These vegan chocolate peanut butter protein bars come together in just a few easy steps with minimal ingredients.
Forget storebought vegan protein bars, make these homemade ones instead. They're no-bake and taste like snickers! You'll be sinking your teeth into soft peanut nougat and crunchy peanut butter caramel encased in a chocolate shell.
📖 Recipe Overview
- Made with just 8 ingredients.
- Requires no baking.
- Perfect as a high-protein snack or post-workout snack on the go.
- Completely eggless and dairy-free, gluten-free.
- Can be adapted as refined sugar-free.
🥜 Ingredients Needed
- Use a good quality vegan protein powder without added sugar. I use Iswari Super Vegan Protein powder in banana vanilla flavor. You can also use natural or plain vanilla flavored protein.
- You can go for crunchy or creamy peanut butter, depending on whether you want chunks of peanuts in the nougat and caramel. Some peanut butter has added oils and sugars, so avoid these if you don't want the recipe to be as sweet.
- Ground flaxseeds (or milled flaxseeds) act as a binding agent as they soak in moisture and hold the vegan protein bars together once set. Flaxseeds also add omega-3 fatty acids to the bars (source: Nutrition Facts).
- For the non-dairy milk, you can go for your favorite. I use soy milk as it also has a high protein content, but you can use almond milk, oat milk, or even vanilla flavored plant-based milk if you prefer.
- You can use dark chocolate or vegan milk chocolate depending on your taste. The recipe can be adapted as refined sugar-free with naturally sweetened chocolate.
🥣 How To Make Vegan Protein Bars
Make the peanut nougat
(1) First, add all the wet ingredients to a large bowl or stand mixer. The wet ingredients include peanut butter, maple syrup, non-dairy milk, and vanilla.
(3) Next add in the salt and slowly start adding in the vegan protein powder, a few tablespoons at a time. Whisk in between each lot to incorporate the powder into the wet ingredients.
(4) Lastly, add the milled flaxseeds and blend again until fully mixed. The mixture will become quite thick and sticky.
(5) For the next part, it's super important to line your cake pan with parchment paper. Without it, it will be a challenge to remove the bars from the pan once they've been set. Transfer the nougat to the pan.
(6) Place a large sheet of parchment paper on top of the nougat, and use your hands to spread the mixture out evenly into the corners of the pan.
(7) Add the peanut butter, maple syrup, and sea salt to a heat-resistent bowl and heat the ingredients over a double-boiler (source: Spruce Eats). Create a double boiler by simmering water in a saucepan and placing the bowl with the ingredients on top. The steam that rises will gently melt the ingredients in the bowl.
(8) Whisk the caramel until smooth and transfer it to the lined cake pan. Smooth it out with a spoon or spatula and place it in the freezer to set completely for 4 hours.
Assembling the bars
(9) Once the bars have completely set, carefully lift them out of the tin. Use a hot sharp knife to cut them into servings and place them back in the freezer until the last second when you;re about to dip them in chocolate.
The nougat in the bars is soft when defrosted, so it's important to work with the bars whilst they are still frozen.
(10) Melt the chocolate and carefully dip the bars in it to coat them evenly. Set them on a tray lined with parchment and place them back in the fridge to set before digging in!
They'll be good for a week in the fridge, once sealed in an airtight container.
Yes, these bars freeze well and will last in an airtight container for a good 2-3 months.
Yes, you can switch up the flavor of the protein bars by using almond butter or cashew butter instead. Make them nut-free too by using tahini or sunflower seed spread.
🥜 More Peanut Butter Snacks
- To a large bowl, add the peanut butter, maple syrup, soy milk, vanilla extract, and salt and whisk with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Slowly add the protein powder, a few tablespoons at a time, and whisk to incorporate it into the mixture. Lastly, add the ground flaxseeds and mix again to combine.
- Line the base and sides of a square 8" pan with parchment paper. Transfer the nougat to the pan and place a large sheet of parchment on top of it. Use your hands or a spoon to press the mixture down into an even layer. The mixture will be sticky, but the layer of parchment paper will prevent your hands/spoon from getting stuck to it.
- Place the nougat in the freezer to set for at least an hour, leaving the sheet of parchment paper on top until it is set.
- Add all of the ingredients to a heat-resistant bowl. Heat over a double boiler (bain-marie) while stirring until all of the ingredients have melted into a smooth caramel.
- Remove the sheet of parchment paper from the nougat by carefully peeling it back. Pour the caramel on top of the nougat and smooth it out evenly with a spoon or spatula. Place in the freezer to set completely for 4 hours (overnight works well too).
- Carefully lift the set bar from the baking tray. Use a sharp knife to cut it into 18 miniature bars or 12 large bars. Place the bars back in the freezer whilst you prepare the chocolate coating.
- Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Dip the bars into the chocolate and sit them on top of a tray lined with parchment paper. Place them in the fridge to set for 10 minutes before serving.
- Store these slices in an airtight container in the freezer and consume them within a week. Alternatively, you can freeze them and defrost for an hour before serving.
- If your chocolate is on the thicker side, add a tablespoon of peanut butter, vegan butter, or coconut oil while melting. This helps the chocolate coat the bars better, and will make it easier to bite into the protein bars.
- Like with all brownies and slices, I recommend that you use a large sharp knife, and ideally a chef's knife if you own one. A blunt knife will make it really tough to cut nice even slices.
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