Happy Monday, I hope your weekend was fabulous, healthy, happy and sunny.
Today we’re doing a throwback recipe from 2017. These peanut butter protein bars were so delicious that I had to redo the photos and hit publish on the blog again.
I’ll occasionally do this with older recipes because 1) I don’t want you to forget about them and 2) anything with peanut butter is always acceptable, right?!
Peanut butter + chocolate = match made in heaven
Raise your hand if a Reese’s peanut butter cup is your favorite candy; it’s been mine since I was a little girl. I remember finding my Dad’s stash of peanut butter cups in the fridge or freezer and begged him to have one after dinner. It’s funny, I even remember eating the edges of the peanut butter cup then savoring the peanut butter middle for last.
These days, I make my own homemade healthy peanut butter cups, and still am obsessed with just about anything with a peanut butter and chocolate combo. That’s exactly where these chocolate peanut butter protein bars come in. They provide a healthy dose of protein, yet they taste like dessert. WIN WIN WIN.
How to make peanut butter protein bars
These chocolate peanut butter protein bars are easy to make because there’s no baking required. All you need is an a pot or two, an 8×4 inch loaf pan, parchment paper and 7 simple ingredients:
peanut butter: you can use whatever kind of nut butter you’d like, just make sure it’s all natural (with no additives — just nuts + salt). I like Smucker’s, Santa Cruz, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods natural creamy peanut butter.
honey: this unrefined sweetener is perfect for holding together + sweetening the bars. If you are vegan, I suggest using coconut palm syrup or date syrup.
coconut oil: you’ll only need a tablespoon of coconut oil!
vanilla extract: I’m such a vanilla lover, but if you find yourself out of vanilla, feel free to skip it!
flaxseed meal: flaxseed meal is just ground flaxseeds! I absolutely LOVE how it adds fiber + protein to these bars. It does give the bar a nice toasty flavor too.
protein powder: you can use plant based or a whey protein. My personal favorite is Vital Proteins collagen peptides (which is dairy free) but I also love aloha vanilla plant based protein powder for this recipe. Those are the two I highly recommend for flavor and consistency in this recipe.
dark chocolate: you can use your favorite brand of dark chocolate. I recommend theo, divine or alter eco brands. Alter eco has a lot of great dairy free/vegan options!
Optional: a little fancy sea salt for sprinkling on top.
These bars are seriously one of my favorite healthier treats to make because they’re so freaking easy and do NOT require any baking. They also make an excellent post workout snack or late afternoon pick me up as they happen to pack 9g protein.
Personally I love keeping them in the fridge when I want a healthier dessert that’s similar to my favorite candy in the world.
More peanut butter + chocolate treats to try:
If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment below and rate them! And don’t forget to tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram so we can see your creations!
No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars
- ¾ cup natural creamy peanut butter (just peanuts + salt)
- ¼ cup honey (or coconut palm syrup, if vegan)
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup ground flaxseed meal
- 1/2 cup of your favorite vanilla or plain protein powder*
- 2.5 ounces your favorite 85% dark chocolate bar
- Coarse sea salt for sprinkling on top
In a medium bowl mix together peanut butter, honey, coconut oil, vanilla together until smooth. Add in ground flaxseed meal and protein powder of choice. Use a spoon to mix together until you can’t anymore, then use clean hands to help work together. The batter should be similar to cookie dough.
Press into an 8x4 inch pan lined with parchment paper.
Make the chocolate layer by adding 2.5 ounces of dark chocolate to a small saucepan and melting until completely smooth. Pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter layer and tilt the pan so that the chocolate covers the peanut butter layer entirely.
Place in the fridge for 30 minutes-1 hour before slicing into 10 bars or squares (either works but I love squares the most). Store covered in the fridge until ready to eat. Bars will keep for up to two weeks.
*Note: if the batter feels too dry, add ½ - 1 tablespoon of melted virgin coconut oil
For the protein powder: you can use plant based or a whey protein. My personal favorite is Vital Proteins collagen peptides (which is dairy free) but I also love aloha vanilla plant based protein powder for this recipe. Those are the two I highly recommend for flavor and consistency in this recipe.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats