Sweet, salty, crunchy, chewy, not to forget nutty, there’s something in these Healthier Reese's Take 5 Copycat protein bars that will satisfy any candy bar lover. Made with healthier ingredients like collagen powder, coconut flour, oatmeal, peanut butter, and almond milk -- all you have to do is simply mix the ingredients, slice into bars and coat them with chocolate. You definitely deserve to take five and enjoy this treat!
Here's why I love this recipe
- easy to prepare
- a delicious way to incorporate more collagen peptides into your diet for great hair, skin and joint health.
- high-protein and high-fiber, so it'll keep you fuller longer
- the best dessert alternative & post-workout snack
Ingredients used to make these Peanut Butter Collagen Protein Bars
**I've linked some of these ingredients to amazon.com to give you an idea of what they are, but you should also be able to find them in your local grocery store (usually, the natural & organic food section). They are also affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission as an Amazon Associate if you decide to purchase the items. The price will be the same for you, link or no link 🙂
- Collagen Peptides - I used Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder for this recipe. You can use other brands of collagen peptides and get the same result.
- Collagen peptides protein powder is the key ingredient that gives these protein snacks their characteristic cookie-like consistency, and other protein powders won't give you the same chewy texture. Collagen also dissolves very easily compared to other protein powders (i.e. whey, casein, pea, hemp, brown rice, egg protein, etc), so you'll have to add more liquid like almond milk or water to hold the protein dough together if using a replacement.
- Instead of substituting, check out these protein bar recipes that DON'T require any collagen powder!
- Coconut Flour - Coconut flour is a great low carb flour that is gluten-free, wheat free, and grain-free. Coconut flour is also nut-free (even though it's called coco-nut) because it's made from coconut flesh (which is a fruit, not a nut) that’s been dried and then grind into small flour particles. Here is a brand of coconut flour I like to use. (see substitution notes in the below section!)
- Sugar of Choice – I used monk fruit sweetener in this recipe to keep this recipe low-sugar and low carb, but raw cane sugar, coconut, date, and maple sugars are perfectly acceptable substitutes.
- Peanut Butter - I used the creamy kind, like Jif
- Almond Milk - I used unsweetened almond milk, but any milk (dairy or dairy free) works in this recipe. You can even use water.
- Oatmeal - Oatmeal acts as both a binder and add-in here in this recipe. Plus it adds a satisfying chew! You can use old-fashioned (rolled) or quick-cooking oats, but I wouldn't recommend using steel cut for this recipe. If you want to keep this strictly gluten-free (some oats are produced in the same facility as wheat), be sure to buy the one with the GF label like this one.
- Pretzel crackers - crushed into small pieces. Use gluten free pretzels if desired.
- Roasted peanuts - salted and unsalted are both fine.
More Collagen Powder Recipes (HERE)
Step by Step
How to Make Healthier Take 5 Copycat (Peanut Butter Collagen Protein Bars)
In a clean bowl, mix the dry ingredients: collagen peptides powder, coconut flour and sugar of choice (I used monk fruit sweetener).
Next, mix in the peanut butter and almond milk, using your hands to knead and get the dough to combine together.
Add the oats, pretzel pieces and roasted peanuts
NOTE: You can add more coconut flour if the dough is too soft, or add a teaspoon or more of water or almond milk if the dough is too thick, but PLEASE don't add additional liquid until the very end. The collagen dough will soften up noticeably during the kneading process. The more you knead, the softer the protein bars will be.
Shape the collagen dough into a rectangular mound, then wrap in plastic wrap or an airtight container, and let the dough set in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
Slice into bars. Keep in the freezer while preparing the next step.
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 20 second bursts until melted, stirring in between.
Dip the protein bar into the melted chocolate and then set it aside on a clean parchment paper. Let the chocolate set before serving.
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins:
- Feel free to experiment with natural flavoring / extracts. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract (I didn't feel like it was essential so I left it out in this recipe), or other flavorings or extracts, such as almond extract.
Just keep in mind that some extracts contain alcohol, and since this is a no-bake recipe, the alcohol won't have a chance to fully evaporate. If serving this to kids, or if you're sensitive to alcohol, be sure to use non-alcoholic extracts or flavorings. Here are some non-alcoholic brands, here: Non-alcoholic peppermint extract, non-alcoholic vanilla extract
COLLAGEN PEPTIDES FAQ:
WHAT ARE COLLAGEN PEPTIDES?
