Chocolate Chip Protein Bars Recipe

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These Chocolate Chip Protein Bars are a fantastic, clean eating snack you make in batches at home!

I don’t know about you, but paying $4 for a single protein bar puts a bit of a strain on my wallet. Especially when I like eating them on a regular basis. That’s why I love making my own bars. Specifically, this clean eating chocolate chip protein bars recipe.

A tray filled with Chocolate Chip Protein Bar batter sits ready to go into the oven for baking.

I came across an article on eHow.com, on how to make your own protein bars. It just gave a general outline, so I printed it out and got to work. I tried several different methods and many different ingredients.

The main thing I found is  that the oats you use make all the difference. And it really comes down to personal preference.

Clean Eating Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Protein Bars Recipe

If you like a harder, chewier bar, use old fashioned oats (not the quick cook kind). But if you use these, be prepared to let the bars sit for a few days in an air tight container before you eat them. Otherwise, it’s very similar to chewing hay (not that I chew a lot of hay, mind you, it’s just the image that came to mind when I tried these bars with the rougher oats).

If you like a softer bar (which I do), then use quick cook oats (the 3 minute kind).

Other than that, the recipe is pretty basic and very easy.Clean Eating Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

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CHOCOLATE CHIP PROTEIN BARS RECIPE:

Clean Eating Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

Chocolate Chip Protein Bars Recipe

Need a healthy snack on the go? These cinnamon chocolate chip protein bars are great to keep on hand for those "hangry" moments.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 15 bars
Calories: 230kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

Ingredients

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup peanut butter (no sugar added)
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup apple sauce (unsweetened)
  • 2 tbsp. dark chocolate chips (grain sweetened is best)
  • 1 cup whey protein powder (see link above)
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
     
  • Roasted the oats in the oven on a cookie sheet, without oil, for 10-15 minutes. Cool completely.
  • IMPORTANT: BE SURE your oats have cooled down completely from being roasted or they will totally melt your chocolate chips.
  • Knead all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well combined.
    Clean Eating Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Protein Bars Recipe
  • Spread out the batter on a cookie sheet or other baking dish (I used a quarter sheet here).
    Clean Eating Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Protein Bars Recipe
  • Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until the bars are a nice golden brown color.
    Clean Eating Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Protein Bars Recipe
  • Cut and allow to cool. Store in a zipper-top plastic bag or food storage container.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 265mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 2.2mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 1.7mg
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313 Comments

  1. I was wondering if I could use hemp powder instead of protein powder. The hemp powder I have is 15g protein to 4 tbsp should I still use a cup or use the 4 tbsp and then add oat flour to the mixture to replace the lack of dry ingredients.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lexie – I would have no way of knowing. Every powder will react differently in a recipe depending on its texture, thickness and substance. I haven’t worked much with hemp powder, so I don’t know what it’s like to bake with. I’m really sorry, I wish I could be more help.

  2. Hi!
    I am just starting to eat and cook clean and I was wondering if you could do a post on protein powders? How to find clean products and how to use them in bar and muffin recipes.
    Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Rachel – Sure. I’ll see what I can come up with. 🙂

  3. I was just wondering if you had any suggestions as to using pb2 instead of peanut butter.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lexie – I haven’t seen a jar yet that is actually clean. That’s not to say it doesn’t exist, I just haven’t seen them. I know lots of people use it though.

  4. I have only ever found one and that was on Amazon it is called Betty Lou’s Just Great Powdered Peanut Butter. It is Certified Gluten Free and USDA Organic.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lexie – But I wonder about the powdered stuff. What kind of processing it goes through to get to that state.

  5. Hi Tiffany, I love your blog! I’ve heard and read that whey is a by product of cheese and is toxic. I haven’t done extensive research on this however and I try to stay clear of it and use vegan protein powders. Do you have any thoughts on this?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Julie – The truth is, no protein powder is clean. But many clean eaters use it anyway for convenience. It’s totally a personal choice.

  6. Can you omit the protien powder completely and still have them turn out the same?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Linde – Probably, but you may want to add a little extra oat flour for consistency. You’ll have to play it by ear.

  7. Catherine says:

    Delicious! I subbed tahini and cranberries for the peanut butter and choc chips. Delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Catherine – My pleasure! Glad it worked out! 🙂

  8. I love this one and would really like to try it. I just wish every bar recipe I see didn’t have peanut butter or nuts in them. I have a son who is allergic to Peanuts and nuts so finding an alternative has been challenging to say the least. Any suggestions?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Khales – The reason for that is that the nut butter binds everything together. You could maybe try a baked recipe that uses eggs, but I haven’t found one like that. I’d have to get into the kitchen and experiment. Brown rice syrup is also an option, but does add a lot more sugar.

  9. Thank you. I’m just getting into this clean eats and haven’t done a lot of experimenting but hope to soon. I can maybe find something else. Haven’t tried the Sunflower butter yet.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Khales – That’s always an option!

