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)
Chocolate Almond No Bake Protein Bars
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 9–12 bars 1x
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 ¼ cups almond meal or 3 cups almonds, ground into flour
- ½ cup shredded coconut flakes (see notes for substitutes)
- ½ cup (60 grams) protein powder of choice (see notes for substitutes)
- pinch kosher salt
- pinch cocoa powder or cinnamon, optional
- ¼ to ⅓ cup maple syrup or honey
- ⅓ cup hot water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Optional Toppings – ¼ cup granola, thinly sliced berries/cherries/mango/peach, dried fruit or crushed nuts
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil or butter
- Flaked sea salt, optional
- Line an 8×8 square pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a food processor, combine the almond meal and coconut flakes. Blend until the mixture is a flour-like consistency and pour into a large mixing bowl. (see notes)
- Mix the protein powder, salt and cocoa powder into the almond mixture until incorporated.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, hot water, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine with a wooden spoon. (If the batter is too thick, add a little hot water or honey. If it’s too wet, add more protein powder or flour of choice.)
- Press batter into the prepared pan. Press optional toppings on top. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, melt the dark chocolate chips with the coconut oil. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each 30 seconds, until mixture is melted and glossy.
- Pour the melted chocolate over the bars and spread evenly. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt, if desired. Place the bars in the fridge to set for 30 minutes then cut into 9 to 12 squares.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or the freezer for 3 months.
Substitutes – Use shredded oats or puffed cereal in place of shredded coconut. Use ground flaxseed, oat flour, peanut butter powder, or even chickpea flour in place of protein powder. Adjust the water and maple syrup as needed to help the batter stick together. The texture and taste will vary depending on the protein powder used. Adjust the sweetener and water accordingly.
Baking Tips – Grinding the almond meal and flaked coconut is optional. Alternatively, all the dry ingredients can be mixed together in a large bowl as long as the coconut used is finely shredded. The texture will vary slightly. Use thin slices of low water content fruit like berries, cherries, mango or peaches. Adding fruit will make the bars a little more moist at room temperature but still delicious.
- Prep Time: 10
- Category: snacks
- Method: no bake
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 169
- Sugar: 5.8 g
- Sodium: 9.7 mg
- Fat: 10.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 10.8 g
- Fiber: 2.8 g
- Protein: 7.1 g
- Cholesterol: 0.1 mg
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!
Almonds are one of the world’s most nutritious and versatile nuts, and with chocolate, they become more delicious and healthy for the diet.
I am as we speak awaiting to try them out they are in the fridge for their 30 min but…my base does not look like yours so im getting worried 🙁
Good day!! I am making these for the second time. I have left over vanilla protein powder so I used that and no vanilla extract. They were yummy!! Thanks so much, I needed a healthier way to put on weight and have something to eat when out and about and find myself hungry with nowhere healthy to eat!! Thumbs up!!
So glad to hear this, Anita! Glad to help! Let me know if there’s anything else you need.
I was wondering if the nutrients where calculated correctly and if that includes the chocolate topping as well.
Yes, it should be around that much for smaller bars with chocolate. Hope that makes sense.
I made these for a Christmas gift and they were very well received, however, I do have a few comments. It was hard to guage how wet/dry the bars should be and I didn’t see mention in the directions. I ended up making them a bit wet bc I wanted the oats to soften a bit. I also rehydrated the cranberries and cherries I layered on top, then chopped and spread. I ended up baking for 15 minutes to firm everything up and that worked well.
Also, the instructions need to be more explicit on melting the chocolate. If you just do 30 sec increments you will over cook and get grainy, gross chocolate. If you are not using a double boiler, then lower the power setting on the microwave. I started at 7 for the first 30 seconds and then 5, then 3 ( I had a couple extra rounds in there bc I did a double batch). Be very careful after the second heating, that is kind of the danger zone. Also, I found that an extra 1/4 to a 1/3 of a cup of chocolate was needed to get full coverage if you are working with chocolate chips, which won’t melt right. Adding a tbs of heavy cream makes it creamier, but no longer paleo.
The base mixture is very sticky and difficult to spread out (I did a cookie sheet), even when I put some olive oil on the spatula. The easiest thing was to tear off another sheet of parchment and press it down and used a rolling pin to smooth it out over the parchment.
Now all that said, I really liked the recipe. I did half dried cherries and cranberries, I would use a bit less water to rehydrate next time to save the baking step though. Adding in some vanilla to the water when you rehydrate gave it a little punch also.
The person I gave the bars to really liked them and ate 2 in a row. The recipe is solid, just add your own tweaks to suit your tastes. Thank you for a great recipe!
Thank you for sharing! With your permission, I will update the notes with your comments/suggestions.
Hi Lindsay! Sure, if you think they would be helpful, please use them. Thank you for the recipes also! This recipe really helped me out as a gift for someone I had no idea what to give him! Happy New Year!
Thank you! And yes, I do think they would be helpful to others. You’re welcome; so glad these were well received as a gift! Happy New Year to you! 🙂
I was wondering about baking the base thanks for the input I may try this nest time if I redo this recipe as I found my base quite wet as well and did not look like the picture she has. and yes I wish I would’ve done dbl the chocolate top as I did not!
Try sticking them in the freezer first! You could bake them depending on the protein you used. What kind did you use?
OMG girl, these look so good! I love a good no-bake recipe!
I know right?! Love no-bake recipes too! Thanks!
I am going to feel great feeding these to my kids! They will love them!
Yes! You’ve got yourself a total mom score for sure with these!
This could be newest favorite snack! Perfect for the kiddos as well. Thanks for yet another great recipe.
right? Kids love them! for sure!:)
My kids really loved these! They can’t wait for me to make it again!
Oh yay! So glad they loved them Toni!
I love homemade protein bars! These looks so delicious and perfect after an intensive workout ♥
Right? go get your WOD on. 😉
I eat a protein bar every day, I have to try these, they look incredible!
Hope you enjoy these Tanya! Let me know what you think!
This recipe is SO quick + so tasty!! Perfect for #momlife
Great! I aim to please! 😉
I am always looking for new snack ideas for my family and I can’t wait to make these!
Glad to help Lauren! Enjoy!
I’ll give you an AAAAAAAAAMEN! These bars look divine.
haha thanks liz! Feeling blessed. 😉