I love both making and eating recipes like this one. Homemade protein granola bars are a favorite in our home, and I am certain that I will be churning out many batches this season. This particular recipe can also be gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free, depending on the ingredients you use.
Chocolate Chip Protein Granola Bars made Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free
This tummy-friendly, dairy-free protein granola bars recipe was originally shared with us about a decade ago by VSL#3, the makers of a multi-strain probiotic medical food. Back in those days, their probiotic had trace dairy, from the processes. But times have changed, and their product is now strictly dairy-free, so I’m updating this post. Here’s a little more info on the probiotic, followed by the healthy bar recipe.
VSL#3 Now A Dairy-Free Probiotic
VSL#3 has always been non-dairy by ingredients. Probiotics are technically just bacteria. However, this brand did have a “may contain” disclaimer for traces of dairy due to the production process. Fortunately, VSL Pharmaceuticals relocated manufacturing of its probiotic medical food VSL#3 back to Italy to remove all traces of dairy from the process, making it the only dairy-free probiotic medical food available.
According to VSL’s U.S. Distributor, “Moving VSL#3 back to the original manufacturing facility in Italy has allowed the brand to revert back to an established process that removes all dairy while maintaining the original proprietary mix of eight strains of live bacteria.”
To note, a trace amount of cornstarch was added to the product to reduce moisture and maintain potency.
Special Diet Notes: Protein Granola Bars
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, gluten-free, tree nut-free, optionally soy-free, and vegetarian.
For peanut-free homemade granola barsuse sunflower seed butter in place of the peanut butter. If peanuts are your only concern, then you can use almond butter, cashew butter, or another nut-butter.
For egg-free and vegan homemade granola bars, see our Egg Substitute Guide.
- 1 cup peanut butter (or nut or seed butter of your choice)
- ¾ cup brown rice syrup or your favorite liquid sweetener
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg (see post above for egg-free / vegan options)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups rolled oats (can use certified gluten-free)
- 1 cup semi-sweet mini dairy-free chocolate chips
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ cup ground chia seeds
- 2 servings dairy-free protein powder (egg white, brown rice, or pea protein are good soy-free options, too)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Grease a 10x15-inch baking tray.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, brown rice syrup, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
- Add the oats, chocolate chips, coconut, chia seeds, and protein powder, and stir with a wooden spoon to thoroughly combine. The batter will be thick lick cookie dough.
- Dump the mixture onto your baking tray and press it in using a wooden spoon or lightly damp hands.
- Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the bar mixture is golden brown around the edges.
- Let cool for 30 minutes before cutting into bars. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days, or frozen to enjoy later.