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Protein bars

Picture of Orla Walsh, RD
Orla Walsh, RD
Orla Walsh is a Registered Dietitian and Physiologist. Orla is the founder of Orla Walsh Nutrition, she is the former performance nutritionist to the Irish Olympic team and is regular contributor for the Irish Independent newspaper, RTE and Newstalk FM.

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Photo 21-11-2023, 11 10 15

I usually HATE the taste and texture of protein bars. Often too sweet, too artifical and extremely chewy. If you think of the texture… so different to every other food on the planet. It’s no wonder that sometimes you can feel like you’re eating an auld shoe rather than something in a bid to fill your belly and get you to the next meal. It’s taken me a while to create the perfect bar. And, I think I’ve done it!

These bars are delicious as a snack between meals or in the evening. To lower the calories within them, simply but them into smaller squares 🙂

Lots of the ingredents are heart healthy and cholesterol lowering including the pecans, oats, chia seeds and nut butter. The protein mainly comes from the milk and whey (whey is the protein in milk!)


  • Large bar (100g) of dark chocolate (think 80-85%)
  • 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder
  • 200g oats
  • 100g pecans
  • 50g chia seeds (help bind it, and offten plant omega 3s and soluble fibre)
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 0-3 tbsp honey (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 100ml milk


  • Put the dark chocolate into your blender e.g. bullet. Blitz until it’s a powder.
  • Empty the chocolate into a bowl and add all the other ingredients.
  • Mix everything up until the oats are nicely coated and then squish the ingredients into a dish.
  • The dish can be any number of sizes and shapes depending if you want to swerve as chunky squares or thin larger squares. Don’t overthink it. The mizture doesn’t even need to touch the walls of the dish for this to work.
  • Now, leave it in the fridge for a few hours to set before cutting.
  • I prefer them to be less sweet so leave out the honey. This leads to a bar thats more likely to crumble a touch but I don’t really mind!

White chocolate options

  • Switch the dark chocolate to white chocolate
  • Switch the chocolate whey to vanilla whey
  • Switch the pecans to hazlenuts
  • Otherwise the same.


  • What is the healthiest snack food? Often the answer to this is one that contains protein and fibre as these two nutrients help you to feel full and stay full.
  • What do healthy people eat as a snack? Nuts, seeds, fruit and dairy appear in most options for healthy snacks.
  • Which is a healthful snack? Don’t like these bars, why not try the energy bars?
  • What should I eat at night to lose fat? A calorie deficit is required to lose weight. However, enough protein (as well as strength training) is needed to try and keep your muscle mass when losing weight so that the body loses predominantly fat.

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