Paleo Protein Bars and Travel

paleo protein bar

Paleo Protein Bars – Chocolate Blueberry!

Happy Sunday ya’ll! I hope you are having a lovely weekend and are enjoying spring!  (for all those not in MN since it is apparently still winter in late April here…)

This afternoon I am heading to Indianapolis for some work training and will be there until Friday. This is not my favorite thing, mainly due to the lack of kitchen and cooking, and thus, blogging that will be going on until Friday. Boo. On the bright side, I did reach out to the guy in charge of the training class and told him in the least annoying way possible, “I can’t eat grains or dairy… can we do something about the catered breakfasts and lunches?” He told me that he would do whatever he could to accommodate so hopefully there will be fewer bagels with cream cheese for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. In order to ensure that I have enough food for the week I stocked up on a few items at Trader Joe’s today which I will bring with me in case of emergency.  These are good items to bring with you when you travel and are staying in a hotel with no cooking capabilities.  I purchased the following:

– Smoked sardines in olive oil

– organic Jerky

– Plantain chips

– individual Apple Sauce with cinnamon

– Oranges

– some Trail mix

In addition to these I am hoping to make it to a grocery store (hopefully one of the lucky ones who gets to rent a car will bring me) so I can pick up some pre-made guac, baby carrots, snap peas, and maybe some other goodies.  One can only hope.

What I am MOST excited to bring with are the homemade protein bars that just came out of the oven! They smell IN credible. If I wasn’t still ridiculously full from Fogo De Chao last night I would TOTES be eating one… or two at this very moment. And yes, I stuffed my  freaking face with rare filet mignon and unlimited salad bar and got FREE dessert because they were a half hour late with our reservation.  Be jealous. It was for The Drs’ birthday and it was a blasty blast, but to be honest I don’t want to see another steak for at least a week…

Anyways, back to the bars. They are based off a recipe from Mark’s Daily Apple and are the perfect substitute for all those protein bars out there that are chock full of CRAP that I don’t want in my body. I have been trying to find the “most compliant” ones I can (for the upcoming Europe trip) but I think making some homemade is a much better option, that way I know what exactly are in them.  Real food for the win!!!

I loaded these bad boys with a variety of goodies to get some of the most beneficial nutrients from each one. For example, I used Brazil nuts which are rich in selenium, which protects cells from free-radical damage, enables your thyroid to produce thyroid hormone, and  helps lower your risk of joint inflammation.  I used flaxseed meal which is REALLY high in the Omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA.  This is great for cardiovascular health. Lastly, I used dried blueberries which are low in Glycemic Index (won’t cause your insulin/blood sugar to spike) and contain antioxidants with potential benefits for the nervous system and for brain health.  I know that protein powder isn’t paleo, but having these on hand when traveling can be a big help.  I used this protein powder from Arbonne, which is vegan so it is dairy free, which is vitally important to the happiness of my tummy!

grain free protein bar

Toasted nuts and seeds, pulsed to “bread crumb” consistency

gluten free protein bar

Wet and dry ingredients (everything minus egg and blueberries)

paleo protein

Pressed down, before baking

The mixture may be a bit dry so make sure you press it down well into the baking dish.

primal protein bar

Just taken out of the oven, the coconut oil bubbles up but after they cool it soaks back in for moisture so DON’T try to pour it off!

When it comes out of the oven, don’t be alarmed if there is some oil on top! You want that moisture in there and it will eventually soak back in but if you try to soak it up or pour it off your bars will be WAY to dry. Promise.

protein bar

Final product!

Get in my mouth.

Scroll down or click here for this tasty recipe 🙂 Hope you like them as much as I do!

