These nut free protein bars taste like a fudgy chocolate brownie, but with 10g of protein. Low sugar, gluten-free and the best high protein snack!
Protein bars are the classic snack I always have in my bag. They're so easy and great for curbing hunger in a pinch. Problem is, they can get pretty expensive... and I don't always want to budget for that in this economy.
My homemade Perfect bar recipe are a classic, but I wanted to make a nut free protein bar option for everyone with allergies. These chocolate protein bars are brownie flavored and remind me of the iconic Cosmic brownies, so you know they're delicious. If you're looking to increase your protein intake or just need a healthy snack, these brownie protein bars are my pick!
Why This Recipe Is Dietitian Approved
- Lower in sugar. A lot of protein bars or granola bars can be quite high in sugar. This isn't necessarily a bad thing- if I'm snacking on one during a hike, I want that energy! But for everyday, I love a lower sugar option like these brownie protein bars.
- Completely nut free. If you have a peanut or tree nut allergy, you probably know the struggle of only seeing peanut butter protein bars. I'm here to make you feel less left out with these nut free protein bars that are allergen friendly!
- Simple. 6 key ingredients and only 15 minutes of prep. I promise it's worth the tiny bit of effort to have a week's worth of healthy snacks!
Dates. A great source of natural sweetness and fibre. I used medjool dates but other varieties will work too.
Candy coated chocolate sprinkles. Adding candy coated chocolate sprinkles really gives these chocolate protein bars the Cosmic brownie touch. These are the sprinkles I use.
Seed butter. Most recipes use peanut or almond butter to bind them, but we're doing a nut free protein bar with seed butter. I used this mixed seed butter, but you can use whatever is available to you. I recommend not using a pumpkin seed butter, as this has a stronger flavour.
Cocoa powder. The protein adds some chocolate, but adding extra cocoa really pushes the rich, brownie protein bar taste.
The complete ingredient list with measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
In a food processor or high powered blender, add dates, water, seed butter, chocolate protein powder, cocoa powder and salt.
Blend on high until it forms a smooth thick mixture.
Press mixture into an 8.5x4.5’ rectangular loaf pan, lined with parchment paper.
To melt chocolate for topping, combine chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in increments of 30 seconds, stirring in between until a smooth consistency is reached.
Pour chocolate over the protein mixture. Top with sprinkles.
Place in the fridge to allow the chocolate to harden, about 30 minutes.
Slice into 7 equal sized bars and enjoy!
Substitutions and Variations
To make gluten-free: These are naturally gluten free protein bars. Ensure your protein powder is also gluten free.
To make vegan: Use dairy-free chocolate chips and a vegan protein powder.
To make nut-free: These are naturally nut free protein bars. Ensure your protein powder is also nut free.
Missing an ingredient? Try these:
- Seed butter: Use sunflower seed butter or even tahini, if you like the chocolate sesame flavour profile. Note that tahini is more bitter, so you may need to add an extra date or a dash of maple syrup to balance it. If you can eat nuts, any nut butter works too.
- Dates: Swap for 2 tablespoon of maple syrup or honey.
- Sprinkles: For another fun topping, drizzle melted white chocolate or my vegan caramel!
- Food processor
- Loaf pan
These brownie protein bars can be stored in the fridge for up to 7 days in an airtight container. I do not recommend storing them on the counter, as the chocolate may begin to melt.
To freeze, place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. I recommend allowing them to defrost for about 5 minutes prior to enjoying.
Use a sharp knife to help avoid cracking the chocolate topping while slicing the bars.
For smaller protein ‘bites’ slice the bars in half creating 14 smaller bites perfect for a quick snack or sweet treat!
Frequently Asked Questions
Protein bars such as these can be a great snack to have on hand during busy weeks. I always like to make my own because I can customize the ingredients to my taste and nutrient needs. These are a great option for a touch of sweetness and boost of protein during the day!
Each bar contains about 10g of protein! This may vary slightly based on the specific brand of protein powder used!
More Healthy Snack Recipes
Looking for more high protein healthy snack ideas? Try these!
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make these nut free protein bars, don't forget to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked it!
Brownie Protein Bars (Nut Free, Gluten Free, No Bake)
- 2 medjool dates pitted
- 2 tablespoon warm water
- ½ cup seed butter
- ½ cup chocolate protein powder
- 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- ¼ cup candy coated chocolate sprinkles
- In a food processor or high powered blender, add dates, water, seed butter, chocolate protein powder, cocoa powder and salt. Blend on high until it forms a smooth thick mixture.
- Press mixture into an 8.5x4.5" rectangular loaf pan, lined with parchment paper.
- To melt chocolate for topping, combine chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in increments of 30 seconds, stirring in between until a smooth consistency is reached. Pour chocolate over the protein mixture. Top with sprinkles.
- Place in the fridge to allow the chocolate to harden, about 30 minutes.
- Slice into 7 equal sized bars and enjoy!