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Fudge Brownie Chocolate Protein Bars

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Rich, chocolatey, fudgy, gooey, sinfully delicious chocolate protein bars…

Homemade Protein Bars - EASY to make chocolate #protein bars w/out the unhealthy processed ingredients: @choccoveredkt

3 Steps To Instant Popularity:

  • Step One: Take a class trip to a remote location. Bonus points if the trip lasts more than a week, and double bonus points if the trip includes bus rides of 5 hours or more.
  • Step Two: Bring along a stash of chocolate protein bars large enough to feed a small army.

homemade protein bars

  • Step Three: Wait patiently. By day 6, it is almost guaranteed your tired and hungry classmates will clamor for your attention and fight over who gets to sit next to you.

Chocolate Protein Bars

At least… this is the experience I had at age 16 when, equipped with raisins, cashews, Luna and Clif bars, I went on a 10-day class field trip to northern China. The trip involved quite a lot of walking in the heat, quite a lot of packing and changing locations, quite a lot of long and boring bus rides… and not nearly enough food to sustain the energy expended on all of these activities.

Somehow word got out that Katie had a secret stash of food in her suitcase, and by the end of the trip I was breaking each protein bar into eight or ten pieces so there’d be enough to go around.

Protein Bars


Chocolate Protein Bars

Adapted from Black Bean Brownies

Print This Recipe No ratings yet.


  • 1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well) (250g after draining)
  • 3 tbsp dutch or regular cocoa powder (15g)
  • 7 tbsp chocolate protein powder (I used Nutribiotic) (45g)
  • scant 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave or honey (Honey is not for strict vegans.) (75g)
  • pinch pure stevia, or 2 tbsp sugar of choice
  • 3 1/2 tbsp coconut or vegetable oil (35g)
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (Not optional; omit at your own risk.)
Total Time: 16m
Yield: 8-10 bars


Homemade Chocolate Protein Bars: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a high-quality food processor, and blend until absolutely and completely smooth. (A blender works if you absolutely must, but the texture and taste will be much better in a food processor.) Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into a greased 8×8 square pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. Cook the homemade chocolate protein bars 16 minutes. They will still look underdone when you take them from the oven, but this is okay. Let cool, then pat down with a pancake spatula. Refrigerate overnight. The bars will have firmed up and are now ready to cut and eat. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Makes about 10 bars.

View Protein Bar Nutrition Facts

Protein Bar  Chocolate Protein Bars

Question of the Day: 

What was the best class field trip you ever took… or what was the worst?

Due to all of the incredible memories made during my ten days in northern China, I look back on the trip as one of the best school field trips I ever took. However at the time, when we were hiking through the freezing-cold mountains at 5am, eating unfamiliar foods (including a goat we’d seen alive earlier in the day), and going out of our minds with boredom on the tour bus, I might have told you it was the worst trip I ever took!

Link Of The Day:

chocolate covered katie

Vanilla Chai Breakfast Shakes

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. oh gosh, I’ve never been on a class trip quite that serious! I did get to go to New York and Miami on two separate occasions, which was a fun experience. Although in Miami we were doing Habitat for Humanity in a… not so safe neighborhood. Saw some interesting things!

  2. Sherry says:

    These look perfect for that late afternoon slump! Thanks!
    Giving away my age, my best class trip was the New York Worlds Fair in 1964!

  3. Jess says:

    I’ve been looking for a recipe like this for ages, thanks for sharing!

    My best class trip was to Hawaii my sophomore year of high school. A week in paradise without our parents? How could it NOT be the best trip ever to our 15 year old selves?!?

  4. Heather says:

    My best class field trip was in 8th grade, when we went to Disney World for 3 days as our graduation trip. (Not a place I’d choose to go now, but it was awesome when we were 13.)

    I am not sure I could say it was the worst class trip, because there’s nothing worse than being bored, and this certainly wasn’t boring. But it was super gross! My college environmental science class went to the county waste water treatment plant. We were taken in a building where everything solid that comes into the sewer went by on a conveyor belt. Yes, tampons and toilet paper, plus condoms and all kinds of other non-flushable stuff that people flushed anyway. People are disgusting! And thank goodness for people who don’t mind working in that environment, because it gave me nightmares for weeks.

  5. Lisa Ernst says:

    I couldn’t agree more about leaving out the chocolate chips. I never do! These look great for a road trip or any time when a nutritious but tasty snack will stave off temptation to go and buy pre-made, high sugar junk from some place like Starbucks!

