Do you have a hankering for a Reese’s Cup but you’re trying to cut back on sugars and increase the protein in your diet? If so, you may want to check out our recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars. This recipe has all of the flavors of your favorite candy, but includes protein, the health benefits of flaxseed and the natural sweetness of honey.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are a very popular candy, but if you are trying to eat healthier, these are not something that you should indulge in very often. However, with some kitchen creativity, you can make a lightly sweetened, peanut buttery, chocolate treat that you can enjoy every day.
Line an 8 inch by 3 inch loaf pan with aluminum foil. Set it aside.
In a small microwave-safe dish, microwave the coconut oil for about 15 to 20 seconds or until it is completely melted.
In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, the honey, the melted coconut oil, and the vanilla extract. Stir these until they are smooth and fully combined.
Add the flaxseed meal and the protein powder, stirring well. This mixture will soon begin to form a stiff dough. Keep mixing until no more dry ingredients are left in the bowl. You may need to use your hands to knead the mixture.
Place this dough onto the bottom of the prepared pan and press it out into an even layer, making sure that you get into the corners of the pan.
Put the chocolate chips and the coconut oil into a small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave it in 20 second bursts, stirring after each one. After about 40 to 50 seconds, the chocolate chips should be mostly melted. If there are a few lumps, just keep stirring until the rest of the chips melt.
Pour the melted chocolate onto the peanut butter layer in the pan.
Use a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter. Tilt the pan to get the chocolate into the corners of the pan.
Lightly sprinkle the salt over the top of the bars.
Place the pan into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to firm up the chocolate peanut butter bars. Remove the pan from the fridge and lift out the foil to a cutting board. Peel the foil away from the bars and cut them with a sharp knife into squares.
Store these in the refrigerator in a container with an airtight lid or in a zip top baggie. These chocolate peanut butter bars will keep for up to two weeks. Additionally, you can freeze these bars in an airtight container for up to a month.
There are some people who can enjoy healthy eating all day long, happily existing on salads, fruits, and maybe eating a few dried dates for a sweet treat. But, these Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars are wonderful for those other people who need some kind of rich, sweet treat as a reward every day. And with all of the goodness in these bars, you can have a small one each day, guilt free. These bars are made from natural ingredients. There are no mysterious emulsifiers or chemically processed sweeteners in these snack bars. They can be made with items that are natural and healthy. They’re sweetened with honey and the peanut butter flavor comes from natural peanut butter. These bars also include flaxseed meal. Flaxseed meal is made from ground flaxseeds. Flaxseeds are wonderful to include in your diet because they provide extra protein and a healthy amount of fiber. Flaxseeds also have plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids in them. Omega 3s are linked to excellent cardiovascular health and they also have some cancer fighting properties as well. While our recipe calls for particular ingredients, you can definitely make some substitutions if you need to. Nut butter--If you are allergic to peanuts or you don’t have peanut butter on hand, feel free to substitute almond butter, sunflower seed butter or any other kind of nut butter for the peanut butter. Just make sure that the nut butter is made from nothing more than nuts and salt. Read the labels to make sure that your nut butter isn’t loaded with sugars and extra fats. Honey--Are you vegan? If so, honey is one of those things that you won’t use. However, you can substitute date syrup or maple syrup for it as a sweetener.Protein Powder--We used a collagen-based protein powder, but you can use whatever protein powder you like. Whey protein powder is a good option, but if you are vegan, a plant-based protein powder will do perfectly. Additionally, while we used an unflavored version of protein powder, you can use a vanilla flavored powder if that is what you have on hand. Chocolate--We used semisweet chocolate chips, but it actually would be better to use a very dark, rich, lightly sweetened chocolate. If you're vegan, choose a chocolate option that is dairy free.