Oh, Monday. I want to like you, but it’s so hard.
One thing that will make Mondays a little easier is having No-Bake Paleo Protein Bars waiting for you when you wake up. Because on a groggy Monday morning, you shouldn’t have to think about what to make for breakfast. It’s hard to enough to get moving on a Monday, so breakfast should be a no-brainer decision. Grab, open mouth, and eat.
Take a few minutes to throw these bars together and they will last you the whole week! No oven needed! Oh, and these bars are only SIX ingredients! Nuts, raisins, coconut oil, nut butter, protein powder, cocoa powder. They can be made paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free, and they are downright delicious.
So, if you’re not much of a breakfast person or you don’t have time to make breakfast every morning (and most of us don’t) then this post is for you.
I started making these protein bars after my husband, Mark, and I got engaged and began redesigning the kitchen in our future home. Mark lived in the house at the time, so he had to endure months without a functional kitchen –poor guy! Since he was stuck in the not-so-fun living conditions, I promised to help out by providing some meals for him until the kitchen was finished. One such meal was breakfast.
Mark went to the gym regularly before work, and needed something protein-rich, quick to eat, and easy to transport. I thought about just buying him a big bunch of protein bars, but the cost of those bars can really add up- especially for ones that are actually good for you.
So, I went the homemade route and Mark was a happy man.
It’s been several years since I started making these and have since changed them to become paleo-friendly since we eat mostly paleo for my health. Mark still loves them! They can be adapted for any taste, using your favorite nuts, seeds, and fruits!
All you need is a food processor to whip up these bad boys. You just throw everything in, blend, and that’s it! Protein bars-in-the-making.
Once you have your protein bar blend, press it into a parchment-lined pan and get your toppings ready!
Mark’s favorite topping for these is chocolate. (And you won’t hear me arguing!) When Monday rolls around, getting a little chocolate in the morning is a welcome sight!
To keep things interesting, I often switch up the flavor combinations each week. Sometimes I’ll do chocolate peanut butter (not paleo, but SO GOOD), other times I’ll omit the cocoa powder and try them with coconut, pumpkin seeds, or dried cranberries. You could even throw in some flax seed meal in place of protein powder and add honey for extra sweetness. You choose!
After you deck out your bars with toppings, cover with plastic wrap or foil and let them firm up in the fridge for an hour or so. If you’re in a pinch, you can eat them soft, but they won’t cut as well.
Once your bars are firm to touch, cut them up into squares and voila! Breakfast for the week! Give these protein bars a try and let’s rock this Monday! 🙂
- 2 cups nuts of choice (I used almonds and pecans)
- 1 cup raisins
- ⅛ cup nut butter (I used almond butter)
- 3 tablespoons protein powder of choice (Mark loves this brand)
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup chocolate chips (or extra nuts, dried fruit, coconut, whatever you like!)
- Prepare an 8x8'' or 9x9'' pan with foil or parchment paper.
- Add all ingredients to a food processor.
- Pulse a few times to mix, then blend for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Mixture should start to stick together, but not be TOO sticky. (If your mixture is too sticky, add extra nuts. If it's still too dry and crumbly, add extra coconut oil or nut butter.)
- Press mixture in the pan until you have an even layer.
- Top with chocolate chips or whatever toppings you like, and press them into the mixture so they stick.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, then cut into squares. I cut mine into 12 squares.
- Store wrapped in the refrigerator. The bars should keep for at least a week.
~The protein powder is totally optional! You could probably try subbing flax seed meal instead or just leave it out.