This peanut butter oatmeal protein bar recipe has become a weekly staple in our house of late. I am going to make a little confession – Hubby and I eat a lot of bars. They are a quick and efficient snack, and a way to keep going throughout the day. When I am on the road for work, I always pack a bag full of different bars – in case a meal is late or missed, or there are no healthy snack options around the hotel, I like to be prepared.
But let’s be real. Protein bars are 1) quite pricey (up to 3 dollars a bar is not uncommon!!!); and 2) not exactly “natural.” Although there are some pretty decent options available these days. But for a girl who strives to make as much of the food we eat from scratch as possible, and who also tries to minimize packaged, processed foods (even if they are “healthy”), protein bars don’t really fit the bill.
So I’ve been on the search for some tasty homemade healthy options that still meet the “quick and efficient” requirement. And could even be pack-able if necessary. Enter this peanut butter oatmeal protein bar recipe! These are:
- Easy to make
- Only use a few ingredients
- Can be easily modified for your personal preference, or the ingredients you have on hand
If you’ve ever tried a GoMacro bar, these aren’t quiiiiite a true copycat, but they are similar in texture and flavor.
Are these Cheaper than Store-bought Protein Bars?
I was also curious to do a price breakdown on this protein bar recipe. I usually get my hemp hearts, chia seeds, maple syrup, and peanut butter from Costco, which probably adds to the savings since those can tend to be pricey ingredients. Keeping that in mind, here’s the price break down for these homemade protein bars…
Whoa!! 35 cents?!? I figured these would be cheaper than a store bought bar for sure, but this is a savings of $2.65 from any $3.00 bar you would buy, like our favorite GoMacro bars I mentioned earlier. If you were buying 10 of those a week… you would SAVE more than $25 dollars just by making these tasty, easy, simple, bars at home! That’s a win-win in my book! 🙂
Protein Bar Recipe Time!
Shall we get into this protein bar recipe? I hope you find these bars as tasty and satisfying as we do! And that you have some fun experimenting with different ingredients to find the flavor combination(s) that you like the best!
- 1½ cups rolled old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup honey (or ¼ cup honey & ¼ cup maple syrup, see notes)
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp flax seeds
- 4 tbsp hemp hearts
- ½ - 1 tsp cinnamon (adjust amount by preference)
- 35 g protein powder (optional, see notes)
- 1 pinch salt
- If desired, blend 1/2 cup of the oatmeal into oat flour. Or, partially blend the full 1 ½ cups so that you have a mixture of course flour and some partial oat pieces.
- Combine in a heat-proof bowl: oatmeal, oat flour, seeds, cinnamon, salt, and any additional ingredients. Mix to evenly distribute.
- Combine the peanut butter, honey, and maple syrup (if using) in a saucepan (non-stick preferred).
- Heat on medium heat, stirring often, until fully combined and runny enough to easily pour. This should take just a few minutes.
- Pour peanut butter mixture over remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. It will become the consistency of a very thick cookie dough.
- Transfer to a small cookie sheet and press out to desired shape/thickness. I recommend lining the cookie sheet with parchment paper, and also putting a piece of parchment on top of the bars so you can press them into shape without the bars sticking to your hands or utensil.
- Place in fridge for at least 1 hour to cool before cutting into bars.
- Store in a sealed bag or container in the fridge for up to 10 days.
- If they are too chewy straight out of the fridge, let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before enjoying.
- Protein powder
- Walnuts or other nuts
- Dried fruit (bananas, apples...)
- Other spices like Chinese 5 spice, nutmeg, ginger
- Chocolate chips. Save out to add on top - they will melt if mixed in with the rest of the ingredients! Sprinkle them on the bars after they are pressed into shape, and then gently press them into the top of the bars.