  6. Adriene says:

    I thought I’d just check: Does your protein powder have any sugar in it? I have a chocolate protein powder that I don’t use very often because it has a relatively high amount of sugar in it (9 grams per serving). I thought about using it for this recipe, but I’m thinking I could leave out the sugar. What do you think?

    1. Nope, mine is unsweetened. Nutribiotic.

  7. Heidi Lynn says:

    These look great! What brand of protein powder do you use? I’ve been having issues with getting enough protein, but I don’t want to spend a fortune hunting for a good protein powder. My doctor told me I should consider being vegetarian instead of vegan because it would be easier to get enough protein, but I really don’t want to do that.

    1. Stephanie says:

      A lot of people believe one can get ample protein on a vegan diet. Some people also believe that the common (in the U.S.) stated amount of protein people require a day is FAR more protein than the human body actually needs to thrive. From my understanding, eating a lot of protein can actually have detrimental effects to the body. Think of a gorilla and all of the muscle mass and size they have. Gorillas are vegans. 🙂

    2. Stacy says:

      I’m not sure if its vegan, but I use the Vanilla Pure Protein powder and absolutely love it, especially how versatile it is for my nutrition needs!!

      1. D says:

        If it says “whey” on it then it isn’t vegan.

    3. Heidi Lynn says:

      Thanks for your replies.
      I started having some issues like muscle wasting after becoming vegan last December and ended up unable to continue my strength training program. When I started tracking things I realized I was averaging 40-50g of protein a day which is apparently not enough for me. Now I’ve been averaging 75g a day for a few months, but I struggle to get to that much. I am careful with what I eat because I’m type 1 diabetic so I’m not living on vegan junk food. I’m frustrated because I thought being plant based was the next step for me, but it seems I went backwards because I’m weak and lack energy. I’m tired of feeling this way.

      1. I use Nutribiotic chocolate brown rice protein powder.

      2. HeyLittleWebby says:

        If you feel weak and lack energy, maybe you’re not taking in enough “complex” carbs in your diet. It could have something to do with your diabetes or a systemic candida problem.

        Personally, I have a protein shake in the morning and night. Together I get 60 grams. The food I eat gives me the rest. I use “Sun Warrior” powders and they are great.

      3. Katie says:

        Like CCK, I have used Nutribiotic as a vegan protein powder. However, I recently tried Garden of Life RAW protein and I may like it better. I have found both at local stores (Sprouts, Natural Grocers, Whole Foods Market). Both are also available on Amazon. Nutribiotic is a little cheaper than Garden of Life, but there are almost always coupons online or in the store for Garden of Life.

      4. Cynthia says:

        Heidi, I am baffled by your medical problems. I really doubt it has anything to do with protein. I get well under 40 every day, am 66 years old, and stronger than most 40 year olds. Also, I work out 3-4 times a week.

        1. Leah says:

          It very well could be that Heidi’s not getting enough variation in her protein (or, y’know, not protein related at all). Proteins are made of various amino acids, and quinoa is the only plant food with all eight of the “essential” amino acids in one place. If you only eat chickpeas for protein, for example, you’re going to be lacking some choice types of protein. If Heidi’s eating lots of different kinds of whole protein foods and still having problems, I’d say see a doctor, ’cause something’s up. She may be lacking coenzymes or minerals that work in the digestion of proteins, so even if she’s eating them her body’s getting zip. Could be anything. I’d totally recommend seeing a naturopath or holistic nutritionist.

      5. Jacki says:

        hey, check out vegan bodybuilding and fitness page on Facebook. it’s a big help.

      6. Kia says:

        Hi Heidi,

        This comment might be coming in too late, but thanks for sharing about your struggles to eat enough protein on a vegan diet. I study nutrition at a Canadian university, and I am also vegan. My Master’s thesis is on the transition to vegetarian and vegan diets, and getting enough protein is a common concern–you are not alone. A book that really helps a lot of people to become vegan in a healthful way is called “Becoming Vegan” by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina. There are two versions, the 2013 “Express Edition” and the 2014 “Comprehensive Edition”; the former is a shorter, more accessible version. “The authors are both Dietitians, and are both vegan. Everyone’s protein needs are different, so what works for one person may not work for another, and athletes tend to need even more. This book has tonnes of helpful tips on how to get concentrated sources of protein into your diet.

