Low-Carb No-Bake Protein Bars: Sugar-Free, Keto, Paleo & Vegan

The struggle is over! No more wrestling to get enough protein in. These homemade protein bars have gotcha covered. High in protein, keto-friendly, vegan, paleo, oat-free, date-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, can be made nut-free, and made with real, wholesome ingredients, your body will be fuelled to take on the day, and love ya for it.

Have you ever had sugar-free, low-carb protein bars before? They taste like sawdust. That’s why I went about making my own.

While they may be everything-free, don’t worry, they still taste absolutely incredible!

I do recommend branching out and not relying solely on these bars for your daily protein intake, they’re just a great addition to a healthy diet that’ll help boost protein levels and make a great snack. I’m a firm believer that variety is key to any healthy diet.

Many traditional protein bars have added sugar, and are more like a candy bar with protein added. OR, they taste forking disgusting. I have found some nice-tasting protein bars out there, but they’re usually full of dates (which mean high carb + high sugar). If I do find a really good keto bar, it’s usually quite pricey.

This is why I created my own keto protein bar recipe!

Not only are these bars incredibly healthy (wait ’til you see the ingredients!), but they take less than 15 minutes to prep, then all that’s left is to let them set!

Before we get started in learning how to make these low-carb protein bars – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my email newsletter at the bottom of the page to keep up to date on the latest recipes, DIYs, gardening and health tips I share!!

If you’re not a fan of chocolate, you swap out the cacao powder for pure vanilla powder! Or sub in maca, matcha, spirulina, or other flavour.

If you make these protein bars, please let me know! Leave a comment below, and if you take a picture and share it, please tag me on Instagram @simplynaturalnessa or use the hashtag #simplynaturalnessa so I can see! I’d love to know how you went!

Homemade Keto Protein Bars

You can freeze these bars, too. Just be sure to let them thaw out slightly before eating, so they aren’t too hard.

If your protein bars end up too runny to stay together after chilling, you can freeze them as a backup option. This isn’t likely to happen, but can be a side effect of a nut butter that’s too runny.

The protein powder I use is Nuzest. It has the tick of approval from my naturopath as being a good quality protein powder. They routinely test their products for heavy metals, pesticides, solvents and other contaminants, and can guarantee their products are entirely clean and free of contaminants. Their plant protein is also free of lectins, a harmful – naturally occurring – compound found in peas and other legumes in high amounts.

If using a plain protein powder that’s unsweetened, add in 2 heaping tablespoons cacao powder to give a chocolatey taste to these protein balls, or 1-2 tbsp pure vanilla powder for a delicious vanilla flavour. Other flavour options include maca, matcha, spirulina, and more.

I like to add in raw cacao melts as the “chocolate chips,” just as a healthier, sugar-free alternative.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups walnuts, divided into 1 cup and 1/4 cup
  • 1 cup almond flour or coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup chocolate or vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp pure stevia powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp almond butter, make sure it’s not too runny
  • 2 tbsp cocoa butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Changing Habits organic pure cacao melts or sugar-free vegan chocolate chips, melted; for drizzling

To make:

  1. Line a baking pan with parchment paper, allowing it to hang over the sides.
  2. Place 1 cup walnuts into a food processor or blender, and pulse until a fine, meal-like consistency forms.
  3. Add in flour, protein powder, stevia and sea salt. Pulse a few times until mixture is just combined, then scrape down the sides and pulse again.
  4. Add the almond butter and melted cacao butter, and blend continuously until a dough forms. The dough should feel firm to the touch, and when pressed, leave a fingerprint. It should not be runny or crumbly. If it’s like this, you may need to manually stir and scrape down the sides, then blend some more.
  5. Pour dough into pan and press down to evenly spread and compact the mixture. Chop up the remaining 1/4 cup walnuts and press into the top of the dough. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the top, then place the pan in fridge and chill and set for at least 1-2 hours, or until the dough becomes firm.
  6. Lift the bars out of the pan using the edges of the parchment paper, place onto a cutting board and cut into bars, using a straight down motion (do not see-saw the knife, or the bars may break).
  7. Store bars in the fridge in an airtight container, between layers of parchment paper to prevent them sticking.
These bars are best kept in the fridge, as they can become quite mousse-y if left out. You can also freeze them. Just be sure to let them thaw out slightly before eating, so they aren’t too hard.

Homemade protein bars tutorial

As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. It’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any new product, especially if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Be sure to check ingredients to make sure there is no risk of an allergic reaction.

Have you made protein bars before? What were they like? Share in the comments below.

Lots of love,

🖤 Vanessa