Anyone else a snack person?
Maybe I’m just alone?
Or maybe I’m just hungry all the time. Oh well.
I feel like I can’t go a few hours without eating something, even if it’s just a bite. When it comes to working out or walking around for a few hours with friends or family, I like to have something with some protein to help me stay full or recover from my workout. If you have Celiac like I do, you know how expensive finding good protein bars can be… but did you know how easy it is to make them yourself for a fraction of the cost?
In come these peanut butter cookie protein bars. Not only are they incredibly easy to make, but with the ingredients I used I was able to pack 11g of protein in just one bar! They also taste just like a peanut butter cookie, and use a lot of simple ingredients you may already have in your pantry.
I find I get a nice smooth and creamy bar texture if I grind the rolled oats first and turn them into oat flour. I also like to pulse the nuts a few times as well with the oats to keep them on the smaller side, but that’s totally up to you. Just place the oats in your food processor and blend away until it resembles a powder or flour form. It only takes a few seconds. Then add in the cashews and protein powder and pulse just a few times until combined, and until the nuts are finely chopped or to your desired size. Add in the rest of your ingredients, and PULSE PULSE PULSE until everything is combined. Your dough will be soft, not sticky, and pretty thick, almost like cookie dough. Just press it all into an 8×8 parchment-lined baking dish, cover with plastic wrap or foil, and set in the fridge for an hour or until firm enough to cut. You could definitely try this with a 9×9 size pan instead, your bars just may be on the thinner side.
I have only tried this recipe with whey protein powder. I really like BiPro unflavored whey protein, but you could also sub their vanilla. It provides additional protein for these bars, and acts like flour to get just the right consistency in the dough. I haven’t tried making these with a plant-based protein powder, so I can’t tell you how that would turn out (if at all different).
Because of the texture of these bars, they should be refrigerated until ready to eat or they may get crumbly. The peanut butter and the coconut oil help these bars stay nice and soft and chewy, so you don’t want to be disappointed when you pull one out of your bag after a few hours and realize it’s dry and crumbled. That’s no fun. Just individually wrap them in a little parchment paper and seal in a large resealable bag, or you could store each individually in small re-sealable snack-sized bags in the fridge. Simple as that.
Now go make some protein bars.
Peanut Butter Cookie Protein Bars
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup whole cashews
- 2 scoops (1/2 cup) whey protein powder, unflavored or vanilla
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil, liquid
- 1/2 tsp gluten free vanilla extract
- Place the oats into a food processor and blend until it becomes powder, or flour form. Add in the cashews and protein powder, and pulse until everything is evenly distributed and the nuts are finely chopped (or to the desired size).
- Place peanut butter into a microwave safe bowl and heat for about 10 seconds at a time, until you get a runny/melted consistency. Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir in the honey, vanilla, and coconut oil. The mixture may start to thicken a little as your stir.
- Pour the peanut butter mixture into the food processor with the oat mixture and pulse until everything comes together and forms a ball of dough. It should feel pretty soft, not sticky, and very thick, close to the consistency of cookie dough.
- Pour out the protein bar mixture into an 8x8 parchment-lined baking dish, cover with plastic wrap or foil, and place into the fridge for 1-2 hours or until firm enough to cut. Cut into 12 equal squares or bars
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