High Protein, Low Cal, Post Workout Granola Bar Recipe

by Sarah on February 21, 2012 · 35 comments

Searching for a portable, clean, high protein snack to eat after a workout or on the go, I could not find a low sugar, high protein granola bar recipe. I found a few recipes and made them to my liking but felt like they were too heavy or not sweet enough. I decided to try making my own and after 3 attempts, have finally created a keeper. It has a perfect 3:1 carb to protein ratio frequently recommended to have after a strength workout.

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These are not crunchy granola bars but probably could be without the almond meal. I did not use any flour or gluten products, although you will need to check your ingredient labels to make sure if you have celiac disease. For those looking to reduce refined grains, this recipe is perfect. You can eat these as a snack on the go, for breakfast or after a workout.

Sarah Fit Granola Bars (Gluten Free, High Protein)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (may use regular milk, coconut milk, soy milk)
  • 2 tbsp Honey*
  • 1 medium Banana
  • 1 1/2 cup of Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 cup Almond Meal*
  • 3 tbsp Coconut, shredded raw
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 servings Vanilla Protein Powder like Jay Robb Whey or Vega Sport Vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Almonds
  • 1/4 cup Golden Raisins

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine the first three ingredients. Mash up the banana and mix well together. You do not have to mix the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl but it does help create consistency throughout the batter. Combine all ingredients. Spray a 9 x 13 or 8 x 8 cooking dish with PAM or other cooking spray. Pat down batter into pan. FreshDiet_0014.JPG

The larger the dish, the thinner the bars and less cooking time. Bake for 25 minute or until center is firm. Cut into 8-10 size servings.


I forgot to add a couple ingredients before cutting the bars above and made them even larger because I wanted a serving to have about 150 calories. If I had cut the above into 10 servings, each bar would have 146 calories, 5.4 g of fat, 19.5 g of Carbohydrates, 3 g of fiber, 7.8 g of sugar, and 6.8 g of protein: a perfect 3:1 carb to protein ratio for after your workout.


Roomie requested whole almonds. I used raw and they toasted up nicely in the bars. You can also use cranberries and walnuts, or cashews and chocolate!


**A few people asked about substitutions. You can use maple syrup or agave nectar instead of honey if you like. In regards to the almond meal, I bought mine at Trader Joe’s. Essentially it is ground up almonds into a fine flour like consistency. You can make your own by grinding almonds in a food processor or using one of the following: nut meal, oat flour, whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour (GF), amaranth flour (GF), or simply plain white flour. **

And in case you don’t like to read, you can just watch a video with me showing how good they really are!


{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gen February 21, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Yum!!! I love a good granola bar and will definitely bookmark this recipe!


2 Erica February 21, 2012 at 9:45 pm

This is just what I am looking for after an intense workout meal. I am constantly searching for recipes like yours that I am able to make at home and choose ingredients that are nutritious.

Can’t wait to try it! Thanks


3 Keeta February 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Awesome! I’ll have to try these in the next grocery haul :)


4 hannah February 22, 2012 at 8:05 am

I found your blog through anne p’s the other day, and have been meaning to come back. tonight I was on the hunt for the perfect granola bar recipe, and right when I was about to give up I remembered your blog… and voila! High Protein, Low Cal, Post Workout Granola Bar Recipe had my name all over it. these will be in my oven tomorrow. thanks! :)


5 Dana February 23, 2012 at 2:10 am

where can you find almond meal? I have never heard of it.


6 Sarah February 23, 2012 at 2:14 am

It is simply almonds ground up into a fine consistency. If you buy almonds and process them in a food processor, you will get almond meal. You can also just use whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour, amaranth flour (which is a gfree option) or just plain white flour.


7 Mariève February 24, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Just made them and they are delicious!!! I used flaxseed meal instead of almond meal and pitted dates instead of raisins and they still taste incredible, dipped in plain Greek Yogurt! Thanks for all the amazing recipes Sarah!


8 Chad March 28, 2012 at 4:20 am

Made these today, smelled really good in the blender, reminded me of my days of eating raw cookie dough before being finding out I couldnt have gluten. I couldn’t stay out of them when they were uncooked-cooked is no different, so I’ll have to make more.


9 Veronica @ My Eats & Treats April 23, 2012 at 5:15 am

Hi Sarah! I know this might be a strange substitution, but do you think chickpea flour would be ok in place of almond meal in this recipe?


10 Veronica @ My Eats & Treats April 24, 2012 at 1:08 am

Hi Sarah! I commented here last night, but don’t see it… sorry if you are reading this twice! Do you know if chickpea flour could be substituted for almond meal?


11 Jo May 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm

These were AMAZING! I added flax seed, goji berries and dark choc chunks… absolutely fab! Thank you for this amazing recipe!


12 Rachel May 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Looks good! I’m going to make these this weekend!

For those who are Celiac or Gluten Intolerant make sure you use CERTIFIED GLUTEN FREE OATS!! Bob’s Red Mill is one brand I buy and use. They are not considered safe unless they are certified gluten free due to cross contamination during processing.


13 Heather May 31, 2012 at 3:37 am

I made these and it was delicious. thank you so much for this excellent recipe (:


14 Sarah May 31, 2012 at 11:53 am

So glad you enjoyed them! I have a variation on here too that is worth trying! http://sarahfit.com/fruit-and-nut-granola-bars-with-dates-gluten-free/


15 paige June 16, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Hi Sarah. Thank you so much for this recipe! I just finished making them and they smell AMAZING. I will be the only person eating them in my house, so if I refrigerate them and keep them in a zip lock bag, how long do you think they will be good for? Thank you again!! -Paige


16 Sarah June 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I would say about a week. You can freeze them too. I usuaully go through them in that time so I don’t know if they keep longer!


