use brown rice syrup. It’s my baby 🙂

  7. Aj, I really hate those kinds of ingredient lists :O I cant believe that some people feel comfortable eating them! Your sounds SO much better 😀 And yummiii too!
    I stay away from white sugar! I usually use maple sirup or maple sugar! Really love the flavor of maple!
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe Kath 🙂

  8. Aww girl you’ve done it again!! You’ve created an incredible, healthy recipe that has left me drooling 😀 Really, when is you’re cookbook coming out?! I need it in my hands so I can look at incredible, delicious recipes all day long! 🙂

    I use stevia the most too, then agave, and then honey. But I love them all!

    Chocolate or carob? Ohhh I can’t decide! I LOVE them both soooo much! 🙂

    I hope you’re doing fabulous, Kathleen! Love you!

    ❤ ❤

  9. Homemade stuff is always so much better than storebought. I’m not a fan of those Quaker bars. My favorite packaged granola bars are the Sunbelt ones, but we don’t buy them anymore because they have soooo much sugar! They sure are tasty though.

  10. Yaaaaay! These are so bookmarked. I love a good protein granola bar recipe, so I’m definitely going to make these when the baking bug hits – I adore the ingredients list! Out of those 3, I use honey the most, but maple syrup and cane sugar is what I usually use in my baking. And I like both carob and chocolate, but chocolate usually wins out 😀

  11. impressive stats! Quaker chewy bars are just plain nasty…I used to love them as a kid but now I realize that they’re just a bunch of sugar bound together by oats with some chocolate chips added in..haha. Yours look almost fudge like! I would probably go with ALL chocolate chips 😛 raisins aren’t my thang

  12. This looks delicious and I love that there is no wheat involved! I have a wheat allergy so these will be perfect for me to make and bring to work 🙂 Thanks!

  13. GREAT recipe, Kat! 🙂 I use honey or maple syrup or even just peanut butter in place of both butter and sugar 🙂

    My mom is actually allergic to stevia (weird, I know :/) so we keep it out of the house!!

  14. YUM! These look great! haha I was known to eat so many of those quaker oat bars back in the day but realized they 1) didn’t feel me up and 2) aren’t really that good… I’ll have to give this recipe a try because it looks amazing and of course MUCH healthier

  15. I love the ingredients – I bet they’re yummy!

    I’ve been into honey lately as a sweetener, but I’m not a die-hard fan of anything in particular.

  16. Mmmm…looks good, I LOVE homemade granola bars. Do you think you could leave out the protein powder? I use all different kind of sweeteners…a lot of Splenda (I know, I know), just started agave, sometimes honey, sometimes sugar…have never tried Stevia though.

        • Hey Becky! There’s about 2 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein per bar (about 130 calories each). It also depends on if you use peanuts in place of sunflower seeds, oat bran in place of rolled oats, and what kind of protein powder you use. Those kinds of things can change the nutritional value of it. But when compared to the Quaker chewy granola bars (and how these bars are twice the size for the same calories), these bars have twice the fiber and almost 4x the protein.

          Hope this helps!

  17. I love granola bars but I absolutely hate all of the garbage thats in the store bought ones! Once again you’ve given me yet another recipe to add to my to-make list!!

    I love using honey, agave nectar, maple syrup and brown rice syrup in place of white sugar! It’s funny I made muffins yesterday with organic sugar and afterwards I thought “darn I wish I would have used agave nectar!”

    I’ve never baked or experimented with protein powders so I’m now very intrigued!

  18. I love how you manage to healthify things and yet they still look oh so delicious. I quit eating those chewy granola bars long ago…once I realized they might as well be a candy bar!

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  26. I love these bars, however, I wanted to point out that the Printer-Friendly version mentions flax in the directions, but it isn’t listed in the ingredient list. I used 1/3 cup – sound right? This recipe is great because it seems like you can substitute all kinds of things. How does it work with applesauce as opposed to bananas? Although the bananas are a natural sweetner. 😉

    • Hey Carol!A 1/3 cup flax sounds right to me. I’m sorry for the mix-up. I actually haven’t tried applesauce in place of the bananas, but I’m sure it would act in the same way. One of my other readers (Leah, see below) tried pumpkin and she said she really liked it that way too, so I’m sure most fruit purees would work. 🙂

  27. These are the most amazing protein bars! And I’ve left some of the mixture uncooked and stored it in individual cups as a quick oatmeal breakfast for this week. I LOVE THIS RECIPE!!!

    • Hey Kathy! 🙂

      If you use all of the ingredients listed and cut these into 22 bars (48g each) the facts for each bar are:
      127 cal, 5.2 g. fat, 14.4g carb., 1.9 grams fiber, 4.4g sugar, 6.8g prot.

      (This calculation is one I made today with caloriecount.about.com’s recipe analyzer — they may have changed ingredient information in their database since the first time I made these bars.)

      I hope this helps! 😀

  28. If I were to make these with flaked quinoa instead of oats would I still need 2 1/2 cups or do you think that would need to be adjusted?

    • Hi Ryan! 🙂 I’ve never used flaked quinoa before, but I’ve heard it’s a lot like oats. I would say add 1 cup, stir it in, then add some more in 1/2 cup-increments if needed or until the mixture is slightly thick. You don’t want the batter dry, so add as much quinoa flakes as it takes (depending on how absorbent the quinoa flakes are.) I’m sure it’ll work just like the oats or oat bran does. 🙂 Let me know how the quinoa flakes turn out — I would love to hear how it goes for you! 😀

  29. We LOVE these granola bars! I was spending a fortune on organic granola bars, filled with a bunch of unnecessary ingredients. This recipe is soooo adaptable, which is great because we have a nut allergy here. The kids don’t love the bananas in the recipe–and I can rarely keep bananas around long enough for them to get very ripe–so I’ve been using pumpkin. Thanks!

    • Hey Leah! I’m so glad that you like these bars! They are definitely one of my favorites to make when I’m in the mood for a snack. I love all of the different combinations you can make with this too — thanks for sharing your experience with the pumpkin! 🙂

  30. Seems like a cool recipe! What can I used to replace protein powder? It’s not readily accessble here and I don’t want to buy a 5 pound tub of it! Cheers(L

    • Hey! You could try using cooked quinoa if you have it available in place of the oats and protein powder (since quinoa is a natural grain-source of protein), or just leave out the protein powder and replace it with more rolled oats. The latter won’t be as high in protein but they’ll still taste good. 🙂

      Good luck! 🙂

  31. Thank you so much for this recipe. I have been searching for so long for a recipe for a granola bar that is not full of sugar and has plenty of protein for my son who does 4 hours of gymnastics a week. I made these today (with changes based on my family’s preferences) AND THEY ARE great. Left out honey and they are sweet enough for us! This is a keeper and very versatile.

    • Hey MrsB! 🙂 Thanks for sharing with me your experience making these. I’m so glad you and your family like them as much as I do! One of my favorite aspects of this recipe is how versatile they are. I love mixing it up with different combinations fruit, nuts, nut butters, chocolates, dried fruits, carob, etc! ❤

  32. These are amazing, thank you! (confession: I was eating the unbaked mix when the first batch was baking because it’s really so good even when raw) I substituted the protein powder for more oats, like you advised, and substituted the walnut almond butter for some almond butter I made myself (with almonds and 1.5 tablespoon of peanut butter because I’m not a fan of walnut) Thank you (: Will definitely make these again, gonna be my lunch for the rest of my life.

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