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).
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.
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!
- 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)
- In a large bowl, mix together all the bar ingredients except milk (clean hands work best).
- Add in milk slowly, 1 Tbsp at a time. You should only need 3-4 Tbsp. It will be a slightly sticky stiff dough.
- 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)
- Once bars are in the pan, put in the fridge and make chocolate topping
- 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).
- Take the bars out of the fridge and pour over the chocolate and spread evenly over the top.
- Return the bars to the fridge and cool for at least an hour.
- Cut into 10 bars (1 cut in half, then cut into 5 bars on the top half, 5 on the bottom half)
- 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.