Healthy Peanut Butter Fudge Protein Bars
Seeing how much I love peanut butter, there’s no questioning why I loved those Peanut Butter Crunch Bars by PureFit.  Although they weren’t as sweet as my tastebuds would’ve liked, they were packed with peanut flavor, 18g of protein and only 220 calories.
I usually reserve bars for emergency snacks only, since they aren’t the most nutritious snack out there, but they are always great to have on hand since they are satisfying and filling.  I also find that bars prevent me from making bad food choices.  On one hand, I could go to the McDonald’s drive thru, but on the other hand, I could whip out a delicious, chewy peanut butter bar…  I choose the peanut butter option.
But since I reserved bars for emergencies, I made excuses to be in emergencies.  For example, I would take way too much time getting ready in the morning just so I would “run late” and have a legitimate excuse to grab a couple bars on my dash out the door  ;)
Healthy Peanut Butter Fudge Protein Bars

But now that I’m avoiding added sugars (to the best of my ability), I have since then cut out storebought bars.  The main reason I’ve cut out bars though, is because I am now allergic to just about every ingredient they usually contain (like whey, casein, soy, egg white, etc).  Don’t worry though, you won’t be able to tell these bars are hypoallergenic, and not to mention healthy!  They taste way too sweet to be sugar free, way too fudgy to be vegan, and way too peanut buttery to be considered a diet food.  You’ll definitely enjoy (maybe fall in love with?) these 6-ingredient protein bars!

Healthy Homemade Peanut Butter Fudge Protein Bars

Yield: 10 protein bars

Healthy Homemade Peanut Butter Fudge Protein Bars

Ingredients

  • 128g (1/2 cup) Natural Peanut Butter (no sugar/salt/oil added)
  • 1 cup + 2 tbs Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 10 packets Truvia* (or sweetener of choice)
  • 40 drops Stevia Extract*
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 96g (1 cup) Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, blended to a flour
  • 168g (8 scoops) Vanilla Brown Rice Protein Powder** (I used SunWarrior)

Instructions

  1. Line an 8" brownie pan with wax paper or parchment paper both ways and set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized stand mixer bowl, add the peanut butter and almond milk and stir (don't use a whisk attachment. If you feel like getting an arm workout, skip the stand mixer and use a spoon and your arm!).
  3. While the mixer is stirring, add the Truvia, stevia and salt. Still mixing, add the oat flour. Once the oat flour has fully mixed in, add the protein powder. Mix until all the protein powder is incorporated.
  4. Take the bowl off the stand mixer and fold the mixture with a rubber spatula to form a giant PB dough ball. Dump into the prepared pan and flatten with the spatula (or if you're fancy, a pastry roller). Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. The next day, slice into bars and store in the fridge. If you are the on-the-go type, wrap each bar in parchment paper and tape to close, that way you can easily grab them out of the fridge.

Notes

*If you don't have stevia, add 6-8 more packets of Truvia/sweetener of choice, or to taste. If you don't want to use Truvia, omit it and increase the stevia to 1 tsp.

**8 scoops = 1+1/4 cups packed. Do not use whey protein powder in this recipe, it will be gooey and will not solidify unless you freeze it.

Feel free to add some chopped peanuts to the mix! Or maybe even add dried fruit or mini chocolate chips as well :)

This recipe is: no bake, sugar free, high protein, gluten free and vegan!

http://dessertswithbenefits.com/peanut-butter-fudge-protein-bars/

Healthy Peanut Butter Fudge Protein Bars

Since these bars were inspired by PureFit’s Peanut Butter Crunch Bars, iiiiit’s

NUTRITION LABEL SHOWDOWN TIME!!

PureFit’s label is on the left, Desserts with Benefit’s label is on the right:

Healthy Dessert Blog   Healthy Dessert Blog
While both bars are a healthy snack option (definitely better than a drive-thru), my bars are:
  • lower calorie, lower sodium and lower carb
  • sugar free and cholesterol free
  • high fiber and high protein
  • rich in calcium and iron
I should call these nutrition powerhouse bars!  You must make these soon, and since they are 50 gazillion times healthier than storebought bars, you don’t need to make up any lame excuses like I did  ;)

Healthy Peanut Butter Fudge Protein Bars

Labels: Bars-Blondies-and-Brownies, Brown-Rice-Protein, Gluten-Free, High-Protein, No-Bake, Nutrition-Label, Oats, Peanut-Butter, Sugar-Free, Vegan

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Comments (64)

  1. Lexi: July 20, 2012

    Love these…i wish i could take food like this with me on airplanes because I am travelling to Italy in 2 weeks and these would be perfect!!! Question about your food allergies: Prior to going to college and the change in your diet, did you know you were allergic to all the various products you now know you are?

