Gluten-Free Protein Squares – a healthy snack option

Gluten-free Protein Squares

Do you have a carb-addict at your house? These gluten-free protein bars make a tasty swap for sweet treats. They worked for my little carb-eater.

Refined carbs and sugars are addicting for most of us. Impulsivity, a factor that often comes with Down syndrome, leads Joey to give in to food temptations and exhibit binging behaviors, usually with carbs.

If we are not keeping a careful eye and ear out, our sneaky son might creep into the kitchen and snag the box of frozen waffles out of the freezer or grab a bunch of tortillas from the fridge. He loves all things carbs!

This is compounded by an inability to feel full due to the low muscle tone that comes with Down syndrome and higher levels of Leptin which causes leptin resistance affecting appetite. Yes, he has eaten an entire box of frozen waffles.

This is troublesome because obesity is a concern for people with Down syndrome. Dieticians suggest a gluten-free diet for the Down syndrome population and eating lots of high-carb foods can cause weight gain. I am not there yet with Joey. We are trying to find ways to replace processed, high-carb foods with similar foods made with better ingredients that are lower in refined carbs and sugar while increasing his protein intake.

So this weekend, I tested out some gluten-free protein squares to serve as our snack for the week. They turned out quite tasty and were moist with a slightly cake-like texture. The bars held together well when I took wrapped bars to work. Joey ate his during snack time. We will include these more often as a treat or snack option.

The recipe for Gluten-free Protein Squares


  • 1 cup gluten-free old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup nut butter
  • 1-2 scoops protein powder
  • 1/2 cup stevia
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 mashed ripe banana
  • (Optional: cinnamon, pumpkin spice, or rum extract)


First, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Next, mix together all ingredients. Spread the mixture into a 9×9 inch glass pan sprayed with coconut oil. Then put the pan in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Be sure to check it by inserting a toothpick in the center of a square. If it comes out clean, they are done.

Let the cake cool completely and cut them into squares. Wrap your gluten-free protein squares in saran wrap and store them in the refrigerator for a week or freeze.

I’d love to hear what you think! Please comment below or send me an email. What are your favorite healthy swap recipes?

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