        There is also a website by Dietitians of Canada called You can enter what you eat, and it will nutritionally analyze it. I find it very helpful to enter what I’ve eaten in a day every once in a while, to make sure I’m on track with all of my nutrients such as iron and calcium. It might help you with tracking your protein intake until you are able to get the hang of it.

        I hope these suggestions are helpful!

    4. Cynthia says:

      Just saw my doc, and my protein levels are just fine. I’m sure I get under 40 each day.
      Don’t forget, there are some countries where people get less than that and do just fine.

  8. Amy in Toronto says:

    I’ve got a 9-10 hour bus trip coming up around American Thanksgiving to spend the holiday with my partner in Ohio, so I’ll be making this to bring along with my usual fruit veggie snacks! Oh, and I have to tell you — I made the crustless pumpkin pie a couple weeks back and had to make it TWICE because I ate the first one in two days by myself. Oh sweet, fancy Moses, it was SO delicious.

    Also, I made the chocolate fudge pie this past weekend for a “healthy desserts night” at a friend’s house (using mostly all CCK recipes) and I made it with your chocolate pie crust … WOW. That marked the first time where a chocolate dessert was so rich-tasting that I could only eat one piece and feel completely satisfied. Thank you, thank you!

    1. Thank you so much for trying the recipes! 🙂

  9. Michelle Pinkowski says:

    I’m pretty excited about this recipe because I’m allergic to nuts, and protein bars always seem to have nuts! I have to admit that I would not have thought to use black beans. Thanks for this.

  10. Isa says:

    I’m sorry Katie but.. honey is not for strict vegans? Honey is not for vegans, period. You can’t call yourself a vegan and still eat honey.

    1. Sarah says:

      It’s my thought that the bees will be making the honey regardless of whether or not humans are eating it so I personally don’t have a problem with it, though I don’t call myself vegan, I say I have a plant-based diet. Besides, we need bees to keep our ecosystem in check. Yes, cows will be making milk regardless if we drink it but cows are also being forced to make it in in humane conditions and it isn’t detrimental to our system. My best friend’s parents make their own honey with bees that they keep in their yard and so I will occasionally use it in recipes. I don’t usually eat honey anyway but I’m not going to get bent out of shape over it and get hung up on labels.

      1. Nicole says:

        Bees make honey for their larvae to eat, not for humans to steal and eat. As Colleen Patrick-Goudreau says, “Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.”



  11. Denise says:

    Is there any way to increase the protein without drying out the bars?? I prefer my bars to have more protein. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Or perhaps I can play with it and let you know! I’m thinking… pumpkin, or sweet potato in place of black beans and erythritol, or stevia, in place of syrup/honey/agave, as well.

    1. I haven’t tried…
      You could also always cut bigger bars if you want a higher-protein bar.

  12. Stacy says:

    Hey Katie.
    1. Thanks for your amazing blog.
    2. If we already have vanilla protein powder on hand, would that be okay to sub in? I haven’t found a chocolate protein powder that I like yet…. which one do you use? 🙂
    3. I’m thinking about adding in some mint extract to make it taste akin to a thin mint! Got a recipe for those? 😉

    1. I’ve never tried, so you will have to experiment!
      I use Nutribiotic chocolate.

  13. Food is definitely the way to most people’s hearts. 🙂 Snacks like these are great to have on hand for field trips or long days out of the house.

  14. Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen says:

    That sounds like an intense trip! At least you were the favorite. 😉 I love that all of your snacks were healthy even back then. Next time I go on a trip, I’m making and taking these delicious bars!

  15. Lisa says:

    Man, that field trip sounds quite intense for a kid. Mine were definitely nothing too exciting ever. Since I went to a private school they were all pretty low key. Although we did go to the science observatory once which was pretty darn awesome.
    These look like a great afternoon Snack!

  16. Jessica says:

    I went to Scotland with the HS band. It was cool seeing so many places…but I should’ve brought more food. Even American chain restaurants were different and gross (I like pizza, I like corn and peas…but corn and peas on every pizza in the buffet! And the cheese had a stomach churning aftertaste). I had one good meal of fish and chips the last day. After 2 weeks of eating next to nothing, I couldn’t finish it.

  17. Ah wow I’m having a serious chocolate craving right now after seeing these bad boys. Great job!

  18. These look great! I def. will be trying them!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  19. Wow!! These look sooo delicious! I wish I could eat one right now!!

  20. Caitlyn says:

    These brownies look AMAZING!
    I’m can’t wait to try them.

    Keeping my fingers crossed they will work at high altitude 😀

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