  2. veganbrain: July 20, 2012

    I am definitely going to make these, they look really good :)

  3. Jessica: July 20, 2012

    Hi Lexi! No, I didn’t find out until I met with a registered dietician and got a bunch of blood tests done. I’ve had problems with my energy level and bloating ever since I can remember, but it got worse during my late freshman year in college when I switched exclusively to whole grains, tried to eat yogurt every day, etc etc… my allergies could have worsened from the stress of being in school, my consumption of these foods nearly every day (especially bagels lol), and the lack of variety in my diet (not that much healthy food available on my campus!).
    However, I believe that after years and years of eating nearly 100% junk food and not much else, by body wasn’t expecting such a drastic change in my diet and new active lifestyle. In case you haven’t read the About Me page, I used to eat at least 3 Hershey bars a day, and my childhood nicknames usually involved a candy of some sort. Sugar and lack of activity weakens the immune system, so that is what I think happened.
    But don’t worry, just because this happened to me doesn’t mean it will happen to you or others! If you feel like you have allergies talk to a registered dietician or your doctor and get some blood tests done. Eating foods that you shouldn’t have causes inflammation, stress, and could possibly damage the GI system.
    Sorry about the long response, have fun in Italy :)
    -Jess

  4. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction: July 20, 2012

    These are a perfect snack! I need to make them soon!

  5. Lexi: July 20, 2012

    Oh wow. I was just wondering how you found out about all of your food allergies. Isn’t it amazing how your diet plays such a key role in every aspect of your life. I see a naturopathic doctor and I absolutely love the eastern approach to medicine, especially for problems that do not need crazy medications.
    Thanks! Mostly excited for all the delish food!!

  6. Basil: July 21, 2012

    Hah, that’s funny how you made excuses to be in emergencies! ;)
    These bars look great… just like all of your recipes. In some ways, I’m grateful that people have food allergies. They force us to branch out, and, mostly, be healthier.

  7. energeat: July 21, 2012

    These look great! Tons of protein too :)

  8. Rosalie: July 22, 2012

    Do you have an idea of whether or not the brown rice powder could be subbed with another protein source? I’m afraid I only have wheys, peanut flour, and a pea/soy/rice blend.

  9. Dina: July 22, 2012

    these sound great! always looking for good low carb bars!

  10. Jessica: July 22, 2012

    Yes, the protein can be substituted with other protein powders. People have made my chocolate peanut butter protein bars using soy protein powder. One of my friends uses whey protein powder, but the dough gets really thick and sticky (she also needs to add a few more scoops) so she puts it in the freezer to help firm them up.
    The dough should look thick like cookie dough when it’s ready to be refrigerated so just look out for that. Good luck and hope you like them!

  11. Anonymous: July 22, 2012

    As always, it looks absolutely delicious! I was just wondering how to make them lower in fat. Do you have any ideas? Thanks a lot :)

  12. Jessica: July 22, 2012

    You can probably replace up to 3 tablespoons of the peanut butter with 2-3 tablespoons of a liquid sweetener (such as brown rice syrup, maple syrup, etc). You may need to add a tiny bit more of the oat flour or protein powder (1/2-1 tablespoon?) in order to thicken the dough. Just note that reducing the peanut butter will reduce the flavor, so it would be good to use vanilla protein powder instead of unflavored, or adding vanilla extract.

  13. Patricia @ ButterYum: July 22, 2012

    Absolutely fabulous – and amazing photos!

  14. Angie's Recipes: July 22, 2012

    Seriously these look to die for!

  15. Ellen: July 23, 2012

    Woah! These look fantastic! My boyfriend eats at least one pre-packaged energy bar a day, and I’ve been trying to find bar recipes with normal ingredients in them that I can make for him to take to work. These sound perfect!

  16. Unknown: July 23, 2012

    I love PureFit bars. I’m definitely going to have to try this recipe.

  17. Cathleen: July 24, 2012

    These look perfect! I also have an addiction to peanut butter. This should help, thanks ;)

  18. It's Carmen: July 24, 2012

    These look spectacular. I can actually see how rich they are. Yummy! Would there be a way to eliminate/substitute the protein powder altogether?

