Oxymoron Chubby Hubby Protein Bars — It’s An Oxymoron, Because They’re Healthy!

Chubby Hubby Bars

I have been pretty busy lately so I’m falling back in love with quick and easy “grab and go” snacks.  Scratch that, I meant “snack.”  No plural there, because these Chubby Hubby Protein Bars are the ONLY thing I think about when I’m in a hurry with a stomach that is growling at me like my dog growls at vacuums.

Chubby Hubby Bars

I love peanut butter, I love chocolate and I love pretzels — that means I love Chubby Hubby, so I made protein bars in that flavor!  Except these won’t make you chubby…  these protein bars are low sugarhigh protein and filled with all natural ingredients (unlike Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby ice cream, which contains bleached flour, butter and a ton of sugar…  sugar is both the third and fifth ingredient!)

So indulge in these healthy Chubby Hubby Protein Bars.  They are easy to make, totally crave-able and 100% healthy  :)

Oxymoron Chubby Hubby Protein Bars -- they're healthy! (low sugar, gluten free, vegan)

Yield: 10 protein bars

Oxymoron Chubby Hubby Protein Bars -- they're healthy! (low sugar, gluten free, vegan)

Ingredients

  • 128g (1/2 cup) Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup + 2 tbs Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 10 packets Truvia*
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Stevia Extract*
  • 80g (2/3 cup) Oat Flour
  • 168g (8 scoops) Vanilla Brown Rice Protein Powder (I used SunWarrior - do not use whey)
  • 3/4-1 cup Chopped Pretzels (I used these GF pretzels - try to use whole grain)
  • 45g (1/4 cup) Mini Dark Chocolate Chips (I used EnjoyLife)

Instructions

  1. Line an 8" brownie pan with parchment paper both ways.
  2. In a stand mixer bowl with beater attachment, add the peanut butter, almond milk, truvia, salt and stevia extract. Mix on low.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the oat flour and protein powder. Slowly add to the stand mixer.
  4. Increase mixer speed to medium for a few seconds, then back to low.
  5. Turn off the stand mixer and dump in the pretzels and chocolate. Turn the stand mixer on low and mix until JUST incorporated, being careful not to crush the pretzels entirely.
  6. Take the bowl off the mixer, scoop the dough into the prepared pan and flatten the surface.
  7. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  8. Slice and serve the next day!

Notes

*You can omit the Truvia and increase the stevia to 2/3 tsp

Sadly, the pretzels absorb some of the moisture in the protein bars so they weren't crunchy like I expected. However, they provided an awesome (and addicting) salty flavor, perfect with peanut butter and chocolate!

This recipe is: low sugar, high fiber, high protein, gluten free, vegan!

http://dessertswithbenefits.com/oxymoron-chubby-hubby-protein-bars/

Chubby Hubby Bars


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Like this recipe?  Then you’ll LOVE the DIY Protein Bars Cookbook!  With 48 dessert-like protein bar recipes, full-color pages and photos for every recipe, you’ll never think twice about buying protein bars from the store again.  See this page for more information on the book, including the Table of Contents, some sneak peaks and sample images.

DIY Protein Bars Cookbook – Jessica Stier of Desserts with Benefits

Order it from Amazon here!

101 comments on “Oxymoron Chubby Hubby Protein Bars — It’s An Oxymoron, Because They’re Healthy!

  1. I’m so glad I picked up a bag of Sun Warrior protein powder in Vanilla. I’m usually not a fan of rice protein powder (too grainy) but I trust your blog, because so far, none of your recipes have failed to satisfy me! I will be making this ASAP!

    • dessertswithbenefits

      I find SunWarrior to be gritty too, so whenever I make a smoothie I make it the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight… it helps a little on the texture. I hope you like the protein bars! Make sure to read the recipe note on the pretzels [they don’t stay crunchy because the bars are moist, however they do add a pretzel flavor :) ]

  2. Hello :)

    I can’t have oats; do you think buckwheat flour would work?

