Recipe: ‘Nutella’ Fuel Bars

recipes, sweet treats

Recipe: ‘Nutella’ Fuel Bars

recipes, sweet treats

Choc hazelnut protein bars TITLE

There’s not a lot of things tastier than Nutella in my book, I could easily sit and eat a jar full of the stuff, hence why I never buy it, or even it’s slightly healthier cousin Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. However that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the deliciousness that is the combo of chocolate and hazelnuts. Recently I’ve been loving simple crunchy hazelnut butter from Meridian on top of a bowl of chocolately porridge as one of my favourite breakfasts.

Choc hazelnut protein bars 4

Now that I’m at a point in my pregnancy when I can hit the gym early in the morning again, I wanted to come up with an easy snack recipe that would put something on my stomach and get me through my albeit, short and light workout. I’ve been finding that I need something carby to get going first thing and although dates are ok, I wanted something a little more substantial than my Raw Nutella Brownie Bars

Choc hazelnut protein bars 6

That was when I remembered this very (very) old recipe for protein fuel bars, so I decided to create something based on those this last weekend. I was certainly not disappointed with this version! These bars have it all, whole grain carbs from the oats, protein from the protein powder and healthy fat from the hazelnut butter and coconut oil. The added cocoa and cacao nibs give them an extra boost of antioxidants.

Choc hazelnut protein bars 3

No Bake Nutella Fuel Bars
Yields 6
A filling snack bar to fuel you through your workout, or even just your snacky time!
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups of porridge oats
  2. 1/2 cup of chocolate protein powder (I used a vegan brown rice blend)
  3. 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  4. 1/4 cup of hazelnut butter
  5. 1/3 cup apple sauce (I used apple and pear baby food)
  6. 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  7. 1/4 cup liquid sweetener (I used rice syrup but honey, agave or maple syrup would also work)
  8. 1/4 cup water
  9. cacao nibs for decoration and crunch (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine the oats, protein powder and cocoa powder in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix the hazelnut butter, apple sauce, sweetener and melted coconut oil. Pour over the oat mix and stir to combine, drizzling in the water until you get a big lump of dough. Line a small baking tin or even a lunch box with cling film and press the dough down into it. Add another layer of cling film on top and flatten the dough out underneath it. If adding the cacao nibs, lift up that top layer of film, scatter the cacao nibs and then replace the film pressing the nibs into the dough. Transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes (or the fridge for 2 hours) to firm up before slicing into bars.
Notes
  1. I wrap my bars in foil and store them in the freezer to keep them fresh but they will also keep for a few days in the fridge. I cut my bars into 6, but you could also make them into 9 smaller squares.
Variations
  1. If you don't have protein powder try making these with 1/4 cup of cocoa instead of the 2tbsp and an extra 1/4 of oats, then adjust the water as needed to create the doughy texture. They might not be as filling but should still taste good!
  2. To make more hazelnutty, use 1/2 cup of hazelnut butter and leave out the coconut oil, or reduce the water, but be warned the bars may not hold together as well without the coconut oil
  3. If you fancy it, use actual Nutella or Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter instead of the plain hazelnut butter
  4. Instead of the apple sauce, use mashed banana for more sweetness
Wholeheartedly Laura https://wholeheartedlylaura.com/

Choc hazelnut protein bars 9

Depending on the protein powder you use you may need to experiment with the amount of sweetness you like. I used an unsweetened chocolate brown rice protein so added a little more rice syrup than in the recipe above. A good chocolate whey protein or chocolate Sun Warrior protein powder should work well. You could also use mashed ripe banana in place of the apple sauce as mentioned in the recipe notes or add a few chopped dates or other dried fruit for more sweetness if you felt they needed it. 

Choc hazelnut protein bars 8

These bars have a great fudgy texture and should be kept refrigerated as much as possible, although they should be ok for a couple of hours wrapped in foil in your hand bag. They should last a week in the fridge and several months in the freezer. 

Choc hazelnut protein bars

These have been wonderful to eat first thing before the gym and work really well for my energy levels! Have you tried making a home made fuel or protein bar before? What is your favourite pre workout snack?

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32 Comments

    • Laura

      Thanks Jess! Let me know if you try them :-)

      Reply
  1. Lauren @PoweredbyPB

    I make my own bars every week now, and often use a similar combination of ingredients. I love the idea of choc hazelnut bars though!

