I am a big fan of nutty chewy chocolaty granola bars. Needless to say, most commercial protein chewy granola bars have lots of preservatives, palm kernel oil and/or corn syrup added, are super expensive and are just too sweet for my preference. Many seem to have a lot of fat, but most of that fat comes from healthy nuts, so I’m pretty forgiving there. Here’s a good example:
Even though the protein content is high at 10 grams and the sugar content is moderate at 7 grams, the Nature Valley bars use palm kernel oil in the coating and corn syrup as a sweetener.
So I’ve been looking for a homemade chewy protein-rich granola bar recipe that incorporates less sugar, but with a touch of sweet all while boasting healthy whole ingredients. This one fits the formula nicely. I start with whole oats and a high quality whey protein like the Muscle Pharm I pick up at Costco. Most whey protein powders are the same, but look for brands that contain whey protein isolate as this form absorbs quicker into the body (makes for a good post-workout source of protein). I add ground flax, oat bran, sliced almonds, some shredded coconut, mini chocolate chips, peanut or almond butter, grapeseed or coconut oil, a touch of agave nectar, soy milk and spices like cinnamon and vanilla. Bake for 18 minutes or so and you’ve got the best, most wholesome granola bar you and your family can enjoy anytime and for half the cost of store-bought.
- High Protein Chewy Granola Bars
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder (I used Muscle Pharm whey protein isolate from Costco)
- 1 Tbsp ground flax
- 1 Tbsp oat bran
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup peanut butter (or any nut butter)
- 1/4 cup grapeseed or coconut oil
- 1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup vanilla soymilk (or any milk)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds (or any nut)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and coat a 7 x 11-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Combine oats, protein powder, flax, oat bran, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Combine peanut butter, grapeseed oil, agave nectar, brown sugar, soy milk and vanilla in a medium bowl. Whisk together until fully combined.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until fully combined. Fold in chocolate chips, coconut and almonds (or any other mix-in you want).
- Pour mixture into the prepared baking pan. Using a spatula or your hands, spread the mixture evenly in the pan, pressing down firmly.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until edges begin to turn golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 20 minutes before cutting into bars.
Nutrition information per bar (with mix-ins): 188 calories, 10 grams fat, 10 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrate (7 grams sugar)
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