    Thanks!

    • dessertswithbenefits

      Hmmm, I think buckwheat might add too strong of a flavor in these bars, and I’m not sure how it would taste. If you have brown rice flour or almond flour or any other mild flavor flour I would use that instead. But, if you love buckwheat I guess you can try that! :) Hope you like the protein bars!

  3. I love having homemade protein bars on hand. I’m excited to try your recipe!

  4. To try and help the pretzels retain their crunch you could try covering the with chocolate which will block the pretzels from the moisture of the bar. I’ve done it in homemade chubby hubby ice cream and it worked wonderfully and I’m sure it will work just as well when I go ahead and make these.

    • dessertswithbenefits

      Great advice Maddie! And that would add even more chocolate to the recipe, and you can’t go wrong with that of course 😀

  5. I made these and my friends and co-workers liked them a lot! I used regular brown rice protein powder because I can’t find vanilla brown rice protein powder anywhere and I used the thin pretzel chips with hopes that they wouldn’t take out as much moisture from the bars. The bars still came out a little dry. I did bake them for about 7 minutes at 325 because even after refrigerating overnight, they still wouldn’t completely hold together well. The baking really did the trick! Thanks for the recipe!

    • dessertswithbenefits

      Ashley-
      I never would have thought to bake the protein bars! However baking could be the cause of the dryness.
      I’m glad you all liked the recipe though!
      -Jess

  6. What is a good sub for rice protein powder? Can I use any vanilla protein powder?

    • dessertswithbenefits

      Julia-
      I believe soy protein powder and possibly hemp protein powder can replace the brown rice protein powder, but I would not sub it with whey protein powder (whey gets extremely gooey and does not set… however, my friend who uses whey just freezes it, but it is also difficult to mix)

    • This could very well be maker-error, but I subbed in soy flour and added a couple tablespoons vanilla and they came out too dry to stay together. I also used soy milk rather than almond milk, so that could have been the problem too. I’m going to give it another try with less soy flour and a little more peanut butter. I should note that the brand of PB I used seemed a bit dry to me, so that probably contributed to the problem.

    • BC-
      In my experience with soy flour, I find that soy flour absorbs A LOT of liquid… kind of like coconut flour or peanut flour. Soy milk should work just fine to replace the almond milk, so I would say they ended up dry because of the soy flour (and possibly dry peanut butter… the PB I use is quite drippy). If you try this recipe again, I’d start off with 1/4 cup soy flour and keep the rest of the recipe the same. If you need to increase the amount of flour, just do it tablespoon by tablespoon 😀
      I hope the recipe works out better the second time around!
      -Jess

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  8. About how many grams of protein and carbs does each bar have? Just curious 😉

  9. Chubby Hubby Protein bars

  10. Do you know the Macros for these bars, they look delish 😀

    • Rach-
      It really depends on what brands of the products you use, but if you use the same products as me which are linked in the recipe, each protein bar will have 16-17g of protein and 19-21g carbs :)
      -Jess

  11. Do you know how many calories??? I count calories and it sucks when I really want to make something and it’s not posted lol

    • Heather-
      I just calculated the calories for the exact products/brands that I used. Each protein bar has 190 calories. This number will vary depending on what products/brands you use… for some reason every jar of peanut butter I buy seems to have a different calorie count. I have some jars with 160 calories per 2 tbs and I have some jars with 200 calories per 2 tbs. Hope this helped! :)
      -Jess

  12. I don’t have any stevia or truvia on hand… I wonder if maple syrup or honey would do the trick, and maintain some moisture in the bars. Any idea how much I should use? Thanks for the recipe! Super excited to try it.

