Healthy Chocolate Caramel Bars

Healthy Chocolate Caramel Bars - grain free, low sugar. high protein chocolate caramel bars

Whole-food ingredients make up the amazing flavors behind this healthy chocolate caramel bars! The no-bake, soft and chewy base is topped with a sweet date “caramel” and a high-protein chocolate coating. Try them, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Healthy Chocolate Caramel Bars - grain free, low sugar. high protein chocolate caramel bar

Do vending machines still exist?

Ok, I know that is a ridiculous question – they have to! – but I definitely don’t see them as often as when I roamed the halls of my middle school and high school.

And when I did pass one, it was inevitable that I was going to rummage around in my backpack for some loose change and push the buttons for a creamy, caramelly, chocolatey Snickers bar.

Healthy Chocolate Caramel Bars - grain free, low sugar. high protein chocolate caramel bars

I think caramel tastes good on anything. It’s kind of like the ketchup of desserts.

Which is why I am IN LOVE with these Snickers inspired no-bake bars. The base layer is soft and chewy, with a hint of peanut butter, and is as simple to make as it is delicious.

grain free, low sugar. high protein chocolate caramel bars

That gets topped with a caramel that is so rich and creamy you won’t believe there is NO ADDED SUGAR! All natural, whole-food ingredients make up this sweet, creamy caramel. But, I’ll warn you – it is so good that it’s hard to not eat it all by the spoonful before you get around to topping your bars.

After getting sprinkled with peanuts, the whole thing is smothered and covered in a low sugar, high protein, smooth, rich, and creamy chocolate coating. It’s almost like a mixture between a chocolate syrup and that Magic Shell stuff, but so incredibly (and deceivingly) healthy!

I’m so excited for the way this healthy Snickers make-over turned out, and trust me when I say they will not last long in your house when you make them!

Snickers was my favorite candy growing up, but what was your favorite?! Let me know and maybe it will be inspiration for the next healthy make-over!


Yields 8 bars or 16 "bites"

Healthy Chocolate Caramel Bars

Low Sugar; Egg Free; Grain Free, Gluten Free; Vegan-optional

45 minPrep Time

45 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

    “Nougat” Base
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • ¼ cup powdered peanut butter
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 5 dates, pitted
  • 2 Tbsp honey or agave
  • Caramel Layer
  • 13 dates, pitted
  • 3 Tbsp milk of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup peanuts
  • Chocolate Coating
  • 1 ½ Tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (dark or regular)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate or unflavored protein powder of choice (any type – I used unflavored whey)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp soy protein powder
  • 1 ½ Tbsp granulated sweetener of choice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp milk of choice
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tbsp water

Instructions

  1. For the “nougat” base: grease or line with parchment paper a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a food processor or blender combine the garbanzo beans, almonds, powdered peanut butter, coconut flour, honey or agave, and dates. Blend until the mixture is completely smooth and sticks together like a dough.
  3. Press the dough into the loaf pan and place in the refrigerator.
  4. For the caramel: in a food processor or blender, combine the dates, milk, vanilla, and salt. Blend until completely smooth and there are no more date chunks. The caramel will be thick, but easy to spread.
  5. Remove the base from the refrigerator and spread the caramel on top.
  6. Sprinkle the peanuts on top of the caramel and put it back in the refrigerator.
  7. For the chocolate coating: if needed, melt the coconut oil until it’s in a liquid state.
  8. In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa powder, protein powders, sweetener, and salt.
  9. Stir in the coconut oil, milk and vanilla.
  10. Starting with 2 Tbsp, add the water and stir until all the dry ingredients are fully incorporated into the wet ingredients. The consistency should be thick, but easy to spread. If needed, add the 3rd Tbsp of water, but make sure you’re not adding too much because if the mixture gets too runny it will not harden.
  11. Remove the base/caramel portion from the refrigerator and slice into desired sized pieces. You can cut the base into “fun size” or “regular” sized Snickers bars. Place the cut pieces onto a wire rack or parchment paper.
  12. Using a rubber spatula, spread the chocolate coating onto the base/caramel pieces.
  13. Place the coated pieces in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 1-2 hour to harden.
  14. Then reward your patience of waiting for them to harden with a delicious bite! (or 2…or 3)
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