Homemade keto protein bars that taste like pecan pie! You simply can’t go wrong with a healthy no-bake energy bar, filled with healthy fats and collagen protein. They are so easy to make and have less than 2g net carbs per serving.
I used to be a real sucker for protein bars. Back when I worked in higher education administration, I usually had a drawer full of Luna Bars. And the pecan pie flavor was one of my favourites. Because if you know anything about me, you know I love me some pecan pie.
I thought I was doing something good for my body back then. It kind of blows my mind to think about it now. I shudder to think what was in them. Oats, sugar, soy, brown rice syrup. Things I wouldn’t dream of eating anymore.
And now I look at the exploding keto protein bar industry, which is surely in the many millions of dollars. I do understand the appeal of these easy keto snacks, for times when you’re on the go or just too busy to make something yourself. And there are some very tasty ones out there. But it’s quite a racket, when you think about it.
They are all wildly expensive, most of them costing at least $30 for a pack of 12. And a number of them contain rather questionable ingredients – no one is regulating the use of the term “keto” and there are quite a few that really aren’t keto-friendly. So be forewarned!
Why not make your own Keto Protein Bars?
I do keep some Perfect Keto bars on hand for travel or snack emergencies, but on the whole, I just don’t recommend making them a daily habit. The cost is just too prohibitive. And making your own protein bars means you know exactly how keto friendly they are.
It’s a lot easier than you think! Check out my video to see how quickly you can make these bars at home.
I created these Pecan Pie Energy Bars for my Easy Keto Breakfasts book. They honestly take about 15 minutes to make, although you do need to chill them for a while before you can dig in.
But the price is right, my friends. The recipe makes 10 bars, and each has only 4.5g TOTAL carbs. And more than half of that is fiber, so the net carbs are less than 2g.
Also if you account for the fact that all of your ingredients will last you much longer than this one recipe, the total price for 10 bars comes out to about $12. That’s a far sight better than $30 for 12!
There is also nothing in them that will go bad very quickly so they are shelf stable for at least a week, if not two. Now, I do admit that they are a bit fragile at room temperature. But if you pop them into a rigid container, you can take them on the go with you just about anywhere.
Best of all? I swear the flavor beats the pants off any purchased keto bars I’ve tried.
Tips for Making Keto Pecan Pie Energy Bars
These are so simple to make, you won’t even believe it. Here are my best tricks for making these easy keto energy snacks:
Toast your pecans first: Toasting brings out the natural sweetness and intensity of the nuts. I like to toast mine in the oven at 350F for about 10 minutes. You can also toast them in a skillet over medium heat. No matter which way you do it, stay nearby and watch them carefully. Pecans can burn quickly when you’re not paying attention.
Grind the pecan finely: A food processor works best for this and you really want to take it to the point that they resemble crumbs. If they aren’t finely ground, your bars won’t stick together that well.
Use a powdered sweetener: Because these aren’t baked at all, you don’t want to use a granular sweetener – they will be far too gritty. I used Swerve Confectioners for mine.
Add collagen peptides: Collagen is a great source of protein and is said to be very good for our hair and joints, especially as we age. But I add it to these energy bars in part because it helps them stick together better. Since they require no baking, you need a little extra “glue” to hold them together.
I used unflavored collagen from Primal Kitchen but it just occurred to me that the Salted Caramel collagen from Perfect Keto would be DREAMY in these bars. (And, FYI, if you use coupon code ALLDAY15, they give you 15% off any of their products).
Work the melted butter in well: Once your dry ingredients are whisked together, you simply add melted butter and the extract. But you really need to work it into the dry ingredients until they begin to stick together. I find this works best with a silicone spatula, so I can really mix it hard against the bowl.
Use caramel flavor: If you can find it, use a caramel extract or flavoring for a more pecan pie-like flavor. Vanilla works well too, though. As you can see in the video, I ran out of caramel extract so I used maple. Because maple and pecans are great together too!
Line the pan with parchment: This allows for easy removal and cutting, once the bars are chilled. You can simply lift the whole thing out of the pan and cut with a sharp knife.
Press the bars in firmly: Don’t be afraid to use a little force here. You really want to press them in as firmly as you can, so that they stick together well.
See how easy it is to make your own keto protein bars? It really takes almost no time at all and you know EXACTLY what’s in them and just how keto-friendly they are!
Now go grab a copy of Easy Keto Breakfasts because I promise there are more great and easy keto breakfast recipes. It’s in the name, after all!
Pecan Pie Protein Bars
- Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, grind 1 ¼ cups of pecan until they resemble coarse crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl. Chop the remaining ¼ cup pecans finely and add to the bowl.
- Whisk in the almond flour, sweetener, collagen, and salt. Stir in the melted butter and extract until the mixture becomes cohesive.
- Press firmly and evenly into the prepared pan and rerigerate at least one hour. Cut into 10 bars.