But, it’s easy to start relying on them to fill in the gaps, well, just about everywhere. After the gym, as an afternoon snack, in place of supper, and so on.
It’s an expensive habit, and in the end, still a processed, manufactured product, meaning: not as good for you as real, whole foods. That said, if I can find a way to make a more “whole foods” version of a protein bar, I’m not going to say no.
As with most other bars (like my cookie dough protein bars or chia energy bites), the premise is simple. Whir a bunch of stuff in a food processor, mix some other stuff in a bowl, and then melt some dark chocolate as the finisher.
I’ve tried to include enough protein sources (nuts, seeds, protein powder) to make this a reasonable source of protein. If you’re noshing on it after a workout, you want it to provide the required amino acids.
So give these a try and see what you think. They have great flavour, hold together really nicely, and look really pretty.
Easy No-Bake Almond Butter Protein Bars with Chocolate and Coconut
- Author: Backyard Owl
- Recipe Notes: vegan, gluten-free, no-bake, soy-free (depending on protein powder), naturally-sweetened (also depends on protein powder)
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 10 medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds, whole or ground
- 2-4 scoops protein powder (I use a raw, rice-based protein powder that is sweetened with stevia)
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons maca powder (optional)
- pinch Himalayan pink salt (to balance the sweetness of the protein powder)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, soft
- 1/3 cup flaked coconut
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- In a food processor, whir together oats and cashews until finely ground. Add dates, and process until a moist paste forms.
- Press into an 8×8 square pan.
- In the same (now empty) food processor, process almond butter, coconut oil, shredded coconut, and cocoa powder. Whir in protein powder, salt, maca powder, and chia seeds. Mix until the paste is smooth and mostly uniform (pieces of coconut will remain).
- Pour this mix on top of the prepared crust. Sprinkle with flaked coconut.
- Put in the fridge to firm up.
- In the meantime, melt 1 teaspoon coconut oil and chocolate chips over a double boiler (a heat-proof bowl sitting over a pot of boiling water). Drizzle over top of firmed up bars.
- Cut into squares (whatever your desired size) and store in the fridge.
© Backyard Owl