High Protein, Low Cal, Post Workout Granola Bar Recipe

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!


High Protein, Low Cal, Post Workout Granola Bar Recipe

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  • Erica

    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

  • hannah

    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! 🙂

    • Sarah

      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.

  • Mariève

    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!

  • Chad

    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.

  • Jo

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

  • Rachel

    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.

  • paige

    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

  • lauren

    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.

    • Sarah

      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 🙂

  • June

    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.

  • Anne

    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!!

  • sarah

    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 !!!

  • anthea

    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

  • Elaine

    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!

  • A Sly Fox

    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
    -- http://www.voedingswaardetabel.nl/voedingswaarde/
    -- http://www.google.com/

    • A Sly Fox

      -- 1 cup ~ 220ml
      -- 1/2 cup ~ 110ml

      The nutritional value remains correct.

  • Lehrah Salisbury


    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?


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