No-Bake High-Protein Snacks Better Than Store-Bought Bars
It is just as important to get protein in your snacks as it is in your meals, and the easiest way to ensure you do is by making your snacks at home. Instead of relying on store-bought snacks and bars that are packed full of funky ingredients and preservatives, make your own at home and know exactly what is going into your food. Snacks are easy to master, and the recipes we’re highlighting today don’t even require use of the oven. Rather, some of these high-protein snacks are made in the food processor, and some you simply make on your own. They can be stored in the freezer and are great when you’re on-the-go or when your afternoons are slow. Check out these six food formulas, and say goodbye to expensive store-bought finds.
1. No-Bake Protein Bars
First up is a protein bar recipe from Oh She Glows. These bars take only 15 minutes to make and are vegan and gluten-free. Their main ingredients are oats, protein powder, nut butter, rice crisp cereal, and coconut oil, and they even call for a small handful of chocolate chips. The easy no-bake protein bars can replace the ones you find in the store for $2 a piece, and they can be stored in the freezer for a week or more.
- 1½ cups gluten-free rolled oats, blended into a flour
- ½ cup unsweetened/unflavored vegan protein powder
- ½ cup rice crisp cereal
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt, to taste
- ½ cup natural peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter
- ½ cup pure maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of choice)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons mini dark chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)
- ½ tablespoon coconut oil
Directions: Line an 8-inch square pan with a piece of parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix the oat flour, protein powder, rice crisp, and salt together. Stir in the nut/seed butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. If the mixture seems dry, add a touch of non-dairy milk and mix again.
Press the mixture into the pan, rolling out with a pastry roller until smooth. Place in the freezer. In a small pot over low heat, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together. When half of the chips have melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth.
After the bars have been in the freezer for about 5 to 10 minutes, remove and slice into bars. Drizzle with melted chocolate, and freeze again until set. Store in the freezer for a week or longer in an air-tight freezer bag or container.
2. Protein Chocolate Energy Bites
If you’d rather pop your protein in bite form, try these protein chocolate energy bites from Oh Sweet Basil. Instead of forming her batter into bars, the recipe developer behind this snack formula shapes a combination of oatmeal, protein powder, almond butter, and puffed brown rice into balls, and then throws them into the freezer to set. These energy bites are great on the go and can easily be packed into a lunch or gym bag. They take only 5 minutes to make, and the recipe yields 12 balls.
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup almond butter
- ¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ cup chocolate protein powder
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup puffed brown rice
3. Almond Butter Protein Fudge
Next up: almond butter protein fudge. You can get your protein from this dessert-like snack, too. The recipe from Running with Spoons requires just 6 ingredients and will take you 10 minutes to make. You’ll combine your ingredients in a pan over medium-low heat, and then the fudge will go right into the freezer to set. Next time you think a protein-packed snack can’t be a treat, try out this recipe and look forward to your bites in between meals.
- ½ cup vanilla flavored protein powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- ½ cup creamy almond butter
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chocolate chips, for melting
Directions: Line a medium-sized storage container with parchment paper. Combine protein powder and coconut flour in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix until well combined;set aside.
Add almond butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup to a small pan over medium-low heat, stirring until the almond butter is melted and the mixture becomes smooth. Remove from heat, and pour into the dry mixture, stirring until everything is fully combined.
Pour the mixture into the storage container, and spread it out evenly and press it down firmly.
Place chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on high in 30-second intervals, mixing between each. When the chocolate is fully melted, drizzle it over the top of the fudge using a spoon. Place container into the freezer until hardened, about 30 minutes.
Remove container from freezer, and use the parchment paper to lift out the fudge. Use a sharp knife to cut into size of your choice. Store in freezer, and remove a few minutes before eating for best results.
4. Protein No-Bake Cookies
These chocolate peanut butter protein no-bake cookies from Eating Bird Food are a dream come true. You can finally feel good about eating your cookies because when they’re vegan and gluten-free, and packed with protein and healthy fats, they’re nothing to feel guilty about. One cookie yields just 93 calories, along with 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein, so pack a couple in your lunch bag for when you have a midday snack attack.
- 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- ½ cup creamy natural peanut butter
- ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
Directions: In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine oatmeal and protein powder. Stir. In a saucepan, place almond milk, peanut butter, maple syrup, cocoa powder, and sea salt, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often until cocoa powder is completely dissolved and the sauce has thickened. Take the pan off the heat, and stir in vanilla.
Pour peanut butter chocolate mixture over oats/protein powder; mix until all pieces of the oatmeal are covered. Place batter in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, drop chilled dough, using your hands to work cookies into desired shape. Place baking sheet in fridge or freezer until cookies are set, then serve. Store any leftover cookies in the fridge or freezer.
5. High-Protein Chocolate Pumpkin Pudding
Protein pudding, anyone? You can make homemade pudding and get a punch of protein, too. This recipe from Power Hungry combines cocoa powder, protein powder, pumpkin puree, and nondairy milk to yield a thick, creamy pudding that can be served as a snack or post-meal sweet. Combine your ingredients in a food processor, and pull out a spoon.
- 1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- ½ cup all-natural, sweetened chocolate protein powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup almond milk or low-fat dairy milk
- Additional natural sweetener to taste
Directions: Process the pumpkin, cocoa powder, protein powder, vanilla, and cinnamon in a blender or food processor until well blended and smooth, stopping as needed to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Add half of the milk to the blender or processor, and process until smooth, scraping the sides as needed. Add remaining milk, and process until smooth. Taste the pudding, then add additional sweetener if desired.
Put in a big container or into individual jars or ramekins. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.
6. Protein-Packed Peach Frozen Yogurt
We guarantee you’ll keep Running to the Kitchen’s frozen treat in your recipe arsenal even when it’s cold outside. The recipe calls for just four ingredients, and the frozen yogurt couldn’t be easier to make. It is packed with protein thanks to protein powder and Greek yogurt, and the punch of flavor from fresh peaches is one thing you just can’t replicate. Snack time just got sweeter.
- 1½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons vanilla whey protein powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sliced fresh peaches, or frozen peaches, thawed
Directions: In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, protein powder if using, and vanilla extract. Freeze for 2 hours. Remove from freezer; let sit 15 to 20 minutes.
Put frozen yogurt in a food processor, and add peach slices. Pulse a few times until peaches are broken but still chunky and incorporated with the yogurt mixture. Transfer to medium bowl, and refreeze for another 1 to 2 hours.