A yummy post-workout snack that tastes like a dessert! These vegan chocolate salted caramel protein bars are no-bake and really easy to put together.
Sometimes I love to snack on protein bars instead of a dessert to try to bump up my protein intake in between meals. Especially on days where I haven’t been able to prepare/eat well rounded meals (which is usually the case for lunch) and feel my protein intake has been on the low side. I used to regularly stock up vegan protein bars to have in my cupboard to snack on when I’m running around, but they can be really expensive. It made sense for me to make my own at home considering how easy they are to make at home at a lower cost.
A simple protein bar mixture made with protein powder, oats, cocoa, almond butter and milk, topped with a ‘salted caramel’ layer all covered in a dark chocolate shell. Now I know that technicality speaking the caramel layer isn’t ‘real’ caramel, but it’s made up of similar constituents – fat and sugar. Instead of butter I’m using almond butter and only 1 tbsp of maple syrup to make it healthier with less sugar.
I usually use tahini and date syrup to make salted caramel because I grew up eating that combination for breakfast with bread (almost like a PB&J, but Middle Eastern style!), but I do have the tendency to overuse tahini in my recipes. I just love the stuff too much! Every now and then I feel I need to give other ingredients some love, so today almond butter is the star of the show.
Unlike most shop bought protein bars that tend to be quite hard and chewy, these vegan chocolate salted caramel protein bars and lovely and soft. Softer protein bars are so much more enjoyable in my opinion and easier to eat. The dark chocolate coating gives them just enough of a crunch to make each bite super satisfying.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you may want to check out these fruit & seed protein bars.
What you’ll need to make these vegan chocolate salted caramel protein bars:
Protein powder – my favourite is Bulk gourmet vegan protein. I used the chocolate flavour, but a vanilla or caramel protein will also work.
Oats – I’m using a little bit of oat flour to bulk up the bars and to add a little bit of fibre too. I made my own oat flour by blending oats in a high-speed blender until I had the texture of a fine flour. You can use gluten-free oats to make this recipe gluten-free.
Cocoa powder – to add a rich and intense chocolate flavour. It’s a great source of antioxidants too 😉
Almond butter – almonds are a great source of vitamins (like vitamin E and B vitamins), minerals (like magnesium, calcium, and potassium) and healthy fats. Almond butter is a great source of energy, making it the perfect addition to protein bars. You can use other nut butters if you prefer or even a seed butter like tahini.
Milk – to add some moisture without adding too many calories. I use unsweetened almond milk or oat milk, but you can use any milk you prefer.
Salt – a pinch of salt in the caramel layer goes a long way to bring out all the flavours!
Dark chocolate – I use 70% dark chocolate for its health benefits, but also because I actually prefer dark chocolate to regular milk chocolate. Most good quality dark chocolate bars are also naturally dairy-free, which is great if you’re avoiding dairy for health or ethical reasons.
These vegan chocolate salted caramel protein bars are:
- High in protein
- A great snack
- Great as a healthier dessert
- Easy to make
- Absolutely delicious!
Vegan Chocolate Salted Caramel Protein Bars
- 80g chocolate protein powder I used Bulk gourmet vegan protein
- 20g oat flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa
- 85g almond butter or nut butter of choice
- 120ml milk of choice
For the 'salted caramel' layer
- 80g almond butter or nut butter of choice
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Pinch of salt
For the chocolate coating
- 120g dark chocolate I used 70% dark chocolate
- Mix the protein powder, cocoa and oat flour in a bowl, then add in the almond butter and milk. Mix to combine, then press into a cake tin (I used a 22×12 cm loaf tin).
- Freeze for 15 minutes to make it easier to spread the caramel layer on top.
- Mix the caramel ingredients in another bowl, then spread over the protein base. Return to the freezer and freeze for 1 hour.
- Slice into 8 bars, then drizzle the melted chocolate on top. Allow to set in the fridge for about 5 minutes, then enjoy!
- Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.