These hazelnut chocolate protein bars make a great snack or healthier dessert – perfect when you’re craving something sweet and chocolatey. Even better is that they’re made with wholesome ingredients and they’re no-bake! There’s no dairy in them and they also happen to be gluten-free, so a great option for those with allergies/food intolerances.
I’m sure most of you will agree that nothing pairs better in desserts than chocolate and hazelnuts. There’s something about those 2 ingredients that when merged together they scream luxury, probably because we associate them with delicious treats like Nutella and Ferrero Rocher. I don’t know about you, but I definitely have a weakness for both, especially the latter 😍.
Nuts in general are a great pairing with chocolate, but for some reason, hazelnuts particularly seem to compliment chocolate best. The combination of the two creates a beautifully balanced flavour that appeals to most palates. The sweet/rich taste of the chocolate along with its smooth texture marries perfectly with the nutty taste and crunchiness of the hazelnuts.
Why I love making these hazelnut chocolate protein bars:
I always find it handy to have some kind of homemade snack in the kitchen/fridge to reach for when I’m feeling peckish (which is usually between breakfast and lunch). Even better if it’s a protein snack as sometimes I find if I’m not careful, I’ll get to the end of the day and realise I haven’t had enough protein to meet my body’s needs.
Protein is essential for so much more than gaining muscle mass or losing weight. It’s the building blocks for cell repair, enzymes (e.g. for digestion), antibodies (for immunity), hormones (e.g. insulin) as well as hair, skin and nails.
After years of following a mainly plant-based diet, I’ve found out the hard way that I wasn’t getting enough protein in my diet. I had issues with hair thinning, dull/eczema prone skin, low energy levels/blood sugar control issues and irregular periods. I’m not saying protein was the only thing I wasn’t paying enough attention to, but it was certainly one of the elements I wasn’t getting enough of on a daily basis in my diet.
Why I love making these hazelnut chocolate protein bars:
It’s only when I started consciously looking at my food intake and counting macros that I realised I was barely meeting my minimum daily requirements. Now I am to get 1.5g of protein per 1kg of body weight, which for me would be around 80g protein per day. That’s not an easy task when following a mainly plant-based diet. Even when I plan my meals in advance to make sure each meal has adequate protein, I still only manage around 20g protein per meal (so 60g for 3 meals).
That’s where protein snacks come in handy for me. If I have 2 snacks in between meals, each with at least 10g protein, I then can reach my daily protein intake goal. Snacks like these hazelnut chocolate protein bars, that taste like a dessert, but I know I’m getting something out of them that will benefit my body (besides feeding my chocolate loving soul, of course!).
These hazelnut chocolate protein bars are also a great way to get those heart healthy fats (from the hazelnut butter + hazelnuts) as well as the polyphenols from the cocoa and luxurious dark chocolate topping.
What you need to make these hazelnut chocolate protein bars:
Protein powder – my favourite is Bulk gourmet vegan protein. I used the chocolate flavour, but vanilla protein powder will also work.
Cocoa powder – to add a more rich chocolate taste as well as more antioxidants – use a 100% cocoa or cacao powder, not drinking cocoa.
Hazelnut butter – this is how you can turn these bars into something that tastes like Nutella! Hazelnuts, and by extension hazelnut butter, are a great source of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Nut butters are also a great source of energy, making it the perfect addition to protein bars.
Milk – I used unsweetened almond milk, but any milk will work. You can use hazelnut milk to intensify the hazelnut taste.
Maple syrup – I only used 2 tbsp to add a little more sweetness and to help the bars hold together. You can use a sugar-free syrup alternative if you prefer a lower sugar option.
Hazelnuts – To add a bit of crunch as well as more of those heart healthy fats & fibre.
Dark chocolate – I always use 70% or above, not only because it’s better for you, but I LOVE the taste of dark chocolate so much more than milk chocolate. It’s so much richer, luxurious and satisfying in my opinion.
These hazelnut chocolate protein bars are:
- Easy to make
- Call for only a handful of ingredients
- Made with wholesome ingredients
- Great for meal prepping
- Great as a snack
- Great as a healthier dessert
- A great way to satisfy your sweet/chocolate cravings
- Packed with healthy fats
- A great source of protein (11g per bar!)
- Super delicious!
Hazelnut Chocolate Protein Bars
- 70g protein powder I use Bulk chocolate gourmet vegan protein
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 170g hazelnut butter I use Bulk hazelnut butter
- 5 tbsp almond milk
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 60g whole hazelnuts
For the chocolate topping
- 100g dark chocolate I use 70% chocolate
- 20g chopped hazelnuts optional
- Mix the hazelnut butter, maple syrup and milk in a large bowl.
- Add the protein powder and cocoa and mix to form a smooth dough, then fold in the hazelnuts.
- Transfer into a loaf tin lined with baking paper and press down using a spoon/spatula.
- Freeze for 15 minutes, then top with the melted chocolate*. Freeze again for 30 minutes to set, then slice into bars.
- Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
If you enjoyed these hazelnut chocolate protein bars, you may also like these chocolate hazelnut recipes:
- Vegan Protein Ferrero Rocher
- Ferrero Rocher Stuffed Dates
- 3-Ingredient Healthier Hazelnut Fudge
- Chocolate Hazelnut Granola