I’ve been searching for a protein bar that suits my needs for a while now. I’ve endlessly examined walls of “nutrition bars” at health food stores, only to be disappointed. While there are plenty of different brands of on-the-go bars on shelves, most of them are made out of the same ingredients, which tends to include ingredients with lots of sugar, such as brown rice syrup.

What I desire from a protein bar is this: decent amount of protein, little to no sugar, little in the way of grains, and no fillers. To define fillers, I’m talking about gums, stabilizers, and excess sweeteners (some brands have more than three different types of sweetener in them!). Basically, if the bar you’re contains 20 g of sugar and two different types of gums (i.e. guar gum & acacia gum), the ingredients in the bar aren’t worth tasting, if you get my drift.


Thus, I set out to design my own protein bars that are tasty, lightly sweet but with little sugar, few in ingredients, and don’t contain grains, which tend to slow me down rather than fuel me. After a couple test trials and opinions from my trusty friends, I got what I wanted. Even better, they came out tasting more like brownie than protein bars, which I’ll take as a win!

Check out the nutritional information for three of these bad boys:

  • 282 calories
  • 15 g protein
  • 17.5 g carbohydrates
  • 5 g sugar
  • 16 g fat

For those of you weary over the fat content, keep in mind the fat in here is coming directly from natural sources, such as peanut butter, pecans, & flax seed, not oils. And for me, I’ll take healthy fats over sugar any day.


I hope you enjoy these protein packed, grain-free, added sugar-free, vegan, gluten-free, delicious protein bars! If you like what your tastebuds are tellin’ ya, leave a rating, share your thoughts in the comments, or show us your own creations @noeggsorham on Instagram.

All the best,


Nutty Protein Brownie Bars

  • Servings: 6 bars
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

All vegan, gluten free, added sugar-free protein bars disguised as a brownies.


  • 1/4 c cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c organic pea protein
  • 2 tbsp roasted pecans, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking
  • 1/4 c + 2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tbsp almond or peanut butter
  • 1 flax egg
  • 1/2 tsp liquid stevia*


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F and lightly grease one half dozen muffin tin with coconut oil. Set aside.
  2. In a small bow, whisk together cocoa powder, protein powder, baking powder, and salt. In a larger bowl, whisk together applesauce, flax egg, peanut or almond butter, & stevia.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until throughly incorporated. Add in the pecans and stir to combine.
  4. Measure out 2 tbsp of dough, plop into each individual muffin tin, and flatten to fit. Place in oven and bake for 22-27 minutes, or until they’re firm enough to hold their shape, but not completely crispy either.
  5. Cool in muffin tins for 5 minutes, remove and let finish cooling, or enjoy while warm.
  6. They will keep for 4 days in an air tight container at room temperature. For longer storage options, place in fridge or freezer.

*If you don’t prefer to eat sugar-free, you can replace the stevia with 3 tablespoons of maple syrup and reduce the amount of applesauce down to 1 tablespoon. The batter will be more runny this way, so add an additional 1/2 tablespoon of protein powder. Follow the rest of the recipe exactly the same.

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