Collagen Peptides Powder is a powdered supplement that are made of hydrolyzed collagen peptides — small chains of amino acids that help support healthy hair, skin, nail, bone and joint health.
ARE COLLAGEN PEPTIDES VEGAN?
Most commercial forms of collagen peptides are not suitable for vegan diets, as collagen is most abundant in skin, nails, bones and ligaments and is thus sourced from animals. The Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder I used in this recipe was sourced from the hides of grass-fed, pasture-raised cows.
Notes on Substitutions
Can I use other Protein Powders if I don't have Collagen Powder?
For most recipes, collagen peptides should not be replaced with other protein powders, and I have not tried using other types of protein powders (i.e. whey, casein, pea, hemp, brown rice, egg protein, etc) in this recipe. This is because Collagen Peptides contribute a different texture to the recipe than other protein powders. In my experience, collagen powder adds a denser, chewier consistency to most protein powder recipes which I think resembles a chewy sugar cookie texture.
If you decide to substitute, just keep in mind that you'll need to add additional liquid (almond milk or water) to this recipe to get the protein dough to hold together. Also, you won't get the cookie-like texture you see in the photos since collagen is what creates that chewy consistency.
Instead of substituting, check out these protein bar recipes that DON'T require any collagen powder!
Can I substitute other flour Alternatives for coconut flour?
Collagen is a fussy ingredient, so I highly recommend that you DON'T SUBSTITUTE coconut flour in this particular recipe (including almond flour and oat flour). It's not that these flours don't work, but you'll have to be okay with playing around with the entire recipe, like adding more flour, more nut butter and also less liquid -- since coconut flour absorbs 2x 3x more liquid than other flour substitutes.
How to Make this Healthier
- Make this even healthier by adding a handful of nuts, seeds and old-fashioned oats to add texture and nutrition. Even better, add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed, hemp seeds, or chia seeds.
How to Store Peanut Butter Collagen Protein Bars
- You can keep these Sweet & Salty Peanut Butter Protein Bars out at room temperature for 1-2 days but for the best texture, it's best to store these protein bars covered in the fridge. They'll be fresh for up to 5-7 days.
- These protein bars also freeze very well! Seal them inside an airtight container or Ziploc bag and freeze them in a single layer so that they don't stick together. I recommend double-bagging if you want to keep out the fridge smell. They can be frozen for up to 4 months.
- Collagen peptides protein powder dissolves very easily compared to other protein powders so try not to add additional water or liquid to the protein dough until the very end. The collagen dough will soften up noticeably during the kneading process, so if you add extra liquid you may end up with a very soft protein dough.
- Make sure you check out the substitution section above if you decide to sub any of the ingredients.
Sweet & Salty Peanut Butter Protein Bars Recipe (made with Collagen Peptides)
- ½ cup collagen peptides powder , see notes for scoop conversion*
- ⅓ cup coconut flour
- 3 Tbsp monk fruit sweetener , or any granulated sugar of choice**
- 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter , like Jif
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk , or other dairy free milk like cashew or coconut milk
- ¼ cup old fashioned oats
- ¼ cup crushed pretzel crackers , use gluten free if desired
- ¼ cup dry roasted peanuts
- ⅓ cup chocolate chips , melted
- In a clean bowl, mix: collagen peptides powder, coconut flour and sugar of choice (I used monk fruit sweetener).
- Next, mix in the creamy peanut butter and almond milk, using your hands to knead and get the dough to combine together. Knead the dough for at least for 1 full minute.NOTE: You can add more coconut flour if the dough is too soft, or add a teaspoon or more of water or almond milk if the dough is too thick, but PLEASE don't add additional liquid until the very end. The collagen dough will soften up noticeably during the kneading process. The more you knead, the softer the protein bars will be.
- Add in the oats, pretzel pieces and roasted peanuts until well incorporated.
- Shape the collagen dough into a rectangular mound, then wrap in plastic wrap or an airtight container, and let the dough set in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- Slice into bars. Keep in the freezer while preparing the next step.
- Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 20 second bursts until melted, stirring in between.
- Dip the protein bar into the melted chocolate and then set it aside on a clean parchment paper. Drizzle with more chocolate if desired.TIP: for a thinner chocolate shell, mix in 2 tsp coconut oil (or olive oil) to the melted chocolate. This thins out the chocolate and makes it easier to coat the protein bars.
- Let the chocolate set before serving.
- Enjoy! These protein bars can be kept out at room temperature for up to 3-5 days, 2 weeks in the fridge, and up to 4 months in the freezer.