Peanut Butter Chia Seed Energy Bars – Low Carb and Gluten-Free


Protein-packed no-bake peanut butter bars with coconut oil and chia seeds. A healthy start to your low carb day!

Low Carb Peanut Butter Chia Seed Bars

As you know, Swerve Sweetener is by far my favourite low carb sweetener and I am very fortunate to have a great working relationship with the company as well. I genuinely believe that it is the best sugar alternative on the market.  It certainly helps that they are a responsible and responsive company, working hard to constantly improve their product, their availability, and their relationship with the consumer. I discovered Swerve a few years ago via Twitter of all places, and once I tested it out for myself, I knew it was superior to all other erythritol-based sweeteners I’d tried. Our efforts have dovetailed ever since, since the Swerve mission is similar to mine. I like to joke that I plan to take over the world and make it sugar-free. Swerve is my ammunition of choice.

They’ve always been wonderfully supportive of my efforts and now we’re working together in more of an official capacity. I am developing recipes for their monthly newsletter and it is exclusive content. To get those recipes hot off the presses, you need to sign up for the Swerve newsletter. This won’t be a hardship as you will also get news and updates about Swerve and some great advice on living healthy. Beyond partnering with me, Swerve is also partnering with Carla Birnberg of MizFitOnline to motivate you both mentally and physically. All this adds up to great content you won’t want to miss!

And as always, Swerve has a special coupon code for my readers. Any time you order Swerve, enter DREAM10 to get 10% off your entire order.

It goes without saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So I created an easy-to-make and easy-to-eat energy bar for all those people who think they don’t have time for a healthy breakfast. These bars are packed with protein, healthy fats like coconut oil, and super food chia seeds. They taste like peanut butter fudge and they require no baking. What could be better to fuel you through a busy morning?

Low Carb Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chia Breakfast Bars

These bars were my contribution to the January Swerve newsletter. You can check out the recipe now on the Swerve website: Peanut Butter Chia Seed Protein Bars.

Serves 16. Each serving has 8 g of carbs and 5 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 3 g.  **NOTE – you will see a difference in my carb count versus the one on the Swerve Website. This is because the “carbs” in Swerve do not affect blood sugar so I do not add them in. The company has to list them, by law, on their nutritional counts.

Per serving:  243 Calories; 22g Fat (74.7% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 7mg Cholesterol; 66mg Sodium.

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  1. Belenda says

    The nutritional info on Swerve site shows 260 calories, 16 carbs, 4g fiber, for 12 net carbs per bar. What’s the difference in yours?

    • Carolyn says

      They have to officially count the carbs in the Swerve itself. But since it doesn’t register on blood sugar, you don’t count them on a low carb diet. I have previously stated that I do not count any erythritol carbs, because they pass through the system whole (kinda like fiber).

    • Carolyn says

      Other than that, the rest of our numbers were pretty darn close! I use software called MasterCook. Not sure what they use.

      • Carolyn says

        Yes, I understand from them that it is GF and wheat free. The natural flavors are citrus-derived, I believe. I can check on that for you. Or you can email them, they are really responsive!

    • Carolyn says

      As you figured out, the only carbs I don’t count are erythritol carbs. Because I have tested over and over on myself and find that they don’t raise my blood sugar one little bit (yay!). Fiber gets automatically counted in my software but then I do the math for you and subtract them to get the “Net Carb count”.

  2. Lin says

    What is in Swerve and how many carbs does it contain? I would think that if Swerve contains carbs, it would raise blood sugar? I stopped using sweetners like Splenda and Equal because of the carbs. I like Stevia or a liquid like EZ-Sweetz. They have zero calories and zero carbs. I thought all carbs raised glucose levels?

    • Carolyn says

      You can check out the nutritional information on Swerve on their website. However, many clinical studies have shown that erythritol passes into the urine unchanged without affecting blood glucose. I have diabetes and I check my blood sugar daily. Do you really think I would be promoting a sweetener that raised my glucose levels? And not all carbs are created equal. In US labeling, fiber is considered a carb. But it is indigestible, therefore again, does not affect blood glucose.

    • Carolyn says

      By the way, I like stevia too (I do not like EZ-Zweets, which is sucralose). But stevia has its limitations, including a distinct aftertaste and the fact that it has no bulk properties. It does not help give baked goods any structure. And you can’t caramelize stevia! :)

  3. Barbara says

    I don’t eat peanut butter – do you think I can sub Almond or other nut butter with success ? I miss my breakfast bars !

  4. DeAnne says

    After working at home for 5 years, I’m now hopping up and getting in the car in the morning. This is very timely and looks fantastic!
    My type 1 husband will enjoy them, too. We love your recipes and your website. Thanks for all you do.

  5. Susan says

    My only complaint about Swerve is the clumping. I store it in an airtight container, but find I’m always having to chip out the amount I need. Are there any tricks to keep it (relatively) free flowing?

    • Carolyn says

      Not that I have found. But they are well aware of the issue and are changing the packaging for one thing. They have also been working on a slightly different formulation, I believe. It’s a bug bear for them too. I typically toss mine into the food processor to break it up again. I tried putting apple peel in, similar to brown sugar to keep it soft. It worked but it was very, very soft…too moist, actually.

  6. Maureen says

    I just made these and not sure what went wrong. It seemed like there was too much dry and not enough wet ingredients when I put it into the pan, but was hoping it would come together after the refrigeration. It did not. Completely crumbled. Any ideas on how to fix this?

