These Pumpkin Spice Latte Protein Bars are a delicious, healthy snack that's perfect for fall and a skinny, filling version of your favourite Starbucks drink!
Ingredients in pumpkin spice protein bars
Yes, I am definitely one of those people who LOVES pumpkin spice lattes. I've even got a pumpkin spice frappuccino recipe on the blog. Umm, you're right, basic bish over here and I'm proud of it! I swear there's nothing better than a cool fall day, chunky sweaters, crisp colourful leaves and a hot drink in hand.
These days, a super sweet pumpkin flavoured coffee just ain't gonna cut it.
But Pumpkin Spice Latte PROTEIN Bars? Yeah, they'll do! Here's what you'll need to make them below:
- pumpkin puree
- whey protein powder
- oat flour or rolled oats
- instant coffee
- pumpkin pie spice
- chocolate chips (optional)
How to make pumpkin spice latte protein bars
These protein bars are super easy to make! Here's what you do below:
- Mix wet ingredients together in a large bowl, then microwave for 1 minute, stirring well. Mix remaining dry ingredients together in another large bowl.
- Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring well to combine.
- Squish all ingredients down into a greased 8×8 dish, pressing down firmly.
- Freeze for 20-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips.
- Remove protein bars from the freezer, dividing into 10 pieces. Drizzle chocolate overtop, then serve.
Ingredient substitutions and notes
Flour – to keep the integrity of these bars, I do not recommend substituting the oat flour for any other flour. You can blend 1.5 cups of rolled oats in a blender or food processor to make oat flour, or you can buy it at a bulk food's store or in the gluten free baking section of your local grocery store.
Protein powder – I use Kaizen Naturals vanilla protein powder for this recipe. It's low in sugars and carbs, and super high in protein. Plus, it's a protein isolate, not concentrate, which is what you should be looking for in a protein powder. Be sure to only use whey, rice or soy protein in this recipe as other types will compromise the taste and texture.
Puree – You can use pumpkin puree, or the same amount of mashed bananas to make this recipe.
Tahini – If you don't have tahini on hand, you can use peanut, sunflower, cashew or almond butter with this recipe. I recommend a more taste-neutral nut butter such as almond or cashew over peanut butter but it's up to your personal preference.
Instant coffee – If you don't have any on hand at home, you can always leave it out!
Chocolate – This is an optional topper for these bars – you'll save 23 calories if you leave it off the top.
Why the high calorie count?
At 277 calories per bar, I know that it seems like a lot of calories for a snack. However, when you look at other store bought protein bars, you're looking at about the same calorie count but with all these added ingredients. My bars also contain 20g of protein, which is quite high.
I recommend enjoying one of these bars for breakfast along with a piece of fruit. This will bring the calorie count to about 350 calories, which is right in line with what you should be eating for a meal. The amount of protein and added fibre from the fruit will keep you feeling full for a long time!
More pumpkin recipes
How to make protein balls
If you're not into pumpkin but still want to try your hand at protein bars, I've got a handy protein balls post that will show you how to make protein balls 5 ways!
Honestly, it's SO easy to make homemade protein bars and energy bites at home. Like, I don't know why I don't do it more often because 15 minutes is all you really need and then you've got a week's worth (or more if you double the recipe) of healthy, on-the-go snacks.
Don't be tempted to grab the packaged snack bars and energy bites that you see at the store, no matter how tempting they are because you can really cut the costs of your meal prep by making protein bars at home. You can also ensure they're gluten free or low-sugar, low-carb, etc to fit your diet and fitness goals.
Storing protein bars
You can store these protein bars in the fridge or on the counter in a plastic container up to 7 days, so you have some wiggle room in when you have to eat them! Because of the fresh pumpkin puree and to keep the bars from melting or going soft, I do recommend that you store them in the fridge. This is especially important if you have drizzled the chocolate overtop!
Freezing pumpkin protein bars
You can also freeze these pumpkin protein bars! Freeze in a freezer bag or a glass container with a lid – these protein bars will keep up to 3 months!
They don't take very long to defrost either. You can have them defrosted and ready to go in just 15-20 minutes. You do end up chilling them in the freezer initially so they will be pliable enough to eat in a few minutes, which is perfect if you need to grab one from the freezer on your way out the door.
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls to store these protein bars in the fridge
- They can also be stored in Ziploc bags up to 3 months in the freezer
- Here is the protein powder I use if you're looking for a clean one.
Meal prep challenge
If you'd like some more help with meal planning, then you'll love my free 5-day meal prep challenge! It's basically a free course that will teach you how to meal prep and cook healthy meals at home with some PDF bonus materials. Sign up for free below:
Pumpkin Spice Latte Protein Bars
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup tahini or you can use almond, sunflower or peanut butter instead
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 2 cups whey protein powder
- 1 1/2 cups oat flour or 1.5 cups rolled oats blended in a blender/food processor
- 1 tbsp instant coffee
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice can blend 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg and 1 tsp ginger together to make pumpkin spice
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 1 tsp water
- Mix wet ingredients (pumpkin puree, tahini, honey, water and vanilla) together in a large bowl, then microwave for 1 minute, stirring well. Mix remaining dry ingredients (protein powder, oat flour, instant coffee, pumpkin spice) together in another large bowl.
- Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring well to combine and using your hands near the end to completely mix everything together.
- Squish all ingredients down into a greased 8x8 dish, pressing down firmly and smoothing the top as much as possible. Freeze for 20-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix chocolate chips with water and heat for 1 minute in the microwave.
- Remove protein bars from the freezer and cut using a sharp knife, dividing into 10 pieces. Drizzle chocolate overtop, then serve and enjoy! I like to keep extras in the freezer - they'll keep up to 3 months in there!
*Remove 23 calories if not drizzling with chocolate overtop