An easy, healthy no-bake snack to keep on hand! These homemade nut-free protein bars are made with vegan protein powder to make a healthy snack or fueling post-workout option. Soft, chewy, and topped with chocolate, these no-bake protein bars are a great meal prep recipe!
Why You'll Love These Homemade Nut-Free Protein Bars
- an easy, no-bake recipe
- school safe
- great for a post-workout snack
- topped with chocolate
Truly, no-bake snacks like this are a busy mom staple! Due to the fact that they're easy to whip up and even easier to eat while you're rushing around.
Plus, these bars are a protein-packed way to curb a chocolate craving (just like this double-chocolate protein fluff!). Reap the benefits of a quality snack plus curb a craving!
Don't want to read? JUMP to the recipe!
Notes On Vegan Protein Powder
While these homemade nut-free protein bars were originally made with whey protein, given I am now dairy-free they use a vegan protein powder (learn more about making dairy-free living easy here).
If you're making the switch to vegan protein powder, there are a few things you should note:
- vegan protein powder absorbs liquid. So, most recipes with whey are not directly interchangeable
- vegan protein powder tends to be less sweet than whey. This means that you normally have to add a bit more sweetness to counter the flavor
- each vegan protein powder is slightly different based on its blend (pea/rice/etc). Meaning, one protein powder may absorb better than another
Thus, the protein powder you choose for these no-bake protein bars will affect the flavor of the bars.
Choosing A Protein Powder
Since making the swap to a vegan protein powder I now have a few brands I love. Orgain Protein Powder is one of them and what I used for these chocolate protein balls.
Likewise, it has 21 grams of vegan protein per scoop and it’s a clean enough brand that I feel comfortable giving it to my girls. If you want to give it a try, check it out and use code mamabear30 for 10% off your first-ever order.
Options For The Healthy Chocolate Topping
Given I tend to make my own chocolate more often than not, you'll find these nut-free protein bars topped with that.
The chocolate topping is a blend of cacao butter and cacao powder (learn more about the benefits of cacao powder and the difference between it and cocoa powder).
However, if you want something a bit more simple you can still make these healthy protein bars! Simply melt a bit of coconut oil (1-2 teaspoon) with paleo chocolate chips. I'd start with ⅔ cup and see if that covers it.
Substitutions & Add-Ins For The Bars
The thing with homemade protein bars is that you can always tweak them. I've kept this protein bars recipe extremely simple so that just about everyone can whip it up.
However, there are lots of ways you can tweak it to suit your preference:
- nut butter can be used for Sun Butter if you don't need to avoid nuts
- you can add in mini chocolate chips for a sweeter profile
- top the chocolate with shredded coconut if you have any
- mix in a few dried cranberries to sweeten it
These homemade, no-bake protein bars are soft, chewy, and a great post-workout snack. Likewise, they make a tasty grab and go option in a rush.
However, there are so many ways to customize them don't be afraid to add!
How To Store Them
The best part about homemade protein bars is that they hold well in both the freezer and the fridge!
Store in air-tight containers for both. In the freezer, they will freeze solid so you'll need to move them to the fridge or room temperature before eating. Or, you can pop them from the freezer into a lunchbox in the morning and they'll b good to go by snack time.
They should last about a week in the fridge. Though personally, we never have them that long as we gobble them up pretty quickly 😉
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
How To Make Them
In a large bowl, mix together the protein powder and oats.
In a small bowl, whisk the sunflower seed butter and syrup until smooth.
Pour the butter into the oat mixture and mix until combined.
Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper. Dump the mixture into the pan and use another piece of parchment paper on top to press the oats into the pan evenly. Press down hard to make them really stick together,
Place in the freezer.
While the bars are freezing, make the chocolate coating.
In a small pan, heat the coconut oil and cacao butter over low heat until melted. Slowly add in the honey and cacao powder. Then, whisk until no clumps remain.
Remove the bars from the freezer and pour the mixture over top making sure to get all areas- use a silicone spatula for this.
Once covered, return the bars to the freezer t set (about thirty minutes).
Remove from the freezer and cut into 8-10 bars. Keep in the freezer until ready to eat and thaw for 5-10 minutes before consuming.
Don't forget to pin these Homemade Nut-free Protein Bars!
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No-Bake Protein Bars Topped With Healthy Chocolate
- 8x4 baking tray
- Parchment paper
- In a large bowl, mix together the protein powder and oats.
- In a small bowl, melt the coconut oil and whisk the sunflower seed butter and syrup until smooth.
- Pour the butter into the oat mixture and mix until combined. It will be sticky.
- Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper. Dump the mixture into the pan and use another piece of parchment paper on top to press the oats into the pan evenly. Press down hard to make them really stick together,
- Place in the freezer.
- While the bars are freezing, make the chocolate coating.
- In a small pan, heat the coconut oil and cacao butter over low heat until melted. Slowly add in the honey and cacao powder. Whisk until no clumps remain.
- Remove the bars from the freezer and pour the mixture over top making sure to get all areas- use a silicone spatula for this.
- Once covered, return the bars to the freezer to set (about thirty minutes).
- Remove from the freezer and cut into 8-10 bars. Keep in the freezer until ready to eat and thaw for 5-10 minutes before consuming.
If you're looking for a quick, healthy, and filling snack this is it! No-bake protein bars are tasty, easy to make, and are perfect for school lunches, play dates, or munching on in the car while you're running around. Thus, make a big batch, keep them n your freezer and you'll be thankful you had something healthy to grab while running out the door!