You would think that when you buy a pack of protein bars from your local grocery store that you’d be purchasing a solid option nutrition-wise. Unfortunately, that’s definitely not always the case. The truth of the matter is a large majority of protein bars on store shelves are loaded with sugar and other processed additives. There are exceptions of course, but they can be few and far between. I personally avoid this issue entirely by simply making my own homemade protein bars. So it’s only appropriate that I share this recipe today for making low sugar protein bars. They’re perfect for giving you a quick boost of energy without the ensuing crash that usually follows when you eat a snack that’s high in sugar.
No Sugar? No Problem!
In order to keep these protein bars low in sugar while still offering a tasty chocolate flavor, you’re going to have to be a bit selective with the ingredients you use. You’ll need to use ½ cup of chocolate protein powder – I strongly recommend always using a whey isolate protein powder (unless of course you’re making vegan-friendly protein bars). It’s simply the purest form of whey available. I personally use and suggest readers go with the Dutch Chocolate flavored whey isolate protein powder made by Isopure. It’s a tasty low carb option with an added vitamin and mineral blend – you can buy a three pound tub by clicking here.
You’re going to be pairing the chocolate protein powder with either unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder as well. Cocoa flavanols are widely known to improve your cardiovascular health, but they also provide neuroprotective effects as well, such as improved mood and cognitive functioning. (1) And since you’re using unsweetened cocoa to make sure the bars keep a low sugar content, you’ll also want to mix in three tablespoons of an all-natural low carb sugar substitute like Stevia. Add everything into a food processor, along with ¼ cup of hazelnuts as well. Hazelnuts are incredibly nutrient-dense, offering a ton of healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They also help to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease by decreasing LDL cholesterol levels, while keeping HDL levels stable. (2)
Process the aforementioned ingredients until they’re well combined, then with the processor still running, add in five tablespoons of natural almond butter before finishing the dough off by slowly adding in the unsweetened almond milk until you get a firm dough you can shape with your hands. Almonds are a great snacking option in general, and almond butter and almond milk are both incredibly good for you. Almond butter provides a solid amount of magnesium, vitamin E, and it’s also rich in antioxidants. Studies have even found that with just only four servings of nuts per week – including almond butter and hazelnuts – you can reduce your risk of heart disease by as much as 35%. (3)
After freezing the bars for a minimum of two hours, dip each bar into the melted dark chocolate, sprinkle with the remaining chopped hazelnuts, and then freeze them one last time for about 30 minutes.
More Homemade Protein Bar Recipes:
Refrigerator Paleo Protein Bars You Can Eat All Week
Homemade Beef Jerky and Dried Cherry Protein Bars
Nutrient-Dense Seed and Nut Vegan Protein Bars
Low Carb Keto Protein Bars Rich in Healthy Fat
5-Ingredient Homemade Protein Bars (Easy Recipe)
The Healthiest Protein Bars You Can Make at Home
Low Sugar Protein Bars for a Quick Boost Without the Crash
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 7 1x
½ cup chocolate protein powder
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
3 tbsp granulated stevia or other low car sweetener to taste
¼ cup hazelnuts plus extra chopped hazelnuts for decoration
5 tbsp natural almond butter
5 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
2 oz sugar free dark chocolate, melted
- In a food processor place the protein powder, cocoa powder, sweetener and hazelnuts and process to combine.
- While the food processor is running, add the almond butter.
- Slowly add the almond milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until you get a firm dough you can shape with your hands.
- Divide the dough between seven 3×1,5 inch silicone molds and press firmly.
- Freeze for minimum 2 hours.
- Remove the bars from the freezer.
- Dip each bar into the melted chocolate, sprinkle with extra chopped hazelnuts and freeze for another 30 minutes.
- Keep the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator.