Protein Freezer Fudge 2 Ways: Crunchy Peanut & Vanilla Bean (Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo, Dairy-Free)

For a while now I’ve been working a less-crumbly, lower-carb version of bulletproof bars that I could grab on busy mornings, or use as a “bridge” snack between lunch and dinner.

I see many keto folks fear protein or opt for pure “fatbombs” as their go-to snack, but after over a year of following a ketogenic diet, I’ve found that pure fat just isn’t as satiating to me as a combination of fat and protein (or fat and fiber, or all three!).

This protein packed recipe – with different flavor suggestions – is not only healthy and easy (so easy!), it is also filling and kinda tastes like comfort food (yessss!).