Who wants Chocolate Cashew Caramel Protein Bars?
Your hand better be up or you are going to miss out on the easiest, tastiest snack that is as good as a dessert…because who doesn’t want to enjoy a delicious bar filled with nuts, date caramel and chocolatey goodness?
I was inspired by the LCBO Food & Drink Spring 2017 magazine that I picked up earlier today while stocking up on my favourite Banrock Station Pink Moscato (try my raspberry lemonade moscato slush). For anyone that isn’t familiar, this free magazine is chock full of mouth watering recipes for both food and drinks. Food & Drink is available online and I highly recommend taking a flip and trying a recipe or two. As I was flipping through I came across a recipe for Packed with Protein Bars and decided I had to make a variation. And like now!
The recipe calls for a base and then a chocolate and cashew coating. I decided to take it a step further and add a date caramel layer. Date caramel is such an easy thing to make and has no added-sugar. It is essentially dates + hot water. If you want to follow a recipe you can try the one from Minimalist Baker. I highly recommend making it in your food processor.
These bars will hit both your sweet tooth and salty cravings. They are like the best of both worlds. While I used cashew butter and roasted cashews on top the variations are nearly endless. I can totally picture this with chopped pistachios sitting on top or even coconut.
You can also skip the date caramel for a simpler, less rich variation that is more true to the original recipe.
Chocolate Cashew Caramel Protein Bars are now on the top of our must-make again list. Why not make a big batch and keep them in the freezer to enjoy when you need a snack? I even served these after dinner and no one protested or argued that this wasn’t a dessert. Chocolate + Nuts + Caramel win every time.
- ½ cup honey (try one of these vegan alternatives)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- ¾ cup cashew butter
- ¼ cup ground almonds
- 1 scoop Vega Chocolate Smoothie Protein Powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1½ cups puffed rice
- 1/4 cup date caramel
- 2 ounces vegan dark chocolate, melted
- ¼ cup chopped roasted salted cashews
- Line a 9'x9' baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a sauce pan, heat honey to a boil. Once boiling, allow to simmer for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and add cashew butter and coconut oil. Stir until well mixed and uniform.
- Pour mixture in a glass bowl. Add ground almond, protein powder, puffed rice and salt and mix. In order to get mixture uniform you may need to use your hands to mix.
- Pour mixture into the parchment lined baking pan and pack it in well. Place pan in fridge for 30 minutes.
- Remove pan from fridge and add a thin layer of date caramel to the top spreading with a spatula so it is evenly coated.
- Melt dark chocolate and pour over the top of the pan. Gently shift the pan from side to side so that the chocolate evenly coats the top of the bars.
- Add cashews to food processor and pulse 3-5 times to get a nice chop. (Alternatively, chop with knife) Sprinkle cashews over the top of the bars.
- Place pan back in fridge for 30 minutes or until chocolate is set. Cut and enjoy!
Inspired by Food & Drink magazine's Packed with Protein Bars.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 256 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 1mg Sodium: 148mg Carbohydrates: 30g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 22g Protein: 6g