Saturday, May 5, 2012

P90X Protein Bar Recipe

Update: I added a second recipe. There are now Chocolate Chip Bars and Oatmeal Raisin Bars. My husband and I both agree, better to underbake these than overbake. We much prefer gooey to dried out.  Dried out/overbaked bars are pretty much inedible, and the line between "gooey" and "brick" is a fine one.

Update 2: We got a dehydrator and now usually dehydrate these on the "fruit leather" sheets in the dehydrator. We like the texture better (since we don't like the cooked edges in the baked version). Either way--oven or dehydrator--works!

Frequently it's really easy to make homemade version of pre-packaged foods. This goes for P90X protein bars. We looked up the nutrition facts of their bars, and then made our own version. Here's how:

First, we pulled up the label on a P90X bar. The stats are like this:
Calories: 260-270
Fat: ~7 g
Carbohydrates: ~32 g
Protein: ~20 g

Then I made a chart showing the stats for each of the ingredients I planned to use. Amounts of protein, fat, carb, and protein are per cup of ingredient. 

Calories Fat Carb Protein
Peanut butter PER CUP 1600 120 56 72
Honey PER CUP 1024 272
Oats PER CUP 307 5 56 11
Cereal PER CUP 172.9 3.325 34.58 2.66
Protein PER CUP (80g) 322.4 5.2 7.8 65
Chocolate Chips PER CUP 1280 64 160 16

Then I made another chart to alter the amount of each ingredient to change the ratios to match the P90X nutrition stats. 

Here's what we got: (This does not include addition of water!)

RECIPE! Calories Fat Carb Protein
Peanut butter 0.8 cup 1280 96 44.8 57.6
Honey 0.75 cup 768 0 204 0
Oats 1.75 cup 537.25 8.75 98 19.25
Cereal 1.75 cup 302.575 5.81875 60.515 4.655
Protein 4 cups 1289.6 20.8 31.2 260
Chocolate Chips 0.5 cup 640 32 80 8
TOTAL 4817.425 163.36875 518.515 349.505
TOTAL PER BAR (20 BARS) 268 9 29 19

So, the ending recipe is....

P90X Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars!
0.8 cup peanut butter (all natural, ours was creamy Costco brand)
0.75 cup honey
1.75 cup rolled oats
1.75 cup honey bunches of oats cereal
4 cups protein powder (ours is whey unflavored--Nutra Bio brand)
0.5 cup chocolate chips (ours were trader joe's)
~1.5 cups water (maybe more maybe less)

Mix the dry ingredients together. Put honey and peanut butter in a bowl and microwave ~30 seconds to soften/liquify. Add the peanut butter/honey and dry ingredients together, and add water until the mixture is very thick and pour-able. Scrape into a lightly greased 9x13" pan and bake for ~15-20 minutes at 350 (the edges should be slightly brown but the center will still be gooey). Cool on counter until near room temp, then put into fridge until hardened up. Cut into 20 bars. 

Update: I find that if you like really gooey bars, then it is great to use the 9x13" pan. If you prefer less gooey bars, use two 8 or 9" square pans. (You'll get a more even bake in the smaller pans, unlike the large pan, where the edges will overbake and the center will stay gooey.)


By the way, P90X is going really well. It's tiring, but we can definitely see the difference. For one, I am VERY glad to have changed to a higher protein lower carb diet. I have the most sensitive stomach EVER (generally plagued by problems) and have found that many fewer carbs have helped a lot!). We have finished three weeks, so are just starting our recovery week (well, that is, after our 109 mi bike ride tomorrow..then we will "recover").


I created another recipe! This one is oatmeal-raisin. 

Here's the chart:

RECIPE! Calories Fat Carb Protein
Peanut butter 1 cup 1600 128 48 56
Honey 0.75 cup 768 0 204 0
Oats 2 cup 614 10 112 22
Cereal - Grape Nuts 1 cup 400 2 96 12
Protein 4.5 cups 1451 23 35 293
Raisins 0.75 cup 390 0 93 3
TOTAL 5223 163 588 386
TOTAL PER BAR (20 BARS) 261 8 29 19

And here's the user-friendly recipe!

P90X Oatmeal Raisin Protein Bars! 
1 cup peanut butter
0.75 cup honey
2 cups oats
1 cup grape nuts
4.5 cups protein powder (ours is whey unflavored)
0.75 cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon (or your preferred spices. I might use more than a tsp)
~0.5-1 cup water

See instructions for the chocolate chip recipe above.

This is the one we buy.  Yes, we are serious about protein powder--that's a 5 gallon bucket in the pictures below. A little ridiculous. **If you order from Nutra Bio, be sure to check their "$6.95 Shipping" link at the top of the page--otherwise the shipping will be super expensive. When I looked the coupon code was SAVE4.


  1. how do u store these? in the fridge? or room temp?

  2. We usually store them in the fridge. We bake them just a little (edges cooked but center gooey) and the fridge helps them congeal so they can be cut into bars.

  3. Thx! One other question - is there any nutritional benefit to the chocolate in the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip bars? I know it's not much being used but we don't really care for Chocolate, so I was going to use Peanut Butter chips (or none at all)
    I started searching Protein bar recipes to make at home for this program b/c A LOT of the ones i can find on the market have chocolate.
    Thanks again! I plan on making our first batch tomorrow.

  4. The chips just add the calories, fat, protein and carbs listed in the chart above. PB chips are probably an easy substitute. (You can always compare the nutritional facts per cup of the PB vs chocolate chips).

    My main tip is to underbake--overbaking makes a hard/dry bar and underbaking makes a gooey bar that stiffens up in the fridge. I made several batches of inedible overbaked ones but all of the underbaked ones were good.

  5. You mentioned cooking them in the dehydrator on the fruit roll sheets. How long and at what temperature do you do this? Thanks, I can't wait to try these!

  6. We are still experimenting with the dehydrator. My husband actually made some last night--he set the dehydrator at 140* for 6 hours...but they were a little too dry. It depends on how wet you get the mixture--his were very sticky and like a beefy cookie dough (not very wet). Probably would have been better to do it at a lower temp for a little longer, he thought maybe 8 hours at 125*. Flip them over partway through. And watch that they don't get too dry...these do not taste good if overbaked/overdried!

  7. Is there really 4 CUPS of protein powder in these or do you mean 4 scoops as in the scoop in the protein powder container?