Make your own homemade protein bars with just a few simple ingredients. These Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars are the perfect post-workout or afternoon snack.
Talking with many of you on Facebook or Instagram you have requested a look into what I meal prep each week. When I first started meal prepping a few years ago I usually just cooked grilled chicken and prepped a snack. Then I started getting a lot more into it realizing taking a few hours to prep meals on the weekend meant I had a lot more free time during the work week.
One of the very first snacks I ever prepped were my Oatmeal Raison Energy Bites. While those bites are delicious I was looking for something that had a bit more protein, especially because at the time I was working out in the afternoon. And sometimes I didn’t have energy bites prepped so we ate Protein Bars such as Quest Bars for a snack. I do love a good Quest Bar every now and then, but they aren’t packed with the cleanest ingredients and come with a price tag more than I’m willing to spend each week. If you think the same thing then these are some protein bar favorites among women so maybe you can find one you like. I thought I would try to make my own though.
These Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars have protein, healthy fats, good carbohydrates and are made with only a few other ingredients. They can be prepped in 10 minutes and cost much less than the average protein bar. While they have a bit more sugar from the dates and honey than some protein bars, these are real unrefined and not artificial sweeteners which I’m all for. Not to mention they also taste delicious.
To make these protein bars you’ll need oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Whole Oats), dates, honey, peanut butter, vanilla extract, chocolate chips, and protein powder (I have been loving Vega Protein). I start by soaking the dates in some water for at least 20 minutes, it helps soften them and makes processing them much easier. But if you don’t have time for this step it’s ok.
Process the oats and dates in a food processor. When the dates are chopped and oats look like oat flour I add the honey, peanut butter, vanilla, and protein powder and pulse until all the ingredients are blended. The ‘dough’ will be very thick and you might need to use a spatula to move it around a bit between pulses.
Then stir in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula. These are optional, you could leave them out or you could replace them with cocoa nibs or peanuts.
You will then want to spread the mixture out using your hands or a rubber spatula into a 9×9 inch baking pan covered with parchment paper. You use the parchment paper so you can easily get the bars out of the pan. Then let them sit in the refrigerator for an hour before cutting.
I cut them into 8 rectangular bars, you could also cut them into 16 squares for smaller servings. I keep them stored in a Tupperware container in the refrigerator for the week.
I love having a healthy and clean protein bar to snack. These help keep me full before/after a workout or help me survive the rest of the afternoon at work. Anyone else feel themselves dragging by the end of the work week? I love the combo of healthy fat from the peanut butter, good carbohydrates and fiber from the oats, and protein from the powder. All ingredients to help keep you fuller longer.
Remember if you try making these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars tag me on Instagram @sweetandstrongblog and use the hashtag #sweetandstrong
- 10 whole pitted dates
- 2 cups whole oats
- 1 cup drippy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- Add the 10 dates to a bowl of water and let soak for 20 minutes. If you don’t have time, skip this step.
- Add soaked dates and whole oats to a food processor and pulse until dates are chopped and oats have become an oat flour.
- Add the peanut butter, honey, vanilla, and protein powder to the date and oat mixture. Pulse for a few minutes until all the ingredients have blended. You may need to take the lid off and move the ‘dough’ around with a rubber spatula.
- Once ingredients are combined stir in the mini chocolate chips.
- Line a 9×9 inch baking dish with parchment paper and spread the mixture out evenly.
- Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour then remove and cut bars into 8 rectangular bars or 16 squares.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
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Like this Recipe? Then try:
Healthy Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats
Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bites
Chocolate ‘Caramel’ Protein Fudge
Questions of the Day:
What do you eat for an afternoon snack?
What’s your favorite protein bar flavor?
Tell me something delicious on your plate this week.