This is what happens when you are in need of a protein-packed snack and crave chocolate and peanut butter at the same time.
Introducing these soft and fudgy protein bars that are full of peanut flavor, crunchy peanuts, and a layer of dark chocolate! These no-bake bars require just 7 ingredients and pack over 7g of protein! Did I mention these are protein powder-free?
Instead of going for oat or almond flour as a base for these bars, I used powdered peanut butter. It not only up the protein content but also gives them an even stronger peanut flavor!
Then to add sweetness and give the bars more structure, we have Medjool dates, maple syrup, and peanut butter. A little bit of coconut oil to make them firmer and moister, and some vanilla extract for flavor.
You process all the ingredients together in a food processor until it forms a dough. Then press the dough into a small baking dish and top with melted chocolate. Cut into bars and you’re ready to go!
For those of you who don’t have a food processor, or simply don’t want to use it, you can simply mash the dates using a fork and then knead all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
If you want to make these bars completely refined sugar-free, feel free to use coconut sugar-sweetened chocolate.
These protein bars are not too sweet, crunchy and fudgy at the same time, and so easy to make! They keep very well in the refrigerator, but can also keep at room temperature if you want it to be softer.
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
Fudgy Peanut Butter Protein Bars (Vegan + GF)
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Add the medjool dates, powdered peanut butter, peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract to the bowl of a food processor. Process for 5-10 seconds, or until it forms a dough. Note: I also had success by simply mashing the dates using a fork and kneading all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, so no food processor required.
- The dough should be soft but not sticky. If it's too sticky, add a bit more powdered peanut butter. If it's too crumbly, add more maple syrup.
- Line a 4x7-inch pan with parchment paper. Transfer the dough into the pan and press it down firmly into an even layer. You can top with parchment paper and use the bottom of a glass to press it down. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- For the topping, melt the dark chocolate chips and coconut oil in a double boiler over medium heat. Once melted, pour into the pan, over the dough. Use a spatula to spread it into an even layer. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.
- Cut into 12 small squares (or make larger ones) and enjoy!
- These peanut butter protein bars will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. They will become slightly softer at room temperature.