No-Bake Peanut Chocolate Protein Bars

by Kristine on March 10, 2014

in Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Protein Bars, Recipes, Snacks

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I currently have over 20 protein bar recipes on the site. Some are bake, others are no-bake. I never tire of making protein bars, as they are a staple snack in this house. I have one daily, as does my husband. The kids enjoy them as well.

I’m always looking for new variations and new favorites. I’ve never done this combination before, but it turned out wonderful!

I’ve had graham cracker crumbs on hand, as I’ve been doing so many cheesecake bar variations, so I thought, why not try it in a no-bake bar! These peanut chocolate protein bars turned out so good, and they are so chewy, even directly out of the freezer. That’s always a huge win in my book as I’m always grabbing one out of the freezer and eating it right away (usually right when I get home from a  workout).

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Since I like to keep the sugar low, I used stevia chocolate chips in the topping. But if you don’t have them, then regular chocolate chips will certainly work, you’ll just be adding a few grams of sugar to each of the bars.

I like to use a thin layer of chocolate, so you still get all the flavor, but it doesn’t turn it into an unhealthy chocolate bar. I think this ratio is just perfect.

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If you have some allergy concerns, these bars could be made dairy-free by using non-dairy chocolate chips (FYI, the Kirkland brand have no milk ingredients), and subbing out the butter for a vegan margarine, and omitting the whey protein for a vegan protein.

For nut allergies, you couls easily swap the peanuts for another chopped nut of choice (or leave them out), or even a seed like pumpkin seeds. Instead of peanut butter, you could use Sunbutter, which is made of sunflower seeds.

So next time you’re looking to quickly make a batch of bars, I hope you try these, as I’m very sure you’ll love them!


No-Bake Peanut Chocolate Protein Bars
 
Prep time
Total time
 
These are a delicious and chewy no-bake protein bar recipe. Great for adults and kids. Perfect amount of sweetness, the graham crumbs give it a great flavor vs. an all-oatmeal bar. Gluten-free and great for snacks.
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Yield: 10
Ingredients
For the Bars
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs (for gluten-free I use 7 S'moreables crushed to make crumbs)
  • ¾ cup whey protein, vanilla (I used MRM) *could also sub for extra oats or vegan protein- will be different nutrition
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup sugar-free honey (I used Nature's Hollow) *could also use regular honey
  • ⅓ cup salted blanched peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 3-4 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk (or whatever milk you like)
For the Chocolate Topping
  • 1 Tbsp natural peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup stevia chocolate chips (I used Krisda, could also use Lily's)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together all the bar ingredients except milk (clean hands work best).
  2. Add in milk slowly, 1 Tbsp at a time. You should only need 3-4 Tbsp. It will be a slightly sticky stiff dough.
  3. Press the bars into a lightly sprayed 8x8 pan (tip: I cover the top in plastic wrap when pressing them in so the dough doesn't stick to my hands)
  4. Once bars are in the pan, put in the fridge and make chocolate topping
  5. In a microwave safe bowl (or on stove in small pot) melt together the chocolate chips and peanut butter. If doing in the microwave, do in 30 second increments (stirring well after each 30 seconds).
  6. Take the bars out of the fridge and pour over the chocolate and spread evenly over the top.
  7. Return the bars to the fridge and cool for at least an hour.
  8. Cut into 10 bars (1 cut in half, then cut into 5 bars on the top half, 5 on the bottom half)
  9. Keep stored in the fridge (covered), or wrap each bar individually and place in the freezer for grab-n-go (this is what I do). Bars are chewy directly out of the freezer.
Nutrition
Serving size: 1 bar (of 10) Calories: 254 Fat: 12 g Saturated fat: 4 g Carbs: 30 g Sugar: 2 g Sodium: 90 mg Fiber: 5 g Protein: 12 g

 

Kristine
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Kristine

I'm Kristine Fretwell, busy mom of 2 little girls, author, blogger, and former pro fitness competitor. I love almost any kind of cookie, anything coconut or pumpkin flavored, and Thai food. A perfect day for me is enjoying my family, getting to the gym, and whipping up a new healthy recipe. I've got a collection of over 300 healthy recipes, and other tidbits like fitness and health tips. My recipes have been featured on websites such as Huffington Post, Savvy Mom, Shape and Skinny Scoop.
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  • mc

    Hi! Just trying to decide if I should make these or the stickers protein bars 🙂 what did u prefer?

    • http://www.busybuthealthy.com Kristine Fretwell

      Hmmm, that’s a tough one! They are both really good. The one I’d choose depends on the mood I’m in. The Snickers are a bit more sweet, but these are a little more hearty/filling as they have the oats.

  • Rox

    Made these tonight and they are amazing! Thanks for another great recipe.

    • http://www.busybuthealthy.com Kristine Fretwell

      Yay! Glad you like them too! I always am anxious to hear how they turn out for others so thx for posting!

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