Cacao Coconut Protein Bars

January 10, 2012

I am not big into bars myself.  Either I find them too sweet most of the time, or just too dry.  But bars can be a convenient on-the-go snack for people with a busy lifestyle, or after a workout.  So I decided to come up with my own protein bar!  This bar combines two of my favorite flavors – coconut and chocolate.  This bar is a delicious treat and is packed with protein, fiber, omega 3s, antioxidants, and is also gluten free and low-glycemic. Give it a try!

Bar Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of almonds (raw unsalted)
  • 3 Tablespoons Cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 4 Tablespoons of Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 2/3 Cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 2 Tablespoons ground chia seeds (substitute flax meal if needed)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour (found at natural foods markets)
  • 4 teaspoons palm or coconut sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 4 Tablespoons of agave nectar

Topping Ingredients:

  • 10 pitted dates
  • 3  teaspoons cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds (preferably ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut – set aside for the last step.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare an 8×8 baking dish by lightly coating it with coconut oil.
  2. First make the bars.  Put the almonds into a food processor, process until the nuts are finely ground.  The add the rest of the dry ingredients (through the palm or coconut sugar), pulse a few times to thoroughly combine.  Add the rest of the ingredients, pulse to combine thoroughly, scraping down sides as needed.  Press into a 8×8 prepared baking dish, and bake at 350 degrees for 15 mins.  When done, remove from oven and place on a rack to cool.
  3. While the bars are baking, make the topping.  Put all topping ingredients (except shredded coconut – set that aside in a bowl) into a food processor and process until a thick paste forms and ingredients are thoroughly mixed, scrape down the sides as needed while processing.
  4. Cut the cooled bars into rectangles, and spread on the topping.  Then dip topping side down into the shredded coconut.
  5. Enjoy!
  6. Store in an air-tight container, or in the refrigerator/freezer.

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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