These healthy no bake white chocolate macadamia nut protein bars are a delicious and easy snack or healthy dessert to whip up! Perfect for lunch boxes, pre or post workout meals or an anytime treat, they are naturally gluten free, vegan, paleo, dairy free and refined sugar free!
Can we talk school lunch boxes for a minute?
I’m not sure if it was just my school or all schools in Australia, but it seemed like the standard formation of a lunch box was the same for all students.
A typical school day (in the Australian school system) was 8.30-3.30pm. During this timeframe, you’d usually expect 2 breaks- 10.30(ish) for morning tea, 12.30(ish) for the lunch hour. Some schools even had an afternoon break at 1.45pm(ish), but that may be a little over the top, especially with classes finishing not long after.
When it came to packing a lunch box for a full day of school, MOST followed the same format.
Morning tea- Snack (usually one of those multipack goodies- chips, crackers, granola bar).
Lunch- 1 fruit (apple/banana/pear/something seasonal), sandwich (jam, ham/cheese, VEGEMITE) and another small snack (homemade muffin, cake, some crackers with cheese).
Who was the exception to this?
I think my mum feared that between the hours of 8.30am-3.30pm, I would starve to death. As such, she’d pack me a lunch each day as though I were heading off to War or something. I’m not even exaggerating here- My friends in high school used to mock me for it! I even had a teacher once ask if I was eating dinner at school each night too.
After 6 or so months of high school, I finally confronted my mum about it. I showed her my backpack, which was filled with all the (boring) snacks I hadn’t consumed. I told her she needed to stop packing so much for me EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
“Arman, you are very ungrateful! I lovingly pack all these snacks for you, and this is how you treat me.”
“Mum, you pretty much packed the grocery store in my bag. The banana even mashed into my French text book!”
“You did that on purpose so you can skip your French homework. C’est une honte!”
That didn’t end well.
…and I still brought a supermarket aisle full of food to school until I graduated.
While I may have complained of having too much food, my peers were often complaining of the opposite reason- They weren’t having enough! While I was happy to share my never ending supply of food with them, it made me realize that should they have had something a little more filling that a few crackers, this wouldn’t have been an issue.
What could have rectified it? Something traditionally designed to be a treat (white chocolate macadamia nut cookies) transformed into a healthy snack bar worth digging into- No thrown into the bottom of the bag snacks here. As such, these healthy no bake white chocolate macadamia nut protein bars were born!
These healthy no bake white chocolate macadamia nut protein bars morph the world’s best cookie combination in a snack bar form…. a mon avi. They are a quick, simple and easy snack to whip up, using just one bowl and taking less than 10 minutes from prep to pan! These protein bars are very similar to my white chocolate macadamia nut cookie version- The only difference is that I tried it out using all three vanilla protein powders (this vegan protein powder, this casein protein powder, and this paleo protein powder) and tried a new ‘white chocolate’ method- A simple blend of coconut butter, coconut palm sugar, lemon juice and a dash of milk to thin out made it possible! Because of the ingredients used, these delicious no bake protein bars are naturally gluten free, paleo, vegan, dairy free and refined sugar free!
HACK! Texture lovers, you can mold this to suit your taste buds! Want a fudgier and softer bar? Simply allow them to sit at room temperature slightly before enjoying. Want a thicker, dense and (still) fudgy bar? Keep them refrigerated and enjoy as is. Personally, as with most of my sweet recipes, I LOVE keeping them in the freezer. I simply allow to thaw slightly and enjoy them as is.
Trust me on this.
Make these healthy no bake white chocolate macadamia nut protein bars.
I mean, ‘rendres ces..…….Bonjour bébé’
- 2 cups gluten free oat flour (For the paleo option, use 1 cup coconut flour)
- ½ cup coconut flour, sifted (Can sub for almond or more oat flour)
- ½ cup vanilla protein powder (see above for tested recommendations)
- 2 T granulated sweetener of choice (optional)*
- ½ cup cashew butter (can sub for any nut butter)
- ½ cup brown rice syrup (sub for maple syrup in the paleo version)
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped roughly
- 1/4 cup + milk of choice**
- For the 'white chocolate' topping:***
- 1/4 cup coconut butter, softened
- 1 T coconut palm sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 3 T dairy free milk
- Line an 8 x 8 baking dish or loaf pan with baking paper and set aside. (Loaf pan will yield thicker bars).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, protein powder, granulated sweetener and mix well.
- In a microwave safe bowl or stovetop, combine the nut butter and liquid sweetener and heat until melted.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix well- Mixture should be crumbly. Add the chopped macadamia nuts and mix until fully incorporated. Using a tablespoon, add the milk of choice, until a thick firm batter is formed.
- Transfer to lined baking dish and press firmly. In a small bowl, mix your 'white chocolate' ingredients and drizzle lightly over the bars and refrigerate. Once firm, cut into bars and enjoy!
- * Adjust accordingly- If your protein powder is sweetened, you may need to reduce.
- ** Depending on the brand of protein powder and coconut flour you use, you'll most likely need more- adjust accordingly.
- *** If you don't want to follow this step and don't have dietary restrictions, you can sub your favorite white chocolate chunks on top.
- These bars are best kept refrigerated for the best texture, but can be enjoyed at room temperature or thawed from the freezer.
This post is sponsored by Growing Naturals. Cheers, hugs and handshakes for supporting companies and brands which allow me to do what I’m passionate about every day, and continuing to make The Big Man’s World possible.
Did your folks ever over-pack your lunch box?
Did you study a particular language in high school?