Healthy Peanut Butter Fudge DIY Protein Bars (+ Video!)
Seeing how much I love peanut butter, there’s no questioning why I loved those storebought Peanut Butter Protein Bars. 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 couple delicious, Healthy Peanut Butter Fudge DIY Protein Bars… 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… hehehe.
But now that I’m avoiding added sugars, I have cut out storebought bars. Don’t worry though, you won’t be able to tell these protein bars are healthy! They taste too sweet to be sugar free, too fudgy to be vegan, and too peanut buttery to be considered a healthy food. You’ll definitely enjoy (maybe fall in love with?) these Healthy Peanut Butter Fudge DIY Protein Bars.
I should call these nutrition powerhouse bars! You just gotta make these soon. And since these 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 DIY Protein Bars
- 128g (½ cup) Natural Roasted Peanut Butter
- 1 cup + 2 tbs Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla Crème-Flavored Stevia Extract
- 168g (1¼ cups, lightly packed) Vanilla Brown Rice Protein Powder
- 90g (¾ cup) Peanut Flour
- ¼ tsp Salt
- You can find the full recipe and instructions in the DIY Protein Bars Cookbook!
If you like this recipe, then you’ll LOVE my DIY Protein Bars Cookbook! With 48 protein bar recipes, you’ll never buy protein bars from the store again. To learn more about the book and see some sneak peeks, see this page!
Watch me make these no-bake Peanut Butter Fudge DIY Protein Bars on camera:
Eat protein bars.
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?
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.
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 🙂
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!!
How many protein bars does this recipe make?
I am definitely going to make these, they look really good 🙂
These are a perfect snack! I need to make them soon!
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.
These look great! Tons of protein too 🙂
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.
these sound great! always looking for good low carb bars!
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 🙂
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.
Absolutely fabulous – and amazing photos!
Seriously these look to die for!
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!
I love PureFit bars. I’m definitely going to have to try this recipe.
These look perfect! I also have an addiction to peanut butter. This should help, thanks 😉
These look spectacular. I can actually see how rich they are. Yummy! Would there be a way to eliminate/substitute the protein powder altogether?
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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!:)
Yay I’m so glad the recipe was a success! Thankfully the xylitol is an easy ingredient to adjust 🙂
How long do these generally last in the refrigerator?
Depends on how fast you eat them 😉
But they should keep for about a week if they are wrapped and in the fridge.
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!
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:
Hopefully this works out for you!
These look amazing! Thanks!
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
The recipe makes 10 bars, depending on how wide you cut them. And I use a large sharp knife, about 10″ long.
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?
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!
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!
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!
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!
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…
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
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!
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! 😉
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.
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!
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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?
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 🙂
Thanks, very interesting blog!
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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
WOW cashew butter sounds amazing!! I definitely need to try that in these protein bars now. Great idea thanks for sharing 🙂
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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.
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!
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
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:
I hope this substitution works out for you, and I hope you like the protein bars!! 🙂
Your recipe lists stevia extract as an ingredient, but the link is for stevia liquid drops. Are they interchangeable?
Yup, the stevia I linked to is stevia extract, they’re the same thing 🙂
I hope you like the recipe!
Has anyone tried using honey instead of Truvia or Stevia?
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!!
Would they set the same if I replaced the liquid Stevia with agave nectar?
I’m afraid agave won’t replace the stevia. You’d need about 1/4 cup of agave to add the amount of sweetness in the stevia, but then the bars will have too much liquid and might not solidify.
If you’re up for some recipe-testing, you can try the agave substitution and just add a couple tablespoons more oat flour and a couple tablespoons more peanut butter 🙂
I hope you like the recipe!
HI! First I have to say THANK YOU! 2 weeks ago I began a macrco diet and I haven’t been able to find a protein bar that meets my high standards! There are always weird ingredients or if I do find one with organic ingredients the fat and carbs are super high! I made these last night but when I went to cut them this morning they all crumbled. I followed the recipe to the T minus the sweetener. I didn’t add any. Could my sun warrior scoop be bigger? When I placed them in the pan I didn’t get a ball when I finished more like a bowl of meal, however I still was able to smash them firmly into the pan. Any pointers would be appreciated! I want them to look as good as yours!
The scoop sizes may have changed… by the end of the recipe the dough should be like cookie dough. I measured the 168g of the protein powder and it should be 1+1/4 cups lightly packed.
To salvage the recipe, maybe add the protein “meal” back to the stand mixer bowl and add almond milk 1 tbs at a time, until it forms a ball. It should look like this (except not green from the matcha):
I hope this works out for you, sorry about the trouble! I hope you like the recipe and I’m glad it fits your macros 🙂
Thank you so much Jess! I will try that! I’m planning to make the matcha tonight. I’m just obsessed with your site! Can’t believe how beautiful your recipes are! This is like the holy grail for someone trying a macro diet. I love to bake and most of the things I make do not fit my diet. Now they can!
Yay!! I hope the matcha one works out for you 🙂
Would soy protein work for these and the other recipies that call for brown rice protein?
I don’t have much experience with soy protein so I can’t be sure… but, I guess it’s worth a shot! I’m crossing my fingers this recipe works out for you! 🙂
Hi, I was wondering if it’s okay to omit the truvia and stevia from the recipe? Also, can I use regular vanilla protein powder? My other half would die for these! Thanks!
I’m afraid the sweeteners are crucial in these protein bars. Without them, the bars will be very bland. By “regular protein powder” do you mean whey? If so, whey doesn’t work in this recipe, only brown rice protein (whey doesn’t absorb the liquid and the mixture turns really sticky).
What type of peanut butter do you use? Is there a certain brand you recommend?
I always always ALWAYS use natural peanut butter, but I don’t have a certain favorite brand or anything… I usually just buy whatever is cheapest at the time I go grocery shopping. Right now, I like the peanut butter at Costco because it’s all natural and doesn’t have any sugar or oil added (does have a tiny bit of salt though). However, it’s good to shop around because sometimes you can even find organic peanut butter that is cheaper than the regular stuff! I don’t buy Skippy or those major brands because they always have sugar added. Hope this helps!
This is a new favorite for me!
Just wanted to tell you that I made these yesterday and they were sinfully delicious! And for less calories (plus more natural) than a quest bar! How are you not a millionaire?!? You culinary-inventor you
Look at you doing a recipe video! Woot woot! If you don’t have nut butter in your life, what kind of a life is it, really?
These sound incredibly moreish and delicious (I’ll inhale anything that contains peanut butter) and perfect for study snacks. I will certainly be ordering that book so I can grab the full recipe! Clean photography as well 🙂
Absolutely! I used to make these back in college and brought them to snack on after class (because everyone needs a post-class reward, yes?!) 😉
Thanks so much Rosie <3
This looks amazing! I really want to try it!
I haven’t been able to find the peanut flour. Is there any way I can make it
You can’t make peanut flour at home, but I buy my peanut flour online here: http://amzn.to/2u6pV0x
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