Oh, and even though I will be gone this week, I may have a fun little giveaway in store, so make sure to check back 😉

Sweet Potatoes and Smiles,

The Freckled Foodie


Paleo Protein Bars

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 8-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Recipe type: Appetizer, snack


  • 1/4 c raw Almonds
  • 1/4 c Brazil Nuts
  • 1/4 c Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/4 c Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/4 c unsweetened shredded Coconut
  • 1/4 cup crunchy Almond Butter (could sub any nut or seed butter)
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 c Flaxseed meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill) or almond meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2-1 tsp raw Honey (optional but helps hold them together)
  • 1/2 c Protein Powder (I used Arbonne Chocolate)
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/3 c dried Blueberries
  • 1/4 c unsweetened Coconut to sprinkle on top


  1. On a cookie sheet, toast nuts, seeds, and shredded coconut until golden brown, toss/shake the tray halfway through for even toasting
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees after toasting
  3. Pour mixture into a food processor and pulse until nuts are chopped and the mixture becomes coarsely ground (some larger chunks will remain)
  4. In a small bowl, melt coconut oil, almond butter, and honey
  5. Remove from microwave and stir to combine
  6. Add vanilla extract and sea salt
  7. Pour wet ingredients into nut mixture, add flax/almond meal and protein powder until combined
  8. Beat egg in the bowl you used for your wet ingredients, then add to mixture and combine thoroughly
  9. Fold in blueberries until well incorporated
  10. Press mixture into an 8×8 loaf pan (preferred) or a regular loaf pan (your bars will be squares, like mine)
  11. Bake for 12 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle on coconut
  12. Place under broiler until top begins to brown (3-4 minutes)
  13. Let cool for 15 minutes, or in fridge overnight
  14. Cut into 12 bars with 8×8 or 8 squares with regular loaf pan
  15. Store in airtight container or wrap with tinfoil and toss in a plastic bag for travel!

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Comments: 35

  1. HP April 22, 2013 at 5:29 am Reply

    Is there any substitute for the protein powder?

    • thefreckledfoodie April 22, 2013 at 3:01 pm Reply

      You could replace it with almond flour for sure!

      • HP April 22, 2013 at 11:57 pm Reply

        Thanks! Another question: Do you think i can use coconut flour instead of almond flour?

        • thefreckledfoodie April 23, 2013 at 4:44 am Reply

          Coconut flour is a lot more drying, so I wouldn’t recommend it. If you used it you would have to cut way down on it and add more moisture but I’m not sure how much. If you try it with success, report back!

  2. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed April 22, 2013 at 11:12 am Reply

    Soooo now I want to go to Fogo de Chao!

    • thefreckledfoodie April 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm Reply

      It’s awesome but would be even more awesome if they served grass-fed beef!

  3. Anne April 23, 2013 at 2:58 pm Reply

    Just stumbled on to your blog. I am currently on day 20 of my first whole30 (loving how I feel). Just wondered if you have any favorite restaurants/dishes in the Twin Cities that are compliant.

    • thefreckledfoodie April 23, 2013 at 8:34 pm Reply

      Hey Anne!
      Congrats on making it that far with your Whole30 🙂 Some of my favorites in Mpls for going out are Brasa Rotisserie (carnitas with guac!), French Meadow, Zelo, Burch (local, grassfed beef!), Barbette, and Mill Valley Kitchen (salads are amazing). All either have compliant options or can easily alter to meet your needs!

  4. Jen April 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm Reply

    I made these last night and they came out really dry although they tasted really good! any recommendations for next time?

    • thefreckledfoodie April 23, 2013 at 8:37 pm Reply

      They are a bit drier than some bars which I don’t mind ( and may change depending on your protein powder) but if you want a bit more binding you could add another egg which would also increase the protein content. A bit more honey or subbing almond flour for half the flaxseed meal may work as well. Let me know if you try something that turns out great!

      • Jen April 23, 2013 at 8:52 pm Reply

        Thank you so much for responding! Once we finish the batch I made last night, I will try your suggestions out and give it a whirl! I will definitely know how they come out that way!

  5. Rita Shimniok May 18, 2013 at 7:41 am Reply

    I just stumbled upon your blog looking to make an oatmeal free protein bar for my nephew’s gym – as he is paleo. Thanks for the inspiration. I did not want to bake the protein bars as it seems to cancel out the benefits of the cold processed Arbonne protein powder (which my whole family loves!). I left out the egg and substituted ground nuts, chia seeds and dried fruit and used 1 1/2 c. of the Arbonne protein powder. I use raw agave or liquid stevia for the sweetener to maintain the low glycemic (which the protein powder is now certified to be, which makes me happy as a former pre- type 2 diabetic). No bake and they are in the frig chilling right now. I licked the spoon and it was awesome! I am glad to have found your blog and look forward to more ideas as my family switched to clean eating 2 years ago.

