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A number of years ago, someone gave me a recipe for protein bars. Unfortunately the recipe had some ingredients that we just don’t use, like those gross fake protein powders. I love to have homemade, healthy snacks around but I also have a sweet tooth and sometimes find myself making homemade cookies like our favorite monster cookies instead of a healthier snack option. So I set out to tweak the recipe I had for the protein bars and turn it into a healthy snack that was also a tad sweet. I’ve been making this healthy protein bar recipe for the last couple years and we just love it! These healthy protein bars are made with wholesome, real food ingredients and sweetened with all natural sweeteners like raw honey from our bee hives and maple syrup. They also require no baking so they’re quick and easy to whip up in the food processor.
The mixture of nuts and seeds in the protein bars give me a nice energy boost to get through more chores around the homestead. I can also feel good about feeding these protein bars to Little A for a snack since they’re so good for us even though they taste like a sweet cookie treat! I first learned how to make homemade chocolate a couple years ago which led me to try putting some on top of these protein bars. The chocolate topping makes these so much more delicious, but that’s just the opinion of a mama with a sweet tooth! You could easily make the bars without the chocolate topping if you want, but why when it is healthy chocolate? The chocolate topping is made from scratch and sweetened with honey and/or maple syrup. Plus it has coconut oil and cacao powder which are two other healthy super food ingredients!
Healthy Chocolate Protein Bars:
-1/2 cup total of your choice of nuts and/or seeds (we usually use a mix of peanuts, almonds, walnuts, shelled sunflower seeds, and shelled pumpkin seeds)
-1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
-1/2 cup ground flax seeds
-1 cup raisins
-1/2 cup nut butter (we usually use peanut butter but have also used almond butter)
-1/4-1/2 cup raw honey depending on how sweet you want to make them
Ingredients for the chocolate topping:
-3/4 cup coconut oil
-3/4 cup cacao powder
-3/4 cup honey and/or maple syrup (I usually use a mix of about 1/2 cup honey and 1/4 cup maple syrup)
-1 tsp vanilla extract (here’s how to make your own extract)
-pinch of salt
- In the food processor, chop the 1/2 cup of nuts/seeds until they are in tiny pieces. Add the coconut flakes, ground flax seed, and raisins and process until they are all chopped fine.
- Add the nut butter, cacao powder and honey. The raisins are already sweet so keep that in mind when adding honey. I like to add a little at a time until I get just the right sweetness. Process until everything is mixed together.
- Spread the mixture in the bottom of an 8×8 pan. I use a spatula to pat the mixture down and make it nice and even in the pan.
- Now it is time to mix the homemade chocolate topping! In a small pan on low/medium heat, melt the coconut oil and stir in the honey and/or maple syrup until well mixed. Using a whisk, mix in the cacao powder, vanilla extract and pinch of salt.
- Once it is mixed well, remove from heat and pour evenly over the top of the bars in the bottom of the 8×8 pan. Cover the pan and place it in the refrigerator for a couple hours until the chocolate cools and sets up firmly.
- Once it is set up, cut the protein bars in small squares and enjoy! We keep the pan in the refrigerator until the bars are gone (which only takes a few days around here!) since the chocolate topping starts to soften at room temperature.