One of my most popular recipes of all time has been my homemade, sugar-free Cinnamon Vanilla Protein Bars … but not because I made them, but because they’re just delicious!
Does anyone else have a mad love for breakfast bars in the morning with coffee or tea?
I always have. The NutriGrain bars were my favorite as a kid, but when I migrated away from the sugary options, I needed something to replace them.
Because sometimes, a bar is just easy, no matter how much I do love a cold, protein-rich smoothie in the morning. Call it nostalgia, call it a need for convenience, whatever. I just love something simple to nibble on with a piping mug of mocha java coffee each morning.
So, here’s my recipe for Cinnamon Vanilla Protein Bars. These are easy to make and really hit the spot first thing in the day, but they also make nice afternoon snacks if you’re a “bar in the afternoon” kinda person. Crumbly, sweet, and not artificial-tasting, these bars are also filled with healthy protein, fiber, healthy fats, and contain no sugar, chemicals, GMO’s, and they’re even grain-free and gluten-free too.
Think long-term energy and satiety with no nasty sugar crash … enjoy!
- -1 cup your choice protein powder (I like using an unsweetened whey protein here, but any option should work)
- -1/2 cup coconut flour
- -1/4 cup flax meal
- -1 tsp. cinnamon
- -1/8 tsp. ginger (optional)
- -1/16 tsp. cardamom (optional)
- - 1 tsp. real vanilla bean powder or 2 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla extract
- -2 tablespoons coconut shreds (unsweetened)
- -2 teaspoons stevia glycerite (this helps hold it together better than regular stevia)
- -1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- -1 cup cold (not iced) water
- -coconut shreds for garnish (optional)
- First, add all your dry ingredients in a bowl and sift thoroughly. This is important so all the different flavors/textures of the flours you are using are blended together as much as possible.
- In another bowl, add your wet ingredients together and stir just a couple times to mix them well.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir several times very slowly so that everything starts to form together in a large ball. (It should be very thick like dough, not a wet, runny batter. If you can not get it to the right consistency like dough, then add a little more liquid. Some protein powders will thicken quicker than others. Never add more than 1/4 cup liquid at a time so it does not become runny.)
- Set the mixture aside when a dough consistency is reached.
- Next, grab an 8x8 inch square baking pan or another brownie-type pan.
- Press your dough into the pan and flatten with your hands evenly. Be sure to get it in all the corners and ensure it has a smooth, flat top.
- Sprinkle coconut shreds on top for garnish if using.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes on the counter.
- After the time has passed, cut the bars into 5 strips lengthwise and 5 widthwise.
- Pop them in the fridge about 10 minutes so they will firm up a bit.
- You can keep them in the pan wrapped for the week, but I like to package them individually into baggies for easy grab and go options throughout the week. This way I can enjoy them in the morning or take them on the go if I have errands to run.
- Keep the bars in the fridge for up to one week or freeze for up to one month. They thaw in just around 10 minutes on the counter in the mornings if you like to defrost them while you make coffee. They're also sweeter this way too!
Have you ever made your own homemade protein bars?