Emily’s Wholesome DIY Protein Bars

Enjoy good nutrition on the go with this ultra-nutritious recipe from Zenergy’s own Emily Knowles. 


Protein bars can be a simple and convenient source of nutrition on the fly. But not all bars are created equal. With flavors like “Cookie Dough” and “Chocolate Brownie,” some store-bought bars sound more like dessert than a healthy on-the-go snack. Look closely at the label, and you may find added sugar and other undesirable ingredients. And at $2 to $3 per bar, the cost can really add up. 

Add this wholesome and nourishing homemade protein bar recipe from Zenergy Personal Trainer and Pilates and Group Instructor Emily Knowles. It incorporates more than 15 super-nutritious ingredients to deliver a wallop of both whey and plant protein, along with healthy fats, fiber, calcium, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Knowles spent more than a year developing just the right blend, which can be tweaked to fit your personal needs and taste. 

Once you’ve gathered all the ingredients, she recommends creating an assembly line. If desired, you can measure out multiple batches of dry ingredients and store in sealed plastic baggies to make it quick and easy the next time you make these delicious bars.  


Emily’s Protein Bar Recipe



2 cups oats

½ cup chopped almonds (or other nuts such as walnuts or cashews)

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

⅛ cup sesame seeds

⅛ cup chia seeds

¼ cup ground flax seeds (fresh ground is best)

¼ cup hemp seeds

½ cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon. salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 ½ cup vanilla whey protein powder

½ cup dried currants (substitute raisins or dried cranberries, if desired)

¼ cup cacao nibs

¼+ cup mini chocolate chips (optional)


¼ -½ cup warm water (add ⅛ cup at a time, bars get too sticky if you use too much water)

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

½ cup almond butter (substitute sunflower seed butter if nut allergy)

¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ cup maple syrup


How to make:

Combine dry ingredients (oats through cacao nibs) in a large mixing bowl. Combine wet ingredients (warm water, coconut oil, almond butter, vanilla, and maple syrup) in a separate mixing bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, then mix together well with a sturdy spoon or spatula. It should be difficult to mix; otherwise, the bars will be too wet and sticky. 

Once well combined, roll into balls or press into a baking dish. VERY IMPORTANT: Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight, then cut; otherwise, they will be too sticky to cut right away. Package individually for an easy grab-and-go snack!