Sweet and salty peanut bars with roasted peanuts and peanut butter chips are the healthy snack you have been looking for! These are the best keto protein bars I have ever tried and are easier to make than you think!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of ChocZero. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Homemade protein bars that are inexpensive to make and taste amazing?! YES! I'm always excited about any kind of bar because they are easy to grab, eat in the car, or wherever you are!
This year our school started a golf team and my 15 year old joined. They would go right from school to the course and wouldn't finish some nights until 7:30 or 8. He needed some easy snacks so I bought him some Nature Valley sweet salty peanut chewy granola bars. Those nut bars sounded so good that I wanted to make a low carb protein bars for myself.
And, to be honest, I have not yet met store-bought keto friendly protein bars I actually like. And I have tried dozens through my work. These are the best low carb protein bars really changed my opinion of snack bars entirely.
What sets this keto diet recipe apart from others is that it's made with ChocZero Peanut Butter Chips. When I found out that there were keto-friendly peanut butter flavored baking chips I was in heaven! Anything peanut butter flavored is going to have my attention, but sugar free baking chips? YAY!
Reasons Why You'll Love ChocZero Peanut Butter Chips
- Low carb, keto friendly, and only 1 net carb per serving.
- Great for baking.
- Made with all-natural peanut butter.
- Sweetened with monk fruit, so there is no sugar or no sugar alcohol.
- Naturally vegan.
- Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Soy-free, and Non-GMO without fillers.
- Delicious added to pancakes, ice cream, or by the handful.
- 10% off with code 'joyfilledeats'
Ordering from ChocZero is easy and once you taste any of their products you will understand why I recommend them wholeheartedly.
What You'll Need
Keto protein bars only require a few pantry staples and about 10 minutes!
Hemp Hearts - The nutty flavor of hemp hearts is the perfect addition to these keto protein bars and a great sub for oats. I use them in my keto oatmeal. Plus, they are naturally gluten free and loaded with omega-6 and omega-3 to give you a boost of nutrients.
Sweetener - You'll need a little bit of sweetener to enhance the flavor. I prefer a 1:1 sweetener in this recipe. Xylitol, erythritol, or allulose would all work well. Concentrated sweeteners with stevia may make them too sweet.
Heavy Cream - Combined with the other ingredients, the heavy cream gives the protein bars a great texture. For a vegan dairy-free bar sub in coconut cream.
ChocZero Peanut Butter Chips - The key ingredient! These peanut butter chips make these bars addictive.
Peanuts - For best results, use roasted salted peanuts. They will give you the most bang for your buck in the flavor department!
Salt - A pinch of sea salt really finishes these well. We love the sweet salty granola bars combination. If you'd like you can even sprinkle the tops with coarse salt for a bit more crunch.
How To Make Keto Protein Bars
Step One: Place parchment paper in a 9x9 square baking pan. Use coconut oil to grease the parchment paper.
Step Two: Mix the sweetener and heavy cream together in a pan using medium-high heat. Simmer rapidly and stir frequently until it has thickened.
Step Three: Add half of the peanut butter chips, hemp hearts, chopped peanuts, and salt to the pan and stir. Pour into the baking pan and use a spatula to flatten evenly. Sprinkle the top with extra peanuts and peanut butter chips.
Step Four: Let the protein bars cool to room temperature, then place them in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours. Gently lift the parchment paper and remove the bars from the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut into bars.
After cutting the keto protein bars, wrap each one in a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Then keep them in a larger bag or food container that's air-tight. This will keep them fresh longer and make it easier when you need one on the go.
The sweet and salty peanut bars should be kept cold when you aren't serving and they will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Possibly longer if tightly wrapped.
I even took one to our community pool on a 90-degree day to see how it would hold up. The chips on top got a little melty but the bar itself was perfect! If you are planning to take low carb protein bars out in the heat you can just skip the extra chips on top.
Eat the no bake peanut butter protein bars just the way the recipe is written or make them extra special with these variations.
Nuts - Almonds or cashews also make a nice touch. Chop them up fairly small and swap half of the peanuts or exchange them completely.
Chocolate Chips - Mix in a few sugar free chocolate chips for those days when you really want to indulge.
Coconut - Sprinkle a little bit of shredded unsweetened coconut on top of the bars before the setup.
Vanilla - Add in a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract to boost the flavor.
Cinnamon - Love the cinnamon roll protein bars on the market? Copy those by adding some cinnamon and using white chocolate chips.
Caramel - Caramel extract is an easy way to add a caramel flavoring to a low-carb bar.
Chia Seeds - Love chia seeds? Go ahead and mix some in.
Chocolate Drizzle - Melt some chocolate chips and drizzle on top of the bars. It's a fun way to add a touch of elegance.
Peanut Butter Coating - The bars that were my inspiration do have their bottoms coated with a peanut butter coating. If you would like to use that for this simply melt some extra ChocZero pb chips and dip the bottoms of the bars in it. Place the sweet and salty bars upside down while the coating sets.
Extra Protein - The nuts and hemp hearts give this recipe high protein, so I chose not to incorporate a protein powder. But, if you would like to you can mix in a little grass-fed whey protein powder, collagen, or egg white protein powder right before adding the mixture to the pan.
Why Should I Make Protein Bars?
There are many reasons to make your own keto protein bars. Here are just a few:
- They are delicious and you know exactly what ingredients are in them, unlike store-bought brands.
- Even your kids can help make them, so they are great for beginners.
- You can throw low carb protein bars together in mere minutes.
- These keto bars even make thoughtful gifts during the holidays or when a new neighbor moves to the area.
- Sweet and salty peanut bars taste more like a candy bar with a side of healthiness!
- Much less expensive than anything you can pick up at your local market.
- Line a 9 x 9 square baking pan with parchment paper. Grease with coconut oil.
- Combine the sweetener and cream over medium-high heat. Simmer rapidly, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens.
- Stir the hemp hearts, half the peanut butter chips, chopped peanuts, and salt into the syrup. Pour into the prepared pan. Press flat with a spatula or wooden spoon. Sprinkle the peanut butter chips and remaining peanuts on the hot mixture. It should be hot enough that they melt a little and stick.
- Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Lift the parchment paper out of the pan. Cut the bars using a sharp knife.