Soft Protein Bars

by Jordan Reasoner

Soft Protein Bars

One of the most common problems we see when people start SCD, GAPS, or Paleo is they try to recreate foods they used to eat from the Standard American Diet. Inevitably, the recipes end up full of sugar (honey, sweeteners, etc.) and flours (almond, coconut, and others). Natural or not, a diet full of these ingredients doesn’t support life-long health.

And when too many meals consist of almond flour muffins or coconut flour bread… these people don’t feel better. (You can listen to minute 24:15 of this podcast to hear us talk more about this problem.)

In general, Steve and I still eat a diet of mostly meats, fats, veggies, and some fruit. That’s why you won’t see many recipes from us that contain lots of flour. It’s a rare occasion that we eat those types of food. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a great desert, travel snack, or occasional treat you can enjoy!

So, when Janna from sent us a protein bar recipe I asked her if we could share it with you and she graciously revealed her super-secret recipe. You rock Janna – thanks for helping us get some recipe diversity on the blog!

I will preface the recipe with this:

If you’re not in control of your symptoms, this recipe isn’t for you. Find your food safe zone first, then test it out in moderation. Also, read what Elaine had to say about seeds.

Soft Protein Bars (from Janna)


  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 Cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/2 Cup Thompson Raisins
  • 1 Cup Dates, pitted
  • 5-6 Tbsp Nut Butter (I used organic almond butter)
  • 1/4-1/3 Cup Honey


Throw it all in a food processor and blend until well mixed and all seeds fine in texture (about 2 – 3 minutes).

Get 2 pieces of parchment paper the size of a cookie sheet. Scoop the mixture onto once piece of parchment and place the other piece on top equal in size. Use a rolling pin to flatten the mixture between the 2 sheets. Roll it about 1/4 inch thick. Place in a pre-heated oven (200°F) for about 2 hours. You will know it is done when the top parchment peels off clean. Transfer to cooling rack with the bottom parchment still attached. The protein bar should be soft, and chewy but not wet or sticking to everything.

Note from Jordan: Coconut products would be another option. If you’re worried about trying this recipe, you could try using coconut products as a substitution. But I haven’t tried making it that way, so let us know how it goes.

Thanks again Janna – looking forward to many more great recipes on your blog.

P.S. – Leave any cool modifications you try in the comments below. Experiment away!


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About the author

Jordan Reasoner Jordan Reasoner is a health engineer and author. He was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007 and almost gave up hope when a gluten-free diet didn’t work. Since then, he transformed his health using the SCD Diet and started to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet Works

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

boispw December 10, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Can I freeze these bars? If so, how long would they keep?

Jordan Reasoner December 12, 2012 at 2:51 am

I think that would be fine. The general rule I hear is 3-5 months but not really based on anything solid.


Tricia Arieta October 5, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I am wondering if there is an estimate on the carb content? I am looking to manage this number as well and just found the SCD lifestyle. However, I used to eat Atkins bars (which were very irritating) moved to “Kind” bars, which have lots of nuts and really am low on options for “snack food” which I find is most challenging when starting out…thank you sooo much for this recipe!!

S September 17, 2012 at 9:37 am

I make the Super easy homemade Larabars at this site…
Thanks for the alternative recipe.

Cathy June 24, 2012 at 10:15 am

I don’t have a food processor, so I pre grind my seeds in my coffee grinder(it is only used for seeds).I sometimes use cranberry’s instead of the raisins and I freeze them with chopped dates for ten minutes. It takes more time, but they mix together nicely in my blender. This recipe really saved me when I had to go to California from NY in a family emergency. I Wrapped smaller pieces in parchment paper and stored them in the fridge in the hotel. I always had something to eat that I knew was safe.

pam June 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I am assuming that the pumpkin and sunflower seeds are without shells. Looking forward to trying this recipe.

Beverly B May 22, 2012 at 2:19 pm

These bars are wonderful! My son loves them, he has been gluten-free for the past 3 years and it difficult to fine healthy snacks for him. Thanks for the recipe – it’s so easy.


Jordan Reasoner June 2, 2012 at 3:55 am

You’re welcome Beverly, I’m so happy to hear that!


Carol Frilegh April 20, 2012 at 7:53 am

Seeds are permissible after 3 months of no symptoms.
Any seeds are OK as long AS LONG AS YOU ARE FREE OF ANY SYMPTOMS including tiredness, aches and pains, sore feet, rashes, these non-specific symptoms which indicate the presence of a leaky gut and a gut wall which is not completely healed. The addition of nuts and seeds may bring back diarrhea in many cases.

Keeley April 17, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Some dates are higher in fructose than others.
You’d want to use the lower fructose version. Can’t
Remember off the top
Of my head which
Is variety is the better
Option (ie
Lower in fructose)
Just google it

Heather Jacobsen April 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm

So, what is the problem with almond flour. Almonds are a healthy, protein packed nut, so how are the bad for you if they are ground into a meal?

Jordan Reasoner April 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Great question Heather. It’s not that almonds are bad for you, it’s that they commonly trigger symptoms for people with IBD in the beginning stages of healing.

It could be related to the phytates or the omega 6 content. I think the main problem is moderation. Too many people start a diet like SCD eating way too much almond flour and it aggravates symptoms. Particularly in people with Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease.

In good health,


Angela May 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm

It is the fiber in Almonds that is the problem, just like pistacios. They have FODMAPS in them. So do lots of SCD legal foods! So I have had to do an extreme combination of SCD and FODMAP free diet.

lisa truitt April 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Sounds tasty. Thanks for the recipe. I have thought for some time without taking the time to do it, of making different nut butters from pecans, or sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. I don’t know if they will all work well or not, but they sound yummy and I’d like to try. It would seem that they would work as well as almonds or peanuts. This is off topic, but I would like to present an idea. Have you guys ever thought of doing a fun, vacation like gathering of people on the scd? I mean something like Jimmy Moore does with his yearly low carb cruise? If you aren’t familiar with it, you can go to livinlavidalowcarb and check it out. I have thought about going on this cruise, but the people there still are not that much like me and don’t have the same needs. I have never met anyone else who is on the scd. Heck, I’ve barely met anyone else who has an IBD. My husband has a cousin that lives hours away that has UC, and I know a few people who say they have IBS, but they must not be anything like me, because they still eat fairly normally and do ok. I really like the idea of meeting and connecting more with other people who can relate to one another. I really appreciate your website. I consider it my support group in a way, even though I’ve never actually met you. It keeps me going when I’m feeling discouraged, and helps me trouble shoot when having problems. I don’t feel so alone and can see that even if they are not right here around me, there are so many other people going through what I am and we can help each other and get better.