Fudgy and decadent, you’d never believe this healthy Brownie Protein Bar recipe will wow even the toughest critic! Sweetened with California Prunes and layered with creamy peanut butter, it’s a delight that you can feel good about enjoying!
Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with California Prunes! Thank you so much for supporting the brands that keep the Shaw Kitchen thriving!
Why You Need This Brownie Protein Bar Recipe In Your Life
- If you want to eat “healthier” but also have a sweet tooth, then this Brownie Protein Bar is just what the doctor ordered! Naturally sweetened with California Prunes, this bar hits all the right notes while providing your body a little extra bang for your nutritional buck!
- It’s quick and easy to make! No need to turn on your oven, simply take out your favorite blender or food processor and in under 30 minutes you can enjoy this snack all week long!
- It’s family friendly, meaning even those picky toddlers will love this too!
- And last, but not least, it’s budget friendly! Meaning you don’t have to spend your hard earned cash on those pricey protein bars!
What You Need to Make These Fudge-Like Healthy Protein Snacks
- California Prunes: Select a pitted, California grown prune for best quality.
- Protein Powder: To keep this gluten free and dairy free, I’ve used a plant-based protein powder blend. You can trial your favorite protein powder in here to see what you prefer. Also, a chocolate protein powder will make this even deeper in flavor, but may add additional sugar. Read the label first to decide what’s best for you.
- Sugar: This is an optional addition, but for those used to really sweet protein bars (like most on the market), may want to add this as they trial these bars.
- Peanut Flour: This is only if you need to make the dough a bit firmer, however you can also add in the protein powder too. The peanut flour will just allow for a richer peanut flavor to shine through (while adding in some additional protein too.)
Believe me when I say this is the easiest, full proof recipe to make! Here’s how to do it!
1. Start by adding the California Prunes, peanut butter, and water to a high powered blender or food processor.
2. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed while processing. Be sure to toss in the salt and additional sugar (if using) during this step as well.
3. Transfer the prune and peanut butter mixture to a medium mixing bowl, then combine with the protein powder and cocoa powder.
4. Mix until combined, noting that the dough should be hard to mix. If it’s too hard, then add a tablespoon more of water. If it’s to sticky, add in a tablespoon of the peanut flour or additional protein powder. You want it to be firm so it can be shaped into the bar.
5. Press into an 8×8-inch pan lined with parchment paper, using an additional piece of parchment paper on top to help even out the dough.
6. If adding chocolate and peanut butter topping, melt chocolate in microwave, then slather on top of the bars and sprinkle with crushed peanuts.
7. Set in the fridge and let harden for 30 minutes, or freezer for 15. When ready to enjoy, slice into 12 (or desired serving size) and enjoy!
Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks, or in the freezer and use within 3 months.
Recipe Tips + Notes
If you’re having a hard time knowing if the consistency of the bars is right, consider these quick troubleshooting tips!
- The dough should be firm, yet moldable still. If there is still visible protein powder or cocoa powder when trying to mix the ingredients together, you need a little more water.
- If the dough is too sticky, it will not harden and will fall apart when you cut it! You don’t want this (even though it’s still delicious and you can use the crumbles on top of yogurt!) If this is the case, add in a little peanut flour or additional protein powder to allow the bar to take shape.
- You do not have to add the additional topping of chocolate and peanuts, however it does taste great and adds a little added flare.
Other Swaps You May Consider
- If you want to make this nut free, you can swap in your favorite seed butter and an oat flour. Oat flour is a bit denser, so note you may need a bit more liquid and the consistency will be a bit less chewy and fudge like.
- Almond butter and almond flour also work well in this recipe.
Nutrition Bonus: Why To Cook With Prunes
California Prunes are a wonderful way to add natural sweetness to your recipes, both sweet and savory dishes, while adding a powerful boost of nutrition too! You may remember that Sweet Creamy Balsamic Dressing I paired with the Charcuterie Salad here that featured delicious California Prunes as beautiful blend of the sweet and savory aspects of incorporating prunes into your recipes.
If you’re concerned about the sugar content of prunes, don’t be! Honestly, prunes contain a wonderful blend of both dietary fiber, antioxidants, and carbohydrates that help to stabilize blood sugars while providing your body quite a bit of nutritional bang for it’s buck!
Checkout the plethora of nutrients found in just 4 pitted California Prunes!
Plus, let’s not forget, they add a deep color (hello antioxidants) that make every bite delicious and nutritious!
Want more recipe inspiration? Be sure to checkout California Prunes and their arsenal!
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No Bake Brownie Protein Bar
- Food Processor/High Powered Blender
- 12 each California Prunes pitted
- 4 tablespoons water hot
- 1/2 cup peanut butter natural
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar optional for extra sweetness
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup protein powder unsweetened plant protein/or whey
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips dairy free
- 1/4 cup salted peanuts chopped
- Add the California Prunes to a high powered blender or food processor with the hot water and peanut butter, puree until smooth (scrapping down sides of the blender/processor as necessary.)
- Add in the vanilla, sugar (if adding), and salt, puree until smooth.
- Use a spatula to transfer the prune and peanut butter mixture to a medium mixing bowl. Add in the protein powder and cocoa powder, mixing together until uniformly combined. Note: If the dough is to thick, add in 1 tablespoon of water until all powder and cocoa is combined. If the dough is to sticky, add in 1 tablespoon of peanut flour (or additional protein powder) until dough is formed to a consistency it can be held and shaped.
- Line an 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper. Firmly press the dough into the pan using an additional piece of parchment paper on top. This will help keep your hands clean as well as to even the dough in the pan.
- Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, then microwave for 30 to 45 seconds until chocolate begins to melt. Use a spatula to mix it, then spread a thin layer evenly over the top of the protein bars in the pan.Top with the crushed peanuts, pressing them down with the spatula so they nestle into the melted chocolate.
- Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or in the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove when ready to enjoy and slice into 12 squares (or desired servings.)
- Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks.
- Store in an air tight container in the freezer and use within 3 months.
Nutrition Per Serving
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