    • Mary-
      Hmmm I’m not sure how a liquid sweetener will work in this recipe. The bars might be too gooey and not firm enough to spread into the pan… however, you can try omitting the stevia/truvia and replacing it with 2/3 – 3/4 cup of pure maple syrup/honey. Keep a few extra scoops of protein powder nearby and slowly add some to the mixture while it’s running. Add just enough to make it form a thick cookie dough.
      I hope this works for you!
      -Jess

  13. These look great, would it still work with an alternative protein powder? I can’t source the brown rice stuff in time for when I want to make these, so hoping to use a regular protein powder instead?

    • Mark-
      These protein bars might work with another protein powder, like soy protein or hemp protein, but whey protein DOES NOT work… sadly :( I’ve tried it and a lot of my readers have too. Whey protein gets really gooey and it doesn’t solidify. My friend uses whey and freezes the mixture for a while and then slices it, but it’s a lot of work to mix.

  14. Thanks so much for your reply. I’ll have a look locally for another type as I have about 15 whey’s but nothing else, doh!

    The rice one is quite difficult to source here so I’ll see what else I can find & let you know the results. Love the blog :)

    • Mark-
      No problem, I’ll try to make a whey protein bar recipe soon! Every batch I’ve made has failed beyond belief. One batch actually broke my crappy 4 year old stand mixer because the mixture was so gooey and thick, like silly putty :(

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  16. Sounds delicious!

    Can i replace the oat flower with grouded roled oats? I bought too much oats at Costco…

    • Eyal-
      Yup, you can just grind some oats in a blender or food processor and that will work just fine!
      Costco has a way of doing that to people… I think I bought enough organic hummus one time to last me three years… 😉
      -Jess

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  18. I tried this recipe out…by they came out runny. They did not harden in the fridge, and I refrigerated them from 3pm to 7:30am.

    I don’t know what went wrong. I made my own oat flour mix because trader joes did not carry any. And I substituted Vanilla Whey protein instead of the brown rice protein (That protein is really expensive).

    Other than that I followed the recipe and its more of a pudding. But still tasty.

    • Andrew-
      Sadly, it’s the whey protein :( For some reason whey protein gets really gooey and sticky. My friend makes these protein bars with whey protein still (not sure why though because they’re so difficult to mix!) and just adds a few extra scoops. She also freezes them for a little bit until they harden slightly and then she slices them. Still a bit sticky, but she said they’re good!
      I’m working on a whey protein bar recipe… it’s hard to make one nutritionally balanced though. I always need to add too much peanut butter or too much agave/honey/maple syrup :(

  19. Truvia?? Really?? Why does Coke & Cargil have to ruin stevia?? I was looking at your site until I saw the suggestion Truvia — I won’t be back.

    • Sorry to hear that, Max. You know, you can use any other packeted sweetener you like. I’m assuming you like stevia so you can use packeted stevia too. Or omit the packeted sweetener entirely and increase the stevia extract to 1 tsp :)
      -Jess

  20. I made this last night and although they taste super yummy, they turned out very sticky! And didn’t hold their shape so well :(
    I used cashew butter instead of peanut, and a tsp of brown sugar instead of truvia (couldn’t find it)
    any tips?

  21. Great recipe! Do you think these would keep unrefrigerated for a camp-out? Maybe if they’re chilled in the freezer instead of the fridge? Thanks!

    • LAR-
      Thanks! 😀
      The protein bars do need to be refrigerated otherwise they get really really soft, kind of like fudge (which sounds good, but they get squished easily). When I bring protein bars to class I like to put them in a sandwich baggie, place them in the freezer for ~4 hours and they’re the perfect texture in another few hours after they’ve have some time to thaw.
      Have fun on your camping trip!! :)
      -Jess

  22. I was just curious if you knew how many grams of fat were in each bar?

    • Daniel-
      It depends on what brands of the products you use, but if you use the same products as me which are linked to in the recipe, each protein bar should have 8.9g fat… healthy fats!
      Hope you like the recipe :)
      -Jess