    Reply
    • Laura

      Home made ones save so much money don’t they!

      Reply
  2. Tamarin

    These look delicious! I am definitely going to try them!

    Reply
    • Laura

      Thanks Tamarin!

      Reply
  3. Lauren

    These look like something I would love! I love it when a bar comes out with a fudgy texture! I once ordered that chocolate hazelnut butter off amazon – it went in about a week… so good! I bet these would make for a great dessert too!

    Reply
    • Laura

      Haha same thing happened to me, it’s addictive stuff!

      Reply
  4. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    Yum! These look and sound delicious. I love meridian nut butters – I have about 10 jars at the moment, most of them open haha. The cashew one is my favourite I think.

    Reply
    • Laura

      I’m so glad that my local Sainsburys stocks the Meridian almond butter, they just need to get the hazelnut one in now and I’ll be happy!

      Reply
  5. kezia

    Genius idea about using baby food for apple sauce – i can quite be bothered to make my own so LOVE this idea!!

    Reply
    • Laura

      It’s the best! Plus you can usually get organic versions, so much easier than faffing to make your own :-)

      Reply
  6. Anna @AnnaTheApple

    I’m not a huge fuel bar fan I must say, but Ben absolutely adores things like this. He usually just has cereal bars or fuel bars for breakfast. I should be getting some protein powder soon so I might treat him to some healthy home-made versions like these.

    Reply
    • Laura

      That would be lovely! James likes the big flapjack style ones, I should make him some!

      Reply
  7. Nicky

    These look so amazing!! I’m a huge fan of anything protein of course but ‘nutella’ flavoured too?! Wowza! I will be making these! <3

    Just been having a huge catch up on your blog as I'm a bit behind with life being busy lately but I just wanted to say I'm SO happy for you right now and you are going to make such an amazing mum to your little boy I know! :)

    Reply
    • Laura

      Well you are the protein queen so I’m honoured :-)

      Thanks so much for that Nicky, I really was wondering if it would ever happen and I’m just so so happy. On another random note and well in advance, but because I know you are a busy women, I was wondering if you’d like to guest post on the blog, your proteinology stuff looks amazing and I’m sure people would love to find out more about it. I’m thinking well in advance here, but thought I’d get my request in as I know how busy you are! xxx

      Reply
      • Nicky

        I bet you are!! :)

        Awh, I am honoured that you would ask! Of course I’d love to do a post for my fave blog!! :) Let me know when you want it for and I’ll make sure I have a recipe and some stuff done for you ;) You can email me at info@proteinology.eu if it’s easier :) xxx

        Reply
        • Laura

          awesome! I shall be in touch xx

          Reply
    • Laura

      Thanks Claire, the cacao nibs make sure a difference!

      Reply
  8. Lucie

    Beautiful pictures Laura! I saw these on your Facebook and will be giving the recipe ago over the bank holiday, yum!

    Reply
    • Laura

      Thanks Lucie, let me know how they turn out!

      Reply
  9. Lara

    Goodness me, those look better than the Nutella oat bars I made (and *cough* finished) the other day.

    Reply
    • Laura

      Oh I don’t know mind, I was eyeing yours up and thinking the opposite!

      Reply
  10. Pip {Cherries & Chisme}

    I love that you asked every question I was thinking after the recipe – I can adapt these ‘Argentina style’ woohoo!! Even if it’s going to have to be chocolate peanut butter instead :) yum yum.

    My favourite thing about your recipes is always that they don’t have a silly long list of ingredients, so often I see recipes posted that look great until I scroll down and see a list of stuff as long as my arm, none of which I have. Here’s to practical AND delicious!

    Reply
    • Laura

      Thanks Pip! Yes I thought some of those alterations might be useful and I’m so happy you find my recipes good like that because it is exactly what I am aiming for when I post recipes on here, I can’t be doing with any faff!

      Reply
  11. Tamzin

    These sound lovely and perfect for some exercise fuel, I’ll take a box please!

    Reply
  12. Mary

    These look great. I’m a big fan of fudgy texture bars.
    I’m a big fan of spreads and nut butters and have a huge range of nut butters/spreads in the cupboard at the moment!

    Reply
  13. Cassie

    I’ve never thought of using applesauce in my snack bars… just pinned this recipe, excited to try!

    Reply

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