Store-bought protein bars are often full of questionable ingredients at a high price tag. And, they typically don’t taste that great either. These high protein baked oat bars without protein powder are super simple to make at home, and they taste delicious!
I always get tired of seeing high protein recipes that are made with protein powder. If I wanted to use protein powder, I would add it into my smoothie or mix it into oatmeal. These bars get their protein from peanut butter and ground flax seed. So, there is no chalky aftertaste to worry about.
With only 5 simple ingredients, these bars pack the protein and are a breeze to make.
Why you’ll love these high protein baked oat bars
- They’re quick to prepare – These bars are ready in about 25 minutes. They only take 10 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to bake.
- Simplicity – These oat bars use only 5 ingredients. The recipe is straightforward and super easy to make.
- Natural sweetener – These protein oat bars use maple syrup instead of granulated sugar. This is a healthier alternative that adds a subtle complimenting flavor.
- Dietary flexibility – This recipe is vegan, gluten-free and soy-free.
- They’re portable – I love having snacks ready for on-the-go. These portable bars are easy to pack and carry for those busy days.
- Protein packed – These bars are rich in protein, helping you stay full for a longer period of time.
These versatile high protein baked oat bars can be a tasty breakfast or mid-morning snack. You can even make them in advance and pop them into the freezer for later snacking.
How to make these high protein baked oat bars
These protein oat bars really could not be easier to make! After making them a few times, you’ll find you have the ingredients and process down to memory.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, maple syrup and salt. Stir together till smooth.
- Add your oats and ground flaxseed and stir till combined. If the mixture is too crumbly or dry, add more maple syrup 1 Tbsp. at a time.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and flatten to an even layer. You may have to press into the corners.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned.
- Allow to cool completely before slicing into 8 bars. Store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
How to customize these baked oat protein bars
These bars work well with a variety of different ingredients. Here are some ideas of additional add-ins you can use to customize these bars to your flavor preferences.
- Chopped almonds or walnuts add a nice, healthy crunch.
- Dark chocolate chips add a touch of sweetness.
- Dried cranberries add a tart twist that is slightly fruity.
- Shredded coconut adds a bit of tropical flavor and healthy fats.
- Cinnamon adds a touch of warming spice and a bit of complexity.
- Pumpkin seeds add magnesium and a bit of additional protein.
- Chia seeds add fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Raisins give these bars a “PB and J” feel.
Feel free to experiment with additional add-ins as you see fit. Just be mindful of the size of your ingredients. If you are adding something like chopped nuts, chop them up small enough that they will incorporate into the texture.
Recipe FAQs and tips
- Can you substitute rolled oats with instant oats? – While it possible to substitute the oats, the texture and consistency will change. Rolled oats give these bars a chewy and satisfying texture.
- Can I used salted peanut butter? – You can! But, be sure to omit the additional sea salt to avoid over-salting the bars. Then, taste and adjust the salt.
- What can I use instead of maple syrup? – You can use honey or agave nectar instead of maple syrup.
- How can this recipe be customized? – You can add fruit, nuts, or seeds for extra flavor and texture.
- Can I use something else instead of flaxseed? – Yes! You can use chia seeds instead for an added boost of nutriton.
- How long will these bars stay fresh? – If stored properly in an airtight container, these bars can stay fresh for up to 5 days.
- What if my mixture is too dry? – Add additional maple syrup by the tablespoon till your desired consistency is met if your mixture is too dry.
- Can this recipe be doubled? – Yes, I have doubled this recipe many times!
I hope you enjoy these protein-packed baked oat bars. If you make them with any variations, be sure to leave a comment with how they came out.
High Protein Baked Oat Bars (Without Protein Powder)
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter unsalted
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 4 Tbsp. ground flax seed
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8” x 8” pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, maple syrup, and salt. Stir till smooth.
- Add the oats and ground flax. Stir until everything is combined. If the mixture feels too dry, you can add more maple syrup 1 Tbsp. at a time.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Flatten out into an even layer, pushing evenly into corners.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown at the edges. Allow them to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before moving to a rack to cool completely.
- Slice into 8 even bars. Store at room temperature for up to 5 days.