Have you ever had a Kind Bar? It's basically a nut bar with or without chocolate drizzled on top. It's a healthy alternative to a candy bar but they can also be a bit pricey. I wanted to figure out a way to recreate them at home and also to bump up the protein content by adding some protein powder. I decided to make these Copycat Chocolate Peanut Kind Bars sort of like rice krispie treats. Melted marshmallows is the "glue" that holds all the nuts together. Instead of butter, I used coconut oil. I know that marshmallows aren't exactly a health food but these bars are still a whole lot healthier than your average candy bar. Plus, they're homemade, they're delicious and my kids love them!
Another great thing about these bars is that you can throw them together quickly and there's no baking involved. And they're gluten-free!
Here's how you do it. First you combine all the nuts (peanuts, almonds and walnuts) in a large bowl. Add in powdered peanut butter (I found it at Whole Foods), puffed whole grain rice cereal, vanilla flavored protein powder and a little salt. Mix it all together and set aside.
Melt a bag of mini marshmallows and 4 tablespoons of coconut oil over medium heat.
I added the oil to the pan first. Then the marshmallows. Stir it constantly as it is melting. As soon as it's melted, pour it over the nut mixture and stir until completely combined.
Dump it into a greased 13X9 pan.
Press it down using the bottom of a glass that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Keep pressing until it's completely flat and covering the entire pan, even in the corners.
Let it cool for 20 minutes then invert pan onto a cutting board. Slice into 16 bars.
Meanwhile melt the chocolate chips in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir until it's completely smooth. Try not to drink it and pour into a resealable plastic bag.
Cut a tiny corner from the bag and drizzle chocolate over bars. Let set for 20 minutes. Then they're ready to serve!
These Copycat Chocolate Peanut Kind Bars are so satisfying with a nice crunch, just the right amount of sweet and saltiness. Each bar is 296 calories with 9 grams of protein. Add a piece of fruit and you've got yourself the perfect snack.
Copycat Chocolate Peanut Kind Bars
- 1 cup whole, natural, unsalted almonds 135g
- 2 cups whole, roasted, unsalted peanuts 270g
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped 45g
- 1 ½ cups puffed, whole grain rice cereal (I used Arrowhead Mills) 17g
- 2 tablespoons powdered peanut butter (I used PB2) 12g
- 2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder 43g
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 10 ounces mini marshmallows (I used Kraft) 283g
For the chocolate drizzle:
- ¾ cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli 60% cacao) 125g
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil 56g
- Grease a 13X9 pan generously with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Place the first 7 ingredients in a large glass or stainless steel bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.
- Add the coconut oil to a large heavy saucepan. Let it melt over medium heat. Add the marshmallows and stir constantly until it's completely melted. Remove from heat and pour over nut mixture. Stir immediately as it cools quickly. Keep stirring until all is incorporated.
- Pour mixture into prepared pan. Using the bottom of a glass that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, press down nut and marshmallow mixture until it's completely flat and fills up the entire pan. Use your fingers to fill corners, if needed. Let cool for 20 minutes. Then invert cooled bars onto a cutting board. Cut into 16 bars.
- Meanwhile, place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir until completely smooth. Pour into a resealable plastic bag. Cut a small corner of the bag and drizzle melted chocolate over bars in a zig zag pattern. Let set for 20 minutes. Then they're ready to serve. Store in an airtight container for several days. Or freeze for longer life.
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