17 Amanda Marie June 25, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Can you substitute flax meal?


18 Sarah June 25, 2012 at 7:17 pm

you can or just omit!


19 Jane July 12, 2012 at 11:28 pm

do you know the calorie count along with how many grams of protein and how many grams of fiber.


20 lauren August 19, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Hi i just came along your blog while looking for homemade protein bars, i was just curious if i left the protein powder out would i have to add more of anything? Thank you!! I am so happy I can across your bog, I love it.


21 Sarah August 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Hi Lauren, Yes, you can leave it out and no you need to add anything else. They will be less cakey if you omit the powder. Thanks for stopping by :)


22 June November 25, 2012 at 8:33 am

This looks very similar to a recipe I have and I love it. I am sensitive to whey so I use hemp instead. Just a suggestion for those who are sensitive to whey.


23 Anne December 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I just found your page as I was looking for high protein granola. I look forward to trying these using AdvoCare Muscle Gain protein and adding cranberries & blueberries. Question – what can I use instead of banana? Thanks!!


24 Sarah December 4, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Applesauce or canned pumpkin. You can omit it pretty easily though too.


25 sarah January 28, 2013 at 10:56 am

i have been looking for a healthy way to have a snack for something quick to tide me over so i don’t grab something bad!! so i made these with a few modifications i added an extra banana and used maple syrup instead of honey and a dash of vanilla.Also i ground up almond to make almond meal since i didn’t have any on hand !! i added a 1/4 cup of wheat germ and a 1/4 cup of trail mix which had a variety of dried fruits and nuts in it . I baked for 27 mins and they were delicious !added it to my plain greek yogurt and was fab!!! thank you for this wonderful recipe !!!


26 Jacqui February 10, 2013 at 3:18 am

These look great! How long do they last approx? Do I need to refrigerate them? Thank you


27 Teffy February 22, 2013 at 8:43 pm

what can i use to substitute the honey? apple sauce? :)


28 anthea March 2, 2013 at 8:00 am

Sarah, this recipe is wonderful, just made a double batch as always looking for clean, low-sugar, healthy, delish breakfast ideas. As a healthy, Bikram-practising, Type 1 diabetic I cook alot for the family & always appreciate intelligent, easy recipes which yours are. The nutritional values are a life saver too, my insulin/food ratio was exactly spot on!
Keep up the great work & thanks from an appreciative fan


29 Stacie March 25, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Sarah, I have Visalus shake mix. Do you know how much I would use?


30 Elaine May 15, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Love these! Ate the first one right out the pan not even waiting till I worked out! Don’t know if I cooked them long enough as the bottom of them were soft but this recipe is a keeper! Great job!


31 A Sly Fox August 8, 2013 at 5:22 am

I’ve done a little calculation of my own, and my conclusion is less then expected if we were to believe the title. All measurements are in grams and liters. These are the ingredients and their respective measurements set accordingly to grams and (milli)liters.

> 2 tbsp honey -> 15ml
Calories: 46,2 (Kcal)
Protein: 0,1 grams (gr)
Fats: 0 (gr)
Non-sugar carbs: 0,1 (gr)
Sugars: 11,3 (gr)

> 1/2 cup of almond meal -> 110ml or 80gr
Calories: 458,4
Protein: 14,4
Fats: 43,2
Non-sugar carbs: 3,2
Sugars: 1,2

> 1 medium banana -> (median weight)
Calories: 86
Protein: 1,2
Fats: 0,2
Non-sugar carbs: 0,6
Sugars: 18,2

> 1, 1/2 cups of oats (replaced by 2 cups of muesli including dried fruits and nuts) -> 330ml or 190gr
Calories: 689,7
Protein: 20,0
Fats: 13,5
Non-sugar carbs: 86,8
Sugars: 26,4

> 1/2 cup of Semi-skimmed milk -> 110ml / 120ml
Calories: 55,2
Protein: 4,1
Fats: 1,8
Non-sugar carbs: 5,8
Sugars: 5,8

> 1 Serving of protein powder, assumed Lean Whey -> 40gr (recommended servingsize)
Calories: 145,6
Protein: 36,4
Fats: 0,1
Non-sugar carbs: 0,1
Sugars: 0,1

Which brings us to a total, with disregard to the errors in rounding, of:
Calories: 1481,1 (Kcal)
Protein: 76,1 (gr)
Fats: 58,1 (gr)
Non-sugar carbs: 96,5 (gr)
Sugars: 62,9 (gr)

With a carbohydrate : protein ratio of:

(96,5 + 62,9)/76,1 = 2:1

And assuming the portionsize is 10 bars per recipe we gain a nutrionalvalue per serving of:
– Calories: 148,1 (Kcal)
– Protein: 7,6 (gr)
– Fat: 5,8 (gr)
– Total carbs: 15,9 (gr)

I find this to be quite a low protein content in both respects to its serving weight (55,5gr per bar) and to its Calorie content.

1 cup ~ 110ml
1ml = 0,001 liter (so a 100ml = 0,1 liter)
0.0352 oz. ~ 1gr (so a 100gr ~ 3,527 oz.)
1 tbsp ~ 7,5gr
1 gram = 1gr = 1g

– Nutritional value as stated on the packages per respective ingredient


32 A Sly Fox August 8, 2013 at 5:27 am

– 1 cup ~ 220ml
– 1/2 cup ~ 110ml

The nutritional value remains correct.


33 Lehrah Salisbury February 5, 2014 at 5:07 am


Is there any way I could make these without the protein powder? I don’t like to use it, but would the recipe still work with some kind of substitute?



34 Sarah February 5, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Of course, feel free to add a tablespoon of coconut flour or almond meal.


35 Kath February 15, 2014 at 6:59 am


Can you advise if the protein bars can be frozen once cooked?



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