Co-op Blog

20+ DIY Protein Bars & Balls

Whether you’ve got a long day of work, school, or adventuring ahead, the key to sustaining your energy through the day is a healthy snack! While trail mix or fruit is definitely a good choice, you might find yourself reaching for a protein bar or energy balls to fill that midday stomach rumble (or sweet tooth).

And while there are a bunch of really good store-bought options out there, if you find that you like making your own snacks at home, a DIY option might be more up your alley!

With that said, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite protein bars and balls to keep you energized through your busy day, adventure, or workout.

Nut Butter and Flax Powerballs

nut butter flax powerballs

These powerballs are no-bake, easy to make, and can be made out of items you can find in our bulk department!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond butter
  • 1 banana, peeled and mashed
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons whey protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup almonds, finely chopped

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the almond butter, banana, flax, protein powder, cocoa powder and honey. Blend until smooth.
  2. Line a plate or pan with parchment paper. Roll the mixture into 1- to 2-inch balls and place on parchment paper. Next, roll each ball in the chopped almonds and return to parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator or freezer until firm.

Recipe and photo adapted from Welcome to the Table

Chocolate Matcha Energy Balls

chocolate matcha energy balls

If you’re looking for a protein ball that will fill you up and put a little pep in your step, consider these chocolate matcha energy balls!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon matcha, divided
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Place cashews and walnuts in the food processor and grind the nuts to a fine mince, then scrape them to the center of the container. Add the dates, maple syrup or honey, cocoa, 1 tablespoon matcha and salt. Process until the dates form a thick paste and the mixture holds together if you squeeze a bit of it.
  2. Scoop out a tablespoon of the mixture, form into a ball and place into a medium bowl; repeat until all of the mixture has been used. Use a wire mesh strainer to sift the remaining matcha over the balls. Roll the balls around to coat. Store, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Recipe and photo adapted from Welcome to the Table

Alton Brown’s Protein Bars

protein bar

These protein bars from Food Network are packed full of protein thanks to ingredients like protein powder, tofu, eggs, and peanut butter.

The texture is creamy, but dense, to keep you full throughout the day.

This recipe also calls for dried cherries, blueberries, and apricots, but feel free to sub in whatever fruit you prefer.

Find the full recipe at Food Network

5 Ingredient Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Crunch Bars

chocolate crunch protein bar

Here’s one of those protein-bars-disguised-as-a-candy-bar that’ll provide you with some energy and fulfill your sweet tooth.

The bar itself is made up of dates, peanut butter, and vanilla, is topped with crunch rice cereal, and is drizzled with dark chocolate.

The dates add a nice sweetness to balance out the chocolate and peanut butter without adding additional sugar to the bar.

Find the full recipe at Half Baked Harvest

Coconut-Almond Bars

almond coconut bar

If you prefer an extra crunchy protein bar, consider this recipe that’s packed full of nuts and subtly-sweet coconut flakes.

These bars are gluten-free, paleo, and grain-free, making them a good option for those with some dietary restrictions.

If you wanted to up the protein content, feel free to add in extra nuts and seeds like peanuts, flax, chia, or hemp seed.

Find the full recipe at Feasting at Home

Coconut-Lime Energy Bites

lime energy bites

Maybe a chocolate peanut butter protein bar isn’t really your style. Consider these tropical energy bars that feature coconut, lime, and macadamia nuts.

Hemp seeds, chia seeds, and spirulina powder provide the energy bites with lots of protein while the coconuts, macadamias nuts, and cashews offer lots of healthy fats to keep you full throughout the day.

If you want a little more sweetness, you could add in a squeeze or two of honey. It’s good for your immune system, too!

Find the full recipe at Epicurious

Vegan Energy Balls with Masala Spice

energy balls

You probably wouldn’t expect garam masala to be an ingredient in energy balls, but here we are!

Masala adds a unique flavor profile to these otherwise subtly-sweet energy balls.

If you want to up the protein, add some vanilla pea protein.

Find the full recipe at Feasting at Home

Carrot Cake Protein Bars

carrot cake protein

Sweet, salty, and reminiscent of fall, these carrot cake protein bars are sweetened with maple syrup and dates.

Carrots, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger add that unmistakable carrot cake flavor while sunflower seed butter and vanilla protein powder add protein that will keep you going all day.

Find the full recipe at Food52

Cherry Chocolate Chip Bliss Balls

cherry chocolate bliss bar

Here’s an energy ball recipe that calls for just a handful of simple ingredients.

Cherry and chocolate are a classic combination and for a good reason! Sweet cherries and semi-sweet chocolate chips pair incredibly well together.

As with any of these recipes, feel free to substitute any of the nuts for other ones you prefer.

Find the full recipe at Forks Over Knives

Pumpkin No-Bake Energy Bites

pumpkin energy bites

Fan of pumpkin spice? No judgment here. In fact, we recommend checking out these no-bake pumpkin energy bites!

Dates and honey add a dash of sweetness, while cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg add a pumpkin pie-inspired flavor.

If you want sweeter bites, toss in some white chocolate chips.

Find the full recipe at Gimme Some Oven

More Protein Bar Recipes

More Energy Ball Recipes

By: Leigha

LeighaLeigha is the Marketing Assistant at the Skagit Valley Food Co-op.