Homemade Low-Carb Protein Bars (Sugar-Free, Keto, Paleo, Vegan)

Have you ever had sugar-free, low-carb protein bars before? They taste like sawdust. That’s why I went about making my own 1) because then I know exactly what’s in it (no sneaky additives getting through!), and 2) I can add ingredients in that will make it taste absolutely beast… and I’m happy to share these bars actually taste delicious, and something you want to go back for seconds or thirds on 😉

Also also also! For those who, like me, struggle to get enough protein in throughout the day (especially being on a plant-based diet – I’ve found it quite challenging), the struggle is over! These homemade protein bars have gotcha covered 😉 High in protein, keto-friendly, vegan-friendly, sugar-free, paleo, oat-free, date-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, can be made nut-free, and made with real, wholesome, raw ingredients to fuel your body, mind, and soul! While they may be everything-free, don’t worry, they still taste absolutely beast!

High in protein, keto-friendly, vegan, paleo, oat-free, date-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, can be made nut-free, and made with real, wholesome, raw ingredients to fuel your body, mind and soul.

I do recommend branching out and not relying solely on these protein bars for your daily protein intake, they’re just a great addition to help boost up protein levels & make a great healthy snack (great for post workout too!). I’m a firm believer that variety is key to any healthy diet, so I’ve been branching out and trying a few different protein recipes (more to come!) to boost my protein levels in a tasty way (and so I’m not relying solely on protein powder!).

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

This is why I created my own chocolate keto protein bar recipe, so it can still taste like chocolate without the extra sugar.

These no-bake protein bars fresh outta the fridge – just prior to them being cut into bars!

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! Then voila! You have your homemade healthy low-carb protein bars all ready to take away with you!

If you’re a grab-and-go type ‘o snack person, you need these in your life…

If you’re not a fan of chocolate, you can switch up the ingredients to change up the flavours! Simply swap out the cacao powder for pure vanilla powder! Or sub in maca, matcha, spirulina, or other flavour to spice up your bars.

Before we get started in learning how to make these delicious chocolatey 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 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 go!

These bars are best kept in the fridge, as if left out they can become quite moussey. You can also freeze these bars. Just be sure to let them thaw out slightly before eating, so they aren’t too hard.

Other keto protein recipes to make

Keto protein bars recipe

Recipe adapted from Wholesome Yum.

Makes 12 bars.

They make such a great pre/post-workout snack, or something healthy to have during the day to boost protein.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups walnuts, divided into 1 cup and 1/4 cup (or can use hazelnuts or other favourite nut/seed – just be sure to get blanched hazelnuts if using as this ensures a smooth texture in your bars. If they have skins, roast them in oven for a few minutes at 180°C (350°F) until toasted, then rub between 2 sides of a kitchen towel to remove skins before using in this recipe)
  • 1 cup almond flour (or can use almond meal if can’t find almond flour – will just be more gritty)
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured protein powder – I like Nuzest (or can use collagen protein powder for better results – less gritty texture)
  • 1/2 tsp pure stevia powder (look for 100% steviol glycosides on ingredients list)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp almond butter (make sure it’s not too runny)
  • 28 g cacao butter, melted
  • Optional: sugar-free dark chocolate chips, melted; for drizzling

To make:

  1. Line a baking pan with parchment paper (or reusable silicon baking sheets), allowing it to hang over at least 2 sides.
  2. Place 1 cup of walnuts into a food processor. Pulse until you get a fine meal-like consistency.
  3. Add in almond flour, cacao powder, protein powder, stevia, and sea salt. Pulse a few times until mixture is just combined. Scrape down sides of food processor and pulse again.
  4. Add the almond butter and melted cacao butter, and process continuously until a dough forms. The dough should pull away from the centre, feel firm to the touch, and when pressed, leave a fingerprint. You want it to be firm and shiny, not runny or crumbly. If it’s not at that desired consistency, you may need to manually stir and scrape down the sides, then process some more.
  5. Pour out mixture into pan lined with baking paper and press the dough down tightly and evenly into the lined pan (you want it to be compact so it sets properly without breaking later on). Chop up the remaining 1/4 cup of walnuts and press into the top of the dough. If you like, you can drizzle melted chocolate over the top.
  6. Place pan in fridge and chill for at least 1-2 hours, or until the dough becomes very firm. Lift the bars out of the pan using the edges of the parchment paper, place onto a cutting board and cut into 12 bars, using a straight down motion or rocking motion (do not see-saw, or the bars may crumble and break).
  7. Store bars in the fridge in an airtight container, between layers of parchment paper (to prevent sticking together).

Note: 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 low carb low sugar 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 almond butter that’s too runny.
To make nut-free, simply: sub out the walnuts for sunflower seeds (which you’ll blend into a fine meal/powder), sub out the almond flour for coconut flour, & switch the almond butter for sunflower seed butter!

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 allergic reaction to it.

Protein bars recipe tutorial

Have you made protein bars before? What were they like?! Share your favourite recipe below! We love getting your suggestions on recipes to try!

Lots of love,

🖤 Vanessa

Sources:

Krampf, Maya. (February 26, 2020). Keto Low Carb Protein Bars Recipe. Wholesome Yum. Retrieved from https://www.wholesomeyum.com/keto-low-carb-protein-bars-recipe/