  23. Is it optional to use protein- and rice powder? Because I dont have it. :)

  24. Can you bake this without using the protein and rice powder?❤️

    • Aynur-
      I’m afraid the protein powder is necessary in the recipe. It absorbs a lot of liquid and helps keep the protein bars firm and fudgy. Without it, it’ll just be soupy from the peanut butter and almond milk.
      Hope this helps!
      -Jess

    • Is it possible to use Almond flour instead?^^

    • Aynur-
      Hmmm… you can try using almond flour instead but I don’t know how that will turn out. In my experience, almond flour is really crumbly, so these protein bars might fall apart. If anything, oat flour might work, but I really don’t think the brown rice protein powder can be replaced :/
      Sorry!
      -Jess

    • Thank you for your answer. :)

    • Aynur-
      In my experience, almond flour tends to make things really crumbly so the protein bars might fall apart. If anything, oat flour might be able to replace the brown rice protein powder, but I really don’t think there is a good substitute :/
      Sorry!
      -Jess

  25. OMG, I wish I wouldn’t have taken 1+1/2 tsp stevia – the dough got sooo damn sweet, I did already increase the other ingredients and added some lime juice, but it still tastes wayy to much like – well, yeah, stevia. holy crap, where did I go wrong with this recipe? it sounds so lovely, but, uhh… :(

    • Dani-
      Oops, sorry about that! I must have miscounted the sweetness of the Truvia. 10 packets = 20 TEAspoons, not TABLEspoons like I accidentally counted it as. I updated the recipe to 2/3 tsp of stevia rather than 1+1/2 tsp.
      If you make it over again the 2/3 tsp should be WAY better 😉
      Sorry again!
      -Jess

  26. Hey Jess, thanks a lot for your quick answer! 😀

    Well, actually I did use just 1+1/2 teaspoons, not tablespoons… maybe my stevia extract is too strong?!

    But I just found a great way not to waste all the good ingredients in this dough now – I just use it as a cocoa base: 1 Tbsp mixed with one glass of almond milk and curd cheese -that tastes pretty good! I just have to drink about 30 cocoa cups within the next days. Haha. 😀 Or I’ll rather put the dough into the freezer, so I can grad one portion from time to time! 😉

    Nevertheless, thank you for this recipe, I will try it again until it works!!

    (By the way, I didn’t use pretzels – just for information, if someone may also want to use this recipe as a cocoa shake base!)

    • Dani-
      Oh good! I’m glad you found a way to salvage the too-sweet dough :)
      That sounds pretty good, I kinda want to try that now 😉
      Once you run out of the dough, I hope you get a chance to remake the recipe!!
      -Jess

  27. Ah, now I get it – 1+1/2 teaspoons where already too much, you changed that to 2/3 tsp – great! 😀

    (Sorry, I’m already a bit tired since it’s very late here in Austria! 😉 )

  28. I made these using plain brown protein powder. I thought I should try using flavored Stevia, and using more of it to give it that extra flavor.

    Unfortunately it was still a little bland. Do you know if I could use vanilla powder, and if so should I just increase the proportion of almond milk?

  29. Thanks Jess, will give it a go. In the mean time I’m using chocolate spread/nutella for this batch. Keep up the good work

  30. Hi! I was wondering if you could maybe use the pb2 peanut butter instead of regular? What effect do you think it would have on these bars??

    • Angel-
      I haven’t ever used PB2 so I can’t be sure. If it has the same texture as regular peanut butter (super thick), then I don’t see why it wouldn’t work!
      Just note that PB2 contains added sugar and salt, so you’ll need to reduce the stevia extract to 1/4 tsp and reduce (or even omit) the salt.
      I hope you like the recipe! :)
      -Jess

  31. So what’s the nutritional content of these?

  32. I made these and even though the batter’s yummy, it came out super sticky and gooey, almost like a sticky toffee. The only difference is that I didn’t use Sun Warrior brand powder, and that I omitted the chocolate chips. Any suggestions? I have them wrapped and in my freezer. Thanks!

