Give store-bought protein bars a run for their money with these homemade No Bake Almond Fudge Protein Bars! Soft, fudgy, and loaded with flavour, these gluten-free, refined-sugar-free, and vegan bars make a healthy snack!
We’re going old school today.
And by old school I mean back to late 2013 when I posted one of my first ever recipes here on Spoons – the one that really got me interested in recipe development and made me start wanting to take this whole food blogging thing a lot more seriously.
I mean, I dabbled with a few recipes prior to that (check out these cookie dough protein balls from 2011!!), but then I stopped blogging, then I came back, then I was writing about different things… yada, yada, yada.
Long story short, it was these no bake almond fudge protein bars that set the stage for what Spoons would eventually go on to become, and I wanted to revisit them today because I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. Well, that and I just reshot the pictures and felt inspired to write about them after eating one for the first time in god knows how long and having my socks rocked right off.
Don’t mind me while I toot my own horn. Toot, toot.
In all seriousness, though, I really did want to shine a little light on these bars because, while I was originally just going to reshoot the pictures and update the old post, Spoons has grown so much since then and I’m betting a lot of people didn’t even know these gems existed… which is basically a crime against humanity. Toot, toot.
And I’ll stop with the tooting because that word makes me think of one thing and one thing only… and that’s not exactly the image I want to conjure while trying to entice you with a delicious recipe.
I’m actually half tempted to edit that whole thing out, but that’s the way my mind works so we’re just going to roll with it because – #authenticblogging.
Just like they were all those years ago, these bars are soft, dense, and fudgy with a subtle crunch thanks to a sprinkling of crispy rice cereal. They basically melt in your mouth while still giving you something to chew on.
They’re also made with wholesome ingredients like oats, almond butter, and brown rice syrup, making them worlds better than most of the chemical-filled bars that you buy in stores. And they’re cheaper, too! Last time I checked, most store-bought protein bars were running about $3-4 a pop, which is just… no.
These homemade bars, on the other hand? So.much.yes.
I kept the recipe mostly the same, but also tested a vegan version by subbing the honey with brown rice syrup and the whey protein with brown rice protein. Both came out perfectly – you honestly can’t even tell the difference so it really depends on your dietary preferences and what kind of ingredients you have on hand.
And that’s about it! I hope you didn’t mind taking a trip down memory lane with me, and I hope you enjoy these awesome bars!
I’d love to know if you make this (or any!) recipe! Tag #runningwithspoons on Instagram and Twitter, and be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy and delicious recipes straight to your inbox!
- 1/2 cup (128 g) no-stir nut/seed butter**
- 1/2 cup (160 g) brown rice syrup, or honey if not vegan
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup (80 g) oats, ground into a flour***
- 1/2 cup (40 g) quick oats
- 1/2 cup (40 g) vanilla protein powder****
- 1/2 cup (15 g) crispy rice cereal
- 1 - 2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) unsweetened almond milk, if needed
- Optional: 3 Tbsp (45 g) chocolate chips, for melting
- Prepare an 8x8 (20cm x 20cm) baking pan by lining it with a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on the sides to allow for easy removal. Set aside.
- Add almond butter and liquid sweetener to a microwave-safe bowl and nuke on high until the ingredients are fully melted and combined, about 1-2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the microwave, add vanilla extract, and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool and thicken.*****
- Combine the oat flour, quick oats, protein powder, and crispy rice cereal in a large mixing bowl, stirring until well combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. The mix might seem a little dry and tough to work with at first, but continue mixing until the ingredients start to incorporate, adding 1-2 Tbsp (15-30 ml) of almond milk to soften it up, if needed.
- Transfer the mixture to your prepared pan and use a spatula to distribute it evenly, making sure to press down firmly. Place the chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and nuke on high in 20 second intervals, mixing between each round. When the chocolate is fully melted, drizzle it over the top of the packed mix using a spoon.
- Cover the pan with a sheet of foil and place it into the fridge to set, at least 2 hours. When the bars have set, remove them from the pan using the foil overhang, and use a sharp knife to cut them into individual bars. Store them in the fridge or freezer for best results.
** I like to use almond butter since it has a sweet and mild taste, but feel free to sub this out with any nut butter you like, or use a seed butter to make it nut-free. The only thing I suggest is to use a store-bought no-stir variety, since the oils in the natural butter could alter the texture of the bars.
*** To make the oat flour yourself, simply run your oats through a coffee grinder or blender until they're the consistency of a fine powder. Or you can use 3/4 cup (80 g) of pre-ground oat flour.
**** I used a rice protein powder, but you can sub this out with whichever protein powder you have on hand. Since different protein powders absorb liquid differently, you might have to adjust how much almond milk you add.
***** Alternatively, you can melt the almond butter and honey on the stove in a small saucepan set over medium heat.
Looking for more no bake bar recipes? Try one of these!
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