    ❀ It’s Carmen

  19. Anonymous: July 24, 2012

    These look great. I’m hoping to make them tonight because I’ll be traveling tomorrow and would love to bring a bar with me on the road. Quick question though, did you use 1 cup of rolled oats and then use the flour amount that came from that? Or did you grind the rolled oats until you had 1 cup of oat flour? Also, I’m planning on substituting the truvia and stevia with regular granulated sugar. Are your truvia packets 3.5g per packet? If that’s the case, it’s safe to say that substituting 35g of sugar for the truvia and 28g of sugar for the stevia would be ok right? Thanks again for the recipe.

  20. Jessica: July 24, 2012

    I’m sure the protein powder can be substituted with another flour, but then of course, they would not be as high in protein. The protein powder is the main dry ingredient, so it should not be eliminated. If you were to make these using another flour, I would recommend oat flour + brown rice flour, as this will create a complete protein when paired with the peanut butter. You can also try peanut flour (16g of protein per 1/4 cup!). When mixing the dough, just look for a very thick texture similar to cookie dough. It should be able to form a ball if you tried. Good luck! I hope the substitutions work out for you :)

  21. Jessica: July 24, 2012

    I measured 1 cup of oats and blended that into a slightly coarse flour for texture.
    The packets I use are 3.5g, which are twice as sweet as sugar, and 1 packet = 2 tsp of sugar. 10 packets = 6 tbs + 2 tsp of sugar (about 80g). The stevia is equal to about 5 tbs of sugar (60g sugar), so in total you will need about 140g of sugar, or ~3/4 cup. If using sugar, you may need to have a couple tablespoons more of the almond milk on hand. Because these are approximations, maybe add 1/2 cup of sugar, give it a taste, and see if it needs more. Good luck, hope you like the bars and have a lovely road trip!
    -Jess

  22. Anonymous: July 25, 2012

    Hi, I have a small problem with the sweetener as well. I’d like to make these bars without regular sugar, but I don’t have truvia – it’s not available where I live :( – but I do have dried stevia (stevia powder) and granulated erythritol… Any chance of combining these two and getting the same result? Thanks a lot.

  23. Jessica: July 25, 2012

    I have never used stevia powder, but I would suggest using 3 teaspoons + 3/4 teaspoon of the powder to replace the liquid stevia in the recipe.
    I used this chart to get the approximated measurement: http://sweetleaf.com/sweetleaf-usage

    To replace the truvia, you will need 6 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons of erythritol. I don’t believe this will affect the end result too much, but you may need a couple teaspoons of the almond milk on hand if the dough is too dry. Just make sure to give the dough a taste to see if it’s sweet enough to your liking. Good luck!

  24. Just made these! SOOO GOOOD! Thank you! I used 1/2 cup of granulated xylitol instead of stevia – I would say that I put a little two much – They are delicious but a tad too sweet! Next time I will add less xylitol! I have been searching for a yummy home-made protein bar recipe for a while now… and THIS is the best! Thanks for the recipe! Will not be buying anymore Luna bars! Save money and sugar!:)

  25. Jessica: July 27, 2012

    Yay I’m so glad the recipe was a success! Thankfully the xylitol is an easy ingredient to adjust :)

  26. Anonymous: July 29, 2012

    Hey, so I just made these and it’s more like goo than very thick cookie dough. They are very sticky and I left in the fridge overnight and tried to cut them – it turned out to be a sticky gooey mess – they do not cut so nicely and look as pretty as your picture. yours look dry and not sticky. i don’t think the recipe you posted is correct.

  27. Jessica: July 30, 2012

    Oh no! :( May I ask what protein powder you used? And did you measure the oats and then blend them? If you followed the recipe exactly I’m not sure what went wrong… I have made these protein bars three times with no problems, Ellie @ Healthy Belly Ellie made this with good results and my friends have made them as well. Since it’s too late to go back, you can try freezing them so they firm up.

  28. Anonymous: July 31, 2012

    How long do these generally last in the refrigerator?

  29. Jessica: July 31, 2012

    Depends on how fast you eat them ;) But they should keep for about a week if they are wrapped and in the fridge.

  30. Anonymous: August 2, 2012

    These look amazing! I’m a peanut butter addict. Do you think I can use regular milk instead of almond milk? (it’s what I have on hand- and it’ll add a bit more protein.)

    Also, I have stevia powder on hand, but it seems I can’t use JUST that (no Truvia, erythriitol, etc, or sugar), right? The stevia is so concentrated, that the amount needed to keep the wet/dry proportion intact would be WAY too sweet. Any ideas? (I’m trying to avoid buying Truvia, as it’s a little pricey, and I’d use it just for this one recipe. Although, if it’s as good as it looks, I’ll be making it again!)