    • Vanessa M.-
      I’m not sure what protein powder you used, but it sounds like you used whey, casein or egg white protein powder. For some reason, only vegan protein powders work in my protein bar recipes.
      Whey/casein/egg tends to make the mixture really sticky and gooey and unable to set, while brown rice protein powder thickens the mixture into a cookie dough-like texture :)
      To salvage the batter you already made, I would recommend using it to top oatmeal or add it to smoothies!
      I’m currently working on a whey protein bar recipe, but for now, all I have are the brown rice protein bar recipes :)
      -Jess

  33. Oops! I forgot to write the brand. It was Jay Barrows Vanilla Brown Rice Concentrate. Do some brown rice powders absorb less liquid than others? I would like to re-make it and I’m thinking just use more…? Thanks!!!

    • Vanessa M.-
      Hmmm, that’s strange. I’m not sure why that brand didn’t work out, it should’ve worked just fine!
      I was just wondering, did you use a kitchen scale to measure your ingredients? I always use a scale to measure the protein powder because sometimes it gets really packed in the bag and sometimes it’s fluffy… if you measure by scoops that could have been the problem.
      Hope this helps!
      -Jess

  34. can I use stevia packets instead of the extract? if so how many do i use?

    • Laney E-
      Yup, stevia packets should replace the extract just fine! If 1 packet has the sweetness of 2 tsp of sugar, I would recommend using about 10-12 packets. Give the dough a taste after adding 10 packets and see if you want more :)
      Hope you like the recipe!!
      -Jess

  35. Aha, that must have been my problem! I didn’t use a scale, I just shook the container and scooped out the powder. Thanks, I can’t wait to try again, because boy, were they yummy!

  36. Absolutely amazing! Really easy recipe to follow, good consistency and actually pretty delicious. I used almond flour instead of oat flour which didn’t seem to make any difference to the outcome but added some more protein. Thanks for the recipe!

  37. Do you think brown rice powder protin would work as well? And will the taste change majorly?

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  39. I followed the recipe to the letter, the only difference is that I used plain brown rice protein instead of vanilla and therefore I added 1 tsp vanilla for flavor. The end result was so bland it was like I was eating Poi (a flavorless Hawaiian dish made of taro root). I then added some shredded sweetened coconut and granulated coconut sugar which made it at least palatable, but still very bland and flavorless. Any ideas on how to add a little more flavor to these?

    • James-
      Sorry about that! Unfortunately, 1 tsp of vanilla extract won’t add enough vanilla flavor to make up for the unflavored brown rice protein powder.
      Also, the unflavored brown rice protein powder is unsweetened while the vanilla flavor is sweetened… so you would also need to add a lot more sweetener to compensate for that.
      I would recommend making the recipe again using the vanilla brown rice protein powder and you should be a lot happier with the result :)
      Also, you could try increasing the salt to 1/4 tsp if your pretzels aren’t very salty.
      I hope this helps James!
      -Jess

  40. What is the reason we can’t use whey protein powder? My main reason for not using the rice powder is price.

    • Saad Ghazi-
      For some reason, whey, casein and egg protein powders can’t replace the brown rice protein powder at all. They all turn the dough really gooey and sticky and it doesn’t solidify properly. Brown rice protein thickens up the dough and creates a really fudgy texture :)
      -Jess

  41. Recipe looks delicious! Just wondering what the reason is to not use whey? Whey is the only powder I have and I don’t really want to buy more:)

    • Hali-
      I totally understand! Unfortunately, whey, casein and egg white protein powders can’t replace the brown rice protein powder.
      They all turn the dough SUPER sticky and gooey, and it doesn’t solidify properly.
      Brown rice protein thickens up the dough and creates a really fudgy texture :)
      -Jess

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  43. i don’t have brown rice protein powder ( it is super expensive)so maybe i could use whey and add some oat flour to thicken it? do you think it would work?

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  45. Hi Jessica,

    Love your protein bar recipes. I prefer using regular sugar ideally brown sugar instead of stevia/truvia or any sugar substitutes. In this case what proportion of sugar would you recommend using for your recipes?

