These healthy no bake chocolate fudge protein bars are the perfect protein-packed snack which tastes like dessert! Made with no flour, sugar, oil or butter, these protein bars are naturally gluten free, vegan, paleo and dairy free!
You know what one of the perks of being back home is?
Having friends who visit the gym on a consistent basis AND having locally made protein bars tasting like lies.
While this may sound absolutely ridiculous, it has been a blessing.
Whenever I went past the health food aisle in an American grocery store, most of the protein packed snack bars came in some pretty delicious flavors, the most popular one (across most brands of bars) would easily be peanut butter. Here in Australia, it seems as though ‘chocolate fudge’ is the favorite here. That, or it is what companies perceive their consumers would enjoy.
…If only they knew how sub-par these taste.
Having tried most of the brands of protein snack bars here, it’s pretty evident that ‘chocolate fudge’ is a very generous flavor profile to be given to them. The bars were chalky, VERY artificial tasting and while cocoa was evident, I certainly did not come across anything that resembled ‘fudge’.
To be sure it wasn’t just my (Americanised) taste buds, I asked some of my friends here who regularly consumed protein bars to give me their thoughts.
My thoughts were justified.
Because of the lackluster bars available here, many of them resorted to purchasing bars in bulk from overseas to have post workout snacks which actually tasted decent.
Not anymore, though.
Now that I’m temporarily back, they know that whenever they come over, my freezer will be stocked with at least one kind of snack bar, and with the promise of actually tasting delicious. I was inspired by the $5 I spent on a ‘chocolate fudge’ protein bar to come up with my own version. To ensure that the recipe would stay true to its name, I added a layer of creamy protein fudge on top of the chocolate based protein bar. Not only did this give it an extra boost of protein, it also took the flavor profile up a notch. Chocolate on its own? Delicious. Chocolate bar topped with fudge? Twinning. I mean, winning. I think these snack bars have your name on them…
These healthy no bake chocolate fudge protein bars are firm, chewy but topped with a creamy fudge layer which could literally be considered a healthy dessert! Unlike traditional protein bars, these contain no artificial fillers, ingredients and only require a handful of ingredients- Even for the fudge layer! They also contain no butter, oil, flour or sugar so are the perfect snack to enjoy anytime, irrespective of whether you work out or not. As always, I tested it out using a vegan protein powder, a paleo protein powder and a casein protein powder. If dietary restrictions don’t hold you back, I strongly recommend the casein or vegan varieties over the paleo one. Depending on which protein powder you opt for, these bars are gluten free, vegan, paleo, dairy free and grain free!
HACK! For those of you who don’t want the extra dose of protein in the fudge frosting layer, feel free to use the cheat’s method of either cream cheese with cocoa powder and your sweetener of choice or this delicious coconut cream frosting– It’ll still be a double whammy!
Make these healthy no bake chocolate fudge protein bars and should you ever come to Australia (COME!), snack straight from my freezer.
Healthy No Bake Chocolate Fudge Protein Bars
For the bars
- 1 3/4 cups gluten-free oats ground to a flour (see notes for paleo option)*
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1 T cocoa powder
- 1- 2 T Granulated sweetener of choice**
- 1 scoop vanilla or chocolate protein powder See above for recommendations
- pinch sea salt
- 1/2 cup almond butter can sub for any nut butter of choice
- 1/4 cup maple syrup can sub for honey, agave or brown rice syrup***
- 1/4 + dairy free milk of choice****
- Line a large baking tray or 8 x 8 baking dish with baking paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine your flours, protein powder, cocoa powder, salt and granulated sweetener and set aside.
- In a microwave safe bowl or stovetop, melt your nut butter of choice with the maple syrup. Mix very well until fully incorporated.
- Using a tablespoon, add milk of choice until a VERY thick batter is formed. Transfer batter to lined baking tray and press firmly in place and place inside the fridge. While chilling, start by making your frosting- mix the first 4 ingredients then using a tablespoon, add milk until a thick and spreadable frosting is formed. Top the bars with frosting and allow to chill for 30 minutes, or until firm.
- Cut into bars and enjoy!
** I used a monk fruit sweetener, but if your protein powder is sweet enough, keep as it is.
*** To keep this completely sugar free, omit and increase milk of choice. Please note that these bars will be more firmer.
**** Depending on the flour blend, you may need more. Adjust accordingly.
No bake protein bars should be kept in the fridge, but are freezer friendly.
What is a popular flavor in your neck of the woods? I was telling a mate the other day that it seems Salted Caramel is Australia’s #1 favorite!
Ever had a chalky protein bar? Fail Bloody Whale.