    • Carolyn says

      Hmmm. Mine were very moist and very soft. I think there has to be some sort of difference in our ingredients somehow. Perhaps cut back on the almond flour in yours?

    • Beverly says

      I keep mine in a Tupperware canister, and it stays dry and free flowing.
      I also grind granular SWERVE in my Food Processor for powdered (Confectioner’s style) SWERVE

      • Melanie E. says

        I have ground mine in a coffee grinder, but I can still tell the consistency is a bit gritty, unfortunately.

  7. Susan Hayes says

    I added the chopped peanuts, some unsweetened coconut and 1/2 t vanilla plus a pinch of salt and they are delicious! Perfect for eating on the go when low carb options are limited. Do you think they would freeze well? Maybe w/out the chocolate drizzle? Because I think we need to keep these around the house at all times, especially for my breakfast hater.

      • Susan Hayes says

        So far these have disappeared at a rate that freezing them is presently a moot point! My husband hates eggs and most breakfast foods but he will eat one of these, victory! However, I wanted to pass on that I made a second batch with almond butter, chopped almonds and about a Tablespoon of cinnamon and then glazed them with a bit of leftover cream cheese frosting (made w/Swerve of course!) thinned w/a bit of cream. Delicious! I find myself giving the Notella recipe another look (like I need a reason!) with these in mind, and maybe something with cashews and SF craisins . . .

  8. Deborah says

    Carolyn, do you know if they have any plans to sell Swerve on sites that do international shipping, like iherb and vitacost? I’d like to try it, but it’s not available outside of America…

  9. jeanie says

    I made these last night, with some substitutions for my allergies. I used cashew butter instead of the peanut butter and for the almond flour I used some regular flax, ground flax and unsweetened coconut. They were delish. I have to eat mine straight out of the fridge, otherwise they disintegrate, but it works for me! Thanks for the recipe!

  10. jeanie says

    I made these last night, with some substitutions for my allergies. I used cashew butter instead of the peanut butter and for the almond flour I used some regular flax, ground flax and unsweetened coconut. They were delish. I have to eat mine straight out of the fridge, otherwise they disintegrate, but it works for me! Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Donna says

    Does not counting the carbs work for Xylitol, too, and do you think it would work like Swerve in this recipe? Thanks for all you do.

    • Carolyn says

      Sorry, I somehow missed this comment earlier. When I test my own blood sugar with xylitol, it definitely rises a bit more. My understanding is that unlike erythritol, xylitol is partially absorbed into the blood stream and so we should count about half the carbs with xylitol.

  12. Brenda says

    Question about the ground chia seed. I’ve never seen it ground, only whole. I’m assuming I could crush the seeds in my mortar–how fine does it need to be?

  13. Janeen says

    I’ve tried Swerve and other erythritol sweeteners and no matter what it always recrystallizes in the dessert by the next day. I’ve tried powdering it in my food processor but that didn’t help. Any tips b/c I’m really said that it’s not working for me b/c I like the flavor.

    • Carolyn says

      What recipes did you try it in? The granulated definitely has a tendency to recrystallize more so you may want to consider purchasing the confectioners. It did not recrystallize in this recipe at all. And in my experience, the more it gets heated in a liquidy recipe, like sauces, the more the granulated tends to recrystallize. In baked goods, it’s not such an issue.

      • Janeen says

        I can’t remember the exact recipes. I believe one was a chocolate torte off of Maria’s website and the other was a brownie recipe. It also took way longer to cook than the time specified in both recipes.

  14. Hanna says

    First of all, I just want to say I LOVE your site, and your recipes. I just made these the other day, and I’m addicted. So delish! I have a question though, has anyone heard anything about chia seeds giving a false positive on drug tests? I have googled it, and am getting mixed answers. Some people are saying yes it absolutely does and others absolutely not. I have a drug test this upcoming week for my dream job and would be devastated if these delicious little seeds messed it up for me!
    Thank you in advance!

  15. Joe says

    Hi Carolyn!

    First off, let me say thank you for all of your work. You are truly a huge blessing to those of us in the low carb community. On to my question: can you tell me the basic differences in baking with Swerve as opposed to straight Erythritol. Do you have any tips in general that would help those of us that don’t specifically use Swerve brand sweetener? What might the general differences between the two be and how can I go about getting the best end product with plain Erythritol? Thanks.

    • Carolyn says

      Hi Joe,

      Swerve contains oligosaccharides (a sweet fiber) to make it measure more like sugar. Straight erythritol is only about 70% as sweet as sugar, so you may need a little more to make up the difference in sweetness. Also, straight erythritol often has a strong cooling effect on the tongue. I don’t find that Swerve has any, although every palate is different so some people still feel it. When I used straight erythritol, I often had to add stevia to my recipes to make them sweeter and I found that if I used the two, I had less after taste or cooling effect from either.

      Hope that helps!

  16. Mandy says

    These were outstanding. One of my favorites from your blog! My entire family loves them, which is saying something. I really wanted to get off some of the prepackaged low-carb protein bars and these have totally fit the bill. They remind me of “Special K” bars I *used* to love.

  17. Candlelite says

    Would you be able to add the classification for those of us trying to follow THM? I’m still trying to determine which recipes are S or E or FP. Maybe something like “For those of you following the THM program, this recipe is (E) (S) (FP).” Thanks for considering this request.

    • Carolyn says

      Hi there. Many of my readers would be very confused by the THM designations because they don’t follow it. But here’s the deal…almost EVERYTHING I make is an S recipe because I follow a low carb, high fat diet. So when it comes to my recipes, you can usually count on it being an S!


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