    • Raj-
      The amount of sugar will depend on the recipe, and whether or not the recipe requires baking or not. Usually, 1 tsp of stevia extract has the sweetness of one cup of sugar. In baked goods, however, all that sugar can make the cake/cookie/brownie dry, crunchy and crumbly… it’ll require some recipe testing. In this recipe, the Truvia and stevia have the sweetness of about 3/4 cup sugar (this substitute will increase the calorie/carb/sugar content significantly). Hope this helps Raj!
      -Jess

  46. Michelle Kickham

    Hey Jessica,
    Hope you’re doing well. I’m so proud of you and your book! Well done! You so totally deserve it!

    I was planning on making some of your protein bars this week – I dont usually eat them (store bought ones) – they’re usually full of all sorts of crap!
    But this year is my year for health – I have to gain a lot of weight, and I want to do it right.I finally fully committed to it two days ago. Whole new plan this year – a new year, a new me!
    So, which protein bar of yours would you recommend is the best, with respect to health benefits and nutritional value? I know they’re all fantastic, but which do you think would be the best? I trust your opinion, considering your education.
    I am underweight with very low lean muscle mass – which needs to change!
    I haven’t bought your book – YET. I wan to make sure I enjoy the taste of them, first! (Though, I seriously doubt that I wont!)
    Any help I would greatly appreciate!
    Again, well done on the book. I saw the sneak peak of the smores protein bars…oh my. they look GOOOOOOOD. (Amazingly – I’ve never even had a REAL S’more. How crazy am I? Or maybe it’s just cuz I’m Irish..hah. We’re boring!)
    Best wishes
    Michelle

    • Michelle Kickham-
      Sorry for the delayed response, I hope this doesn’t come to you too late!
      Thank you so much, I’m so glad I’m finished with the book… so much time spent, recipes made, frustration and roadblocks, grrr… but now it’s done :)
      Congrats on your resolutions. My health journey actually began on January 1st 2011!
      I think every protein bar has its own benefits and a TON of nutrition, so it’ll be hard to choose just one 😉
      If you’re starting to exercise, I’d recommend one with more complex carbohydrates and fruit. If you’re aiming for more calories, I’d recommend eating any protein bar, and two if you’re hungry. I usually eat 2-3 when I bring them to school.
      From the recipes already on my blog, I’d recommend:
      1- Peanut Butter Fudge Protein Bars
      2- Cookie Dough Protein Bars
      From the recipes in my cookbook, I’d recommend:
      1- Red Velvet Cake Fudge Protein Bars
      2- S’mores Protein Bars
      Of course, these are just my recommendations… I don’t have a lot of personal health information about you so I can’t obviously make a perfect recommendation based on your protein-, carb-, fat-, calorie-needs… or allergies if you have any. I hope I helped in any way Michelle!! :)
      -Jess

  47. Michelle Kickham

    Hey Jessica,

    Thanks a million. I like peanut butter so they’ll be the ones I’ll make, I think.
    Im not allowed exercise yet but when i’ve gained a bit I’m allowed start yoga.
    Thank you so much
    Best wishes
    Michelle

  48. Hubby loved them as a meal replacement. He bikes and this is great! I cut them larger. Only changes I made were honey-peanut butter and added coconut !

  49. Cookie dough like bars? Please help. I only had whey protein on hand so I substituted that for the protein stated in the recipe. My bars came out resembling raw cookie dough. How can I fix them? Were they supposed to be baked?
    Thank you

    • Monica-
      I stated in the recipe not to use whey protein because it doesn’t work :(
      Whey, casein and egg don’t substitute because they just dissolve while brown rice protein acts as a thickener. These protein bars don’t need to be baked. Maybe can try freezing the mixture for a couple hours until you can slice them. Store them in the freezer and when you want one, just let it thaw slightly until they’re ready to eat :)
      -Jess

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