This post was last updated on May 2, 2015 to include a recipe video.
When we were recently on our vacation in Florida, we spent A LOT of time at various theme parks, like the Walt Disney World parks and Universal Studios. In addition to not wanting to spend exorbitant amounts of money on food, we were also wanting to eat well while on the trip.
Sadly, we found both wishes hard to fulfill…at first.
Fortunately, we learned it was best to stock up on high-protein snacks and stuff them into our backpack so we could have them throughout the day.
It was actually pretty awesome. We found protein bars to be super useful on those days because they offered a lot of protein and took up like no space in the backpack. Plus, they were pretty tasty. I mean — they’re kinda like eating a healthy candy bar.
When we got back to Austin, I found myself missing the tasty treat of a protein bar for my afternoon snack. So, I figured I’d see if I could create a yummy bar that offered a good amount of protein.
And so these bars were made. You get protein in all sorts of ways — there is the peanut butter and protein powder for the main protein, but there are also chia seeds and oatmeal which not only add to the flavor and texture, but also bring some protein to the table.
These chocolate-covered bars of healthy goodness have been taste-tested by many testers, from little kiddos to avid gym-goers, all with the same response: “mmm.” Funny how everybody wants to help taste test when I drizzle dark chocolate on something. Hmmm…
Since these bars have about 15 grams of protein per serving, I wasn’t sure where they fell on the protein bar versus energy bar spectrum. So, before calling them “protein bars,” I did a bit of research. Apparently, I found, the going theory is that energy bars are more designed to boost your energy and often have stimulants like caffeine or ginseng while protein bars are used more for adding protein into your diet and as a protein supplement between meals or after a workout.
Thus: Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars.
The no-bake part is awesome, too! All you gotta do is mix everything together, press into a deep dish and pop them in the freezer for a bit. And, presto! — yummy, homemade protein bars! Super easy and fast!
Plus, did I mention they were delicious? Like — so delicious — that I bet you can’t keep them in your fridge more than a day or so because they will be eaten by random tasters looking for a sweet treat.
No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder I use Dymatize IS0-100 Gourmet Vanilla
- 2 tsp dark cocoa powder
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp. coconut oil divided
- 3 tbsp almond milk plus more if needed
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp dark chocolate morsels
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, chia seeds, protein powder, cocoa powder and ground cinnamon. Mix well.
Add in the peanut butter and stir to combine until mixture is crumbly and peanut butter is evenly distributed.
Add in the coconut oil, the almond milk, and honey and stir to incorporate. The mixture should be pretty sticky and moist (i.e. not dry and crumbly). If not, add a little more almond milk.
Line a small, flat and rimmed dish, like a casserole dish, with parchment paper. Using a spoon, firmly press the mixture into the dish, making sure to press it evenly. This will be the thickness of the bars. Once the mixture is firmly pressed, put in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to set.
While mixture is in the freezer, heat the chocolate morsels and remaining 1 tsp. coconut oil in a small bowl in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, or until chocolate is smooth and liquidity.
Remove the dish from the freezer. Keeping the oatmeal mixture on the parchment paper, lay on a flat surface. Slice into 8 even bars.
Separate the bars slightly and drizzle the hot chocolate over with a spoon.
Return the bars to the refrigerator in an airtight container and allow the chocolate to cool and set, about 5-10 minutes.
To store, keep in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.