    • thefreckledfoodie May 18, 2013 at 8:03 am Reply

      Your version sounds awesome, and raw is always a great option! I hope they turn out as amazing as they sound. Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

  6. Kim H. May 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm Reply

    This recipe looks great, looking for an after practice/game high protein snack for my son. Question, in the ingredients you mention flax meal but in the directions you say almond meal? Do use either interchangeably? Also the men in my family are not thrilled with coconut, can I just leave it out?

    • thefreckledfoodie May 28, 2013 at 1:06 pm Reply

      Thanks for letting me know, Kim! I will change that, but yes you can use either. The flaxmeal makes it a bit more crumbly but reduces the amount of omega 3s in the recipe. As for the coconut, you could most likely leave it out and maybe just add another 1/4 cup of almond meal. I haven’t tried it but I think it should work. If you try it let me know!

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  8. Sam July 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm Reply

    Thanks, my attempt at calculating the nutrition of the nut protein bars (2nd recipe) is linked here:

    I omitted the protein powder since I felt that wouldnt be paleo. I get ~5g proein for 7g of sat fat and 175 kCal. Seems expensive for the protein you get but looks delish.

    • thefreckledfoodie July 6, 2013 at 11:57 am Reply

      Thanks for the info Sam! I know protein isn’t technically paleo but its as close as I could get 🙂

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  10. Sterling Rech August 27, 2013 at 5:16 pm Reply


    Do you have an estimated nutrition content for these? Fat- *grams, Protein, etc… not because I’m worried about it, just more out of curiosity. I’ve made these twice now and am addicted 🙂 I usually double the batch and use a 9×13 baking dish. And I’ve also found that it still works if you use coconut flour with flaxseed/meal. Almond flour is a better sub, but coc. flour does works well.

    thanks –

    • thefreckledfoodie August 27, 2013 at 11:17 pm Reply

      Sterling, I don’t have the nutrition information but you can use an online calculator and input your exact ingredients and divide by the number of servings to find out! Thanks for letting others know what has worked for you 🙂

  11. Skylar November 25, 2013 at 5:58 pm Reply


    I just made these and they smell/look delicious! I made them since I’m going out of town for Thanksgiving, and staying at a friends, so I wanted to have a few healthy snacks. How long do these last out of the fridge, and how long in the fridge? I’m going to wrap each bar individually with tin foil and store in a plastic baggy like you suggested. Just wanted to make sure they don’t go bad out of the fridge for a week. I may freeze the rest. Thank you for the recipe!!!

    • thefreckledfoodie November 25, 2013 at 6:49 pm Reply

      Skylar, the bars should last at least a week in the fridge and a few days out of the fridge so you should be fine. I would freeze them before you head out of town so they stay at least cold until you get wherever you are going! Hope you love them 🙂

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  16. Mark January 3, 2015 at 2:05 pm Reply

    I have never baked before in my life and I made these! Although I had to look at the directions a million times, they came out pretty well. Thank you very much for the website and the recipes!! Go Paleo!

  17. […] Paleo Protein Bars and Travel | The Freckled Foodie – I just stumbled upon your blog looking to make an oatmeal free protein bar for my nephew’s gym – as he is paleo. Thanks for the inspiration…. […]

  18. Gayle February 15, 2015 at 7:01 pm Reply

    I’ve made these and have gotten rave reviews from the hubby. I am not compulsive about an accurate measure on some ingredients and they turn out better each time. I added a few dates this time. I put them in the blender with the wet ingredients for a bit. I was afraid it was going to be a little stiff, but it was awesome!

  19. Sara G March 8, 2015 at 4:47 pm Reply

    I just made these bars…I am super excited for a snack for my kids lunch that won’t “melt” through the day…the only issue I had is that the coconut flakes just fell right off????? Did you press them in or am I doing somehting wrong?

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