I didn’t REALLY make these with Nutella. But calling these “store-brand chocolate hazelnut spread collage protein bars” is a bit of a mouthful, dontcha think?
On the same token, you’re going to want a mouthful of these bars because…
Well, have you ever had something so good, you hid it from the rest of the family so you could eat it all yourself?
And when you did eat it, you were in the bathroom or in the pantry or in the closet or basically NOWHERE so no one else could see you eating it and then ask if they could have some too?
Yeah, that’s the caliber of awesomeness of these Nutella collagen protein bars.
It should be made known that I don’t ordinarily buy Nutella, and I didn’t buy Nutella for this recipe. So let’s get that out of the way before I ruin my street cred for being a healthy blogger. Kroger’s organic brand was pretty good and Aldi has an affordable option as well. Just be sure to double check the ingredient list for the bad stuff!
And in my testing, I did make various versions of this particular recipe just to make sure it wasn’t the chocolate hazlenut spread causing the goodness in my mouth. I made a vanilla version (very good) and a peanut butter version too (also very good).
Why bother making three (actually, five) versions of the same recipe?
Because I KNEW that if I posted the vanilla recipe, someone would ask if they could sub peanut butter for the coconut butter.
And if I said “Yes, you can subsitute peanut butter,” that someone ELSE would curiously and harmlessly suggest that Nutella would be a great substitute for peanut butter and that – oh man – wouldn’t that be so good?!
So of course I just skipped ahead in the conversation and made the chocolate hazelnut spread (<– not Nutella) version and that’s where I am today. Stuffing my face with collagen protein bars because A) collagen makes your hair grow, your nails strong and your skin amazing, and B) why not?
It should also be known that these wannabe-Nutella collagen protein bars are directly request and inspired by YOU.
I wrote about the health benefits of collagen and you guys went bonkers. You stocked up on that awesome sale and then wanted to know how you could eat it.
I suggested my favorite smoothie, including it any of the already high-protein smoothies in my book, adding it to coffee (since it dissolves completely), adding some to healthy peanut butter cups (Reese’s copycat) and stirring it into a bowl of oatmeal, but you guys said, “What else?”
So I went to the think tank to come up with something that was ordinary enough to be considered a “supplement” to your daily diet, yet special enough that you wouldn’t want to eat the whole bowl in one sitting.
Well, I met the first goal for sure. I designed this particular recipe specifically so that every bar is the equivalent to one scoop of grass-fed collagen. That way you’re getting the full serving of “one scoop,” whether you are adding it to something else you’re already making, or if you’re making this collagen bar recipe in particular.
I can easily imagine nibbling on one of these bars as my “dessert” every night, knowing full well I’m feeding my body something pretty amazing. (Although just FYI, I listed this as a “snack” in the recipe index, that way non-dessert peeps can find it too!)
As for the second goal?
Well… you’ll have to restrain yourself from licking the bowl. #sorrynotsorry
If you don’t want to infest your house with a delicious chocolate hazelnut spread, I don’t blame you. I can’t tell you how many times I just wanted to kick back with that jar and a spoon and binge on my current Netflix obsession. (Thank goodness that jar is finally gone!)
That’s one reason why I tested so many different variations.
I tried peanut butter (the reliable stand-by) and cashew butter and both were spot on. You’ll likely have to adjust how much maple syrup you want to add depending on which you choose, but both are solid choices.
And while I haven’t tested them personally, sunbutter (made from sunflower seeds) and almond butter have similar consistencies as peanut butter and cashew butter. I’d say it’s safe to substitute with either of these too.
The only “butter” you CAN’T equally substitute in this recipe is coconut butter. This is what I used to make a vanilla version of these collagen protein bars, and it’s definitely tasty, but it requires a different method to mix.
And utilizing substitutions from the pantry is one of my budget saving techniques taught in Grocery Budget Bootcamp. So if you NEED these protein bars ASAP, make a “butter” substitution with what you have on hand!
- In a glass bowl, combine the chocolate spread, collagen, coconut oil, vanilla and just a pinch of salt. Mix very well and taste. The batter should be very smooth.
- Add ½ Tbsp maple syrup and mix well. The batter will become significantly thicker. Taste and add additional maple syrup if desired.
- Scoop the mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper and free-form into a square. Use a sharp knife to score lines and divide the square into four pieces.
- Freeze for at least 30 minutes.
- Break the bars where the scored lines are. Enjoy as a collagen supplement and store in the freezer. One bar has the equivalent of one scoop of grass-fed collagen.
Vanilla Collagen Bars
If you decide to go with the vanilla collagen bars, you need to know a couple tips.
- Follow the recipe above except for the chocolate hazelnut spread. Instead use 1/2 cup of coconut butter.
- If the coconut butter is solid, heat up a small sauce pan of water and then place your coconut butter contain in it to heat until its soft. Then you will be able to stir and measure.