No bake protein bars are a fantastic anytime snack, and this chocolate almond version is as healthy as it is delicious! These protein bars just happen to be my favorite! Easy to customize, and they’re low in sugar, gluten free and grain free. No protein powder? No problem! We have other options to boost the protein in these bars.
And just like that we’re back to Monday and back to meal prepping all the food. Snacks included! Simple refined sugar-free snacks. Because, let’s face it, we’re back to routine, back to school, and snacks are life savers between endless schedules. Can I get an AMEN?! Haha. Yes, these no bake snack deserve an amen and a hallelujah in my book.
But I digress….
Let’s talk PROTEIN and in gluten free SNACK BAR form. Mmm k?
Updated No Bake Protein Bars
This recipe is another version of my popular mango coconut no bake protein bars. Because this version includes chocolate, I bet it will be even more popular than the mango coconut bars are!
Protein bars are perfect for a grab and go breakfast, or toss one into a lunch box for an afternoon snack. They’re seriously delicious anytime, and with a boost of protein in them, they provide a good boost of energy pre or post workout, too.
What type of protein powder is best?
If you use protein powder regularly, you may already have a favorite brand or variety, and that’s great. Use whatever brand you like the best.
My favorite protein powders are plant-based, but grass fed whey protein or collagen protein works just as well. Again, it’s really about personal preference and your dietary needs.
Don’t have protein powder? No problem!
We have other options to boost the protein in these bars. You can substitute the protein powder for ground flax, peanut butter powder, egg white powder, oat flour, or even chickpea flour.
I think the best part of this recipe is how easy it is to customize. The bars are delicious with chopped nuts, dried fruit or fresh fruit in them. Sort of an easy version of chocolate covered fruit, if you will.
TIP —> For more flavorful protein bars, I like to add nuts or fruit layered between the almond meal and dark chocolate. That being said, the fresh fruits that work best in no bake protein bars are ones that don’t oxidize (turn brown), and don’t have a high water content. Like berries or mango or stone fruit. Freeze dried fruit adds a nice crunchy texture as well.
If you like high water content fruits such as watermelon or pineapple, buy the dried fruit version instead. It works great when chopped into smaller pieces then layered between the chocolate! You can even add a few chopped nuts on top of the chocolate layer, for garnish. So you see, the possibilities are endless. 😉
Although the recipe below calls for almond meal and shredded coconut, you can use whatever you have on hand. Don’t have almond meal in your pantry? Not a problem! You can simply grind up your own almonds in a blender or use cashew or hazelnut flour, if you prefer. Or, if you don’t need this to be a grain free snack, make your no bake protein bars with oat flour instead. Like I said, it is easy to customize them!
How to Store No Bake Protein Bars
Although most protein bars are okay left at room temperature for a short period of time, I recommend storing the chocolate almond protein bars in the refrigerator. This is especially important if you add fresh fruit to them. Additionally, refrigerating them will prevent the chocolate from melting on hot days.
The bars freeze really well too, so you can store them in the freezer and pull one out an hour or so before you want to eat it. Or, put the frozen ones right into a lunch bag – they will thaw out and be ready to eat by lunch time.
Other No Bake Protein Snacks
Aside from the mango coconut bars and my entire collection of no bake bites and balls, here are some other no bake protein bars and snacks you can make.
- No Bake Chocolate Covered Cookie Truffles (vegan)
- Apricot Oat No Bake Protein Bars (nut free and vegan)
No bake protein bars are a fantastic anytime snack, and this chocolate almond version is as healthy as it is delicious! Easy to customize, and they’re low in sugar, gluten free and grain free.
- 2.25 cups almond meal (or 3 cups almonds, ground)
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut flakes (if you are allergic, you may use shredded oats or puffed cereal).
- 1/2 cup protein powder of choice (or 60 g) – see notes for alternatives.
- pinch of cocoa powder or cinnamon, optional
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- topping of choice (all optional) 1/4 cup granola, fruit, dried fruit or nuts
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips to melt with 1 tsp coconut oil or clarified butter
- Line an 8×8 square pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine almond meal and coconut in a food processor and grind together until fine mixture is formed. Pour into large mixing bowl and add the remaining dry ingredients. Grinding the almond meal and coconut is optional, so if you don’t have a food processor or blender, that’s fine! Instead, mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Just make sure the coconut you use is finely shredded. Mix well. Texture will vary, just slightly.
- In a separate small mixing bowl. combine maple syrup or honey, hot water, and vanilla extract. Stir all together and add to your dry ingredients..
- Mix well with wooden spoon or hands. If the batter gets too thick, just add more hot water or even a little honey. If it’s too wet, add more protein powder or flour of choice.
- Press batter into a baking dish. Feel free to press any fresh fruit or dried fruit on top. Skip if you prefer. (See notes for best fruit choices).
- Next melt your dark chocolate chips. Place dark chocolate in a bowl with 1 tsp coconut oil. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each 30 seconds, until mixture is melted and glossy. This may be done on the stove top as well.
- Pour the melted chocolate over the bars and spread evenly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Let bars cool in fridge for 30 minutes then cut into 9 to 12 squares (you choose the size).
- Keep refrigerated.
- Texture varies depending on which protein powder you use, and taste may be a little different, so adjust sweetener and water accordingly.
- If you want to add fruit before the chocolate layer, I recommend using just thin slices of a low water content fruit or sliced berries. They will make the bars a little more moist at room temperature but still delicious! Dried fruit or crushed nuts work just as great and add texture!
- If you don’t have protein powder, you may use ground flax, oat flour, peanut powder, or even chickpea flour. Adjust water and maple syrup as needed to help them stick.
- Category: snacks
- Method: no bake
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 bar
Keywords: no bake protein bars, almond chocolate, chocolate almond, no bake snacks
Okay fine, I’ve chatted enough about bars and snacks. It’s time to be productive. Feed that hunger, that new routine, that meal prep… if you may.
Will you be making no bake snack bars or protein bars for the new school/work season? Do let me know!