    Any ideas would be appreciated…Thanks!
    -Mary

  31. Jessica: August 2, 2012

    Hi Mary, I’m pretty sure regular milk will work here. You can also try using stevia alone, maybe around 3/4-1 tsp? Check this stevia usage chart just to make sure:
    http://sweetleaf.com/sweetleaf-usage

    Hopefully this works out for you!

  32. Anonymous: August 27, 2012

    These look amazing! The only this is, I can’t eat oats, is there another flour I can use? Thanks!
    -Courtney

  33. Jessica: August 27, 2012

    Hi Courtney, you can try using any other flour such as brown rice flour, almond flour, coconut flour, etc. Add the protein powder before the oat flour replacement, then add the replacement 1 tbs at a time until you get a cookie dough texture.

  34. Anonymous: September 28, 2012

    These look amazing! How many bars do you get and what do you use to cut them so they all come out uniform. your bars are all cut perfectally. Thanks

  35. Jessica: September 29, 2012

    Thanks :) The recipe makes 8-10 bars, depending on how wide you cut them. And I use a large sharp knife, about 9-10″ long.

  36. Anonymous: October 4, 2012

    Rice protein powder has been ordered and is on its way. I have been after a protein bar recipe this good for a long time, so here’s hoping it tastes awesome. One question—what would happen if you added some psyllium powder to up the fibre count? Would the bar still come together?

  37. Jessica: October 5, 2012

    EEK! I hope you like/LOVE the protein bars :) you can totally drizzle them with chocolate or fold in some chocolate chips to make them extra delish.
    I haven’t used psyllium powder before so I’m not sure how it works. If it absorbs a lot of liquid (like flax and chia) then I would add 1 tbs psyllium powder + 1 tbs almond milk, or however much milk to make a very thick paste. Mix it in a bowl first then add it to the almond butter and almond milk in the first few steps.
    Personally, I would test out the protein bars as the recipe is stated so you get to know how the bars taste and feel. Then you can adjust sweetness and add the psyllium next time around. Either way, good luck!
    -Jess

  38. Amy: October 28, 2012

    I made these bars today with almond butter and chocolate Sunwarrior because that’s whet I had on hand. Can’t wait to have one for my afternoon snack tomorrow. Have you tried freezing the finished bars? Thank you!

  39. Jessica: October 29, 2012

    Hi Amy! Those bars sound delicious, especially the chocolate part ;)
    I haven’t tried freezing them because they keep pretty well if they’re covered tightly and kept in the fridge, and if you eat (at least) one per day. I hope you looove the protein bars!

  40. Ámy: November 1, 2012

    They are amazing, thank you! The texture is great and I love that I know exactly what is in them. I can’t wait to try some other variations, I’m thinking cashew butter and vanilla Sunwarrior. Thank you again! Your site is a gem!

  41. Jessica: November 1, 2012

    I’m so glad the almond butter+chocolate variation worked out, I gotta try that next! And cashew+vanilla sounds ahhhmazing, I wanna try that too now…

  42. Anonymous: November 30, 2012

    Hi! Great great site, I tried these and the chocolate protein bars today, followed all measurements but both mixes were far far too wet-never came together like a ‘ball’ as in your write up? Any suggestions why? Should i just use a dash of almond milk instead of 1 cup + 2 tbs? Tried adding more oats and peanut butter to counter act the milk but made them far too thick. Still tasted nice but not really perfected the ‘bar’ style yet! Thanks! Keep up the great work

  43. Anonymous: January 7, 2013

    How many protein bars does this recipe make?

  44. Rosa: January 20, 2013

    Just found your blog recently–and just made these. Delicious! I used a chocolate protein powder and left out the sweetener, which made them yummy and chocolatey. How do you get yours shaped so perfectly? My edges aren’t nearly as pretty! Maybe I need a squarer pan!

  45. Jessica: January 21, 2013

    I used a square 8″ brownie pan and flattened them out pretty well. I sliced them when they were cold and with a sharp knife. Well, no matter how they look, a good taste with some health benefits are all that count! ;)

  46. Jess: May 3, 2013

    Have you ever tried these without sweetener at all? I would rather not use it and I am thinking of trying with smart balance natural pb and vanilla soy protein powder.

  47. dessertswithbenefits: May 3, 2013

    I haven’t made these without a sweetener because without it they will not be sweet at all. The sweetener enhances the flavors of the ingredients too, but if you would rather not use it then that’s fine… I just don’t know how they would compare to the original recipe ;)
    However you make them though, I hope you love em!