  10. Just a question, I thought you were not supposed to cook protein powder because it breaks down the protein?? Is protein powder a clean food?? Just curious but this is what I have been told 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Vickie – No, protein powder is not clean. But you would be hard pressed to get most clean eaters to give it up. That and coffee….
      I’ve seen lots of people bake with it. Admittedly, I don’t know anything about the protein breaking down. But I do know some protein powders are better than others, so maybe it depends on what brand you get? I’m not sure. Sorry, wish I had a better answer for you.

  11. I’m waiting for my oven to preheat so I can roast the oats and make these. I’m using regular old chocolate chips since our grocery store is small and is seriously lacking, but I’m okay with that. Also using chocolate whey protein since that’s all my husband buys. Cannot wait to try these!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kimberly – I hope you enjoy them!

  12. Sheri Waddell says:

    Is there anything that can substitute for the applesauce? I have an extreme intolerance for apples in any form or amount. Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sheri – I haven’t tried it myself, but you could try yogurt instead. Or even pear sauce or some other fruit sauce.

  13. I would love to try these bars but being a diabetic, honey spikes my sugars terribly. Do you think if i cut the honey in half and used sugar free maple syrup for the other half that they would still turn out ok?
    Or do you have any other suggestions to still get the right texture since i believe it is the caramelizing effect your looking for with this recipe?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Melissa – I wouldn’t be clean, but yes. You could sub with the sugar free stuff. I’ve never baked with it, but if it bakes the same way as regular maple syrup then it should be fine.

  14. Should these be stored in the freezer or refrigerator, or can they just be left in ziplock baggies room temp?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Bianca – I would store them in baggies in the fridge for up to a week. If you need to store longer than that, just pop them in the freezer.

  15. I tried these last night. I made a few substitutions – No protein powder and maple syrup in place of honey, almond butter in place of peanut butter. (allergy in the house) My chocolate chips were organic, but did have an emulsifier in it. I threw in some sunflower & pumpkin seeds for texture. It solved the old fashioned oats/ hay issue as they came out very moist and probably wont get that crunchy bar consistency. The kids didn’t even ask where the ature alley wrappers were! 😉

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jeanne – I’m glad you enjoyed them! 😀

  16. I’m trying to find a recipe for a bar that I can mail to someone. I want something that will hold up in a box for a maybe 3 days and not melt and get disgusting if it sits in a hot truck at some point along the way. Would these hold up?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jamie – If you replace the chocolate chips with raisins or cranberries, these should be fine. But you’ll still need to package them carefully. Styrofoam works wonders!

  17. Hi Tiffany! Tomorrow I will make the Freedom Brownies, which I’m excited about, but I also plan on making these bars. I am very sensitive to things even in the cleanest protein powders. What else can I substitute for the protein power?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Michele – I would just leave it out to be honest. I don’t think there is a substitute for protein powder. Not that I know of anyway.

      1. I have substituted the protein powder with coconut flour, which is high in protein. I use just 1/2 cup of coconut flour, and increase the apple sauce by 1/4 cup, because coconut flour is very absorbent. I can’t have whey, either.

        1. The Gracious Pantry says:

          Carolyn – I’m so happy you found something that works! That’s a great substitution!

  18. Brandologist says:

    How long will the bars keep for?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Brandologist – If you keep them in the fridge, about a week. Longer in the freezer.

  19. Is there an approximate calorie count per bar ?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Carolyn – You would have the enter the recipe into a recipe calculator and divide by the number of bars you end up with.

  20. I’ve been making these for a couple of years now. They are perfect for an on-the-go breakfast and super yummy. I use Pure Protein Vanilla Creme powder because it’s a perfect base for almost any protein shake or recipe and only has 2 grams of sugar (I’m diabetic). Thank you so much for this recipe! For the lady who asked about nutrition info, here is the breakdown according to the recipe I plugged into myfitnesspal.com:

    1 tbsp, Spices, cinnamon, ground
    0.50 cup, Honey
    2 tbsp(s), Organic Chia Seeds
    0.50 Cup, Apple Sauce Unsweetened
    16 Tbs, Organic Peanut Butter, Creamy – Unsweetened & No Salt
    2 cup, Rolled Oats
    3 scoop, Whey Protein shake
    2 tbsp (15g), Grain Sweetened Chocolate Chips

    Nutrition Facts
    Servings 15.0
    Amount Per Serving
    calories 237
    % Daily Value *
    Total Fat 11 g 18 %
    Saturated Fat 2 g 11 %
    Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
    Trans Fat 0 g
    Cholesterol 17 mg 6 %
    Sodium 21 mg 1 %
    Potassium 205 mg 6 %
    Total Carbohydrate 25 g 8 %
    Dietary Fiber 4 g 15 %
    Sugars 12 g
    Protein 11 g 22 %
    Vitamin A 0 %
    Vitamin C 0 %
    Calcium 7 %
    Iron 7 %

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Amy – So happy you are enjoying the protein bars! 😀

  21. I was just curious as to the benefit or purpose of roasting the oats beforehand? How does this change the end result…

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Brenna – It’s a flavor thing. Much like sautéing onions. 🙂

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