  48. Josephine: August 2, 2013

    I’m a fan of yours!!! =)

    Quick question, I made this last night and when I woke up this morning, it was soft and looks like it will not be like this. =( I placed it in the freezer instead, is that ok?

  49. dessertswithbenefits: August 2, 2013

    Hi Josephine-
    Just a quick question, did you use whey protein? Whey protein tends to get really gooey and sticky and not solidify. I recommend using brown rice protein powder in these protein bars and my other protein bar recipes. Freezing it should work though, my friend makes these all the time using whey protein and just sticks them in the freezer to firm them up :)

  50. Cara Badan: September 5, 2013

    Thanks, very interesting blog!

  51. Candace: September 7, 2013

    I made these last night and in the morning i found some blueish dots all around it??? Any thoughts on why?

  52. dessertswithbenefits: September 7, 2013

    Candace-
    Blue dots?? I have no idea what that could be, I have never experienced that whenever I make these. Did you refrigerate and cover the bars overnight? And are all of your ingredients before the expiry date? If so, I’m sure the bars will be okay to eat, they’ll just be strange to look at!

  53. Jane: March 8, 2014

    Just made a batch of these using cashew butter & unsweetened cashew milk… HEAVEN. I’m addicted to these bars… Saving so much not having to buy Quest bars which taste

  54. dessertswithbenefits: March 9, 2014

    Jane-
    WOW cashew butter sounds amazing!! I definitely need to try that in these protein bars now. Great idea thanks for sharing :)
    -Jess

  55. Michelle: May 1, 2014

    When you say that the oats are “blended to a flour”, what do you mean by this? And how do you achieve it? Can you just use oat flour instead?

  56. dessertswithbenefits: May 1, 2014

    Michelle-
    Yup! You can just use oat flour instead, you will need about 1/2 cup of oat flour for the recipe.
    Hope you like the protein bars!
    -Jess

  57. Kate: May 20, 2014

    Hi.

    I love your blog and your recipes are always so interesting and delicious. Thanks for all the work you do experimenting so we can benefit!
    Anyway, I came across this today: http://julielohre.com/portfolio/beverly-no-bake-protein-bars/?id=50
    No photo credit for you. Such bad blogging manners!
    Her protein bars must have been ugly.
    I guess it’s flattering, really!.
    Anyway, I just wanted you to know.

    Kate

  58. dessertswithbenefits: May 21, 2014

    Thanks so much Kate!! I’m glad you like my recipes :)
    And thanks for bringing that website to my attention. Although she did provide a different recipe, she still did use my image without permission, which is copyright infringement :/
    Although, I’ve gotta say it makes me feel a little better about my amateur camera skills, haha :)
    Have a great week!
    -Jess

  59. Jaime: June 18, 2014

    Do you think these would work using hemp protein powder?? I just recently bought some and haven’t tried cooking with it. These look AMAZING and I’d like to try them

  60. dessertswithbenefits: June 22, 2014

    Jaime-
    I’ve never used hemp protein powder before so I can’t be sure. Although, in my experience, vegan protein powders are all pretty similar and absorb a lot of liquid.
    I would recommend starting out with 3/4 cup of hemp protein, and then add more from there if the dough needs it. The texture should look like cookie dough, like pictured here:
    http://instagram.com/p/lAb4niChdK/
    I hope this substitution works out for you, and I hope you like the protein bars!! :)
    -Jess

  61. Meryl: August 28, 2014

    Your recipe lists stevia extract as an ingredient, but the link is for stevia liquid drops. Are they interchangeable?

  62. dessertswithbenefits: August 29, 2014

    Meryl-
    Yup, the stevia I linked to is stevia extract, they’re the same thing :)
    I hope you like the recipe!
    -Jess

  63. KT: September 11, 2014

    Has anyone tried using honey instead of Truvia or Stevia?

  64. dessertswithbenefits: September 12, 2014

    KT-
    I haven’t tried using a liquid sweetener instead of the packeted ones, but feel free to give it a shot! That sounds like a really good idea. I would probably try using raw honey since it’s thicker and a bit healthier than the clear kinds. You’ll probably need about 1/2 cup – 2/3 cup of honey :)
    Since it does add some moisture to the recipe, be sure to keep some extra oat flour or protein powder on hand. You might need an extra few tablespoons of either or. The dough will be ready once it’s thick and looks like cookie dough, it shouldn’t be sticky.
    I hope you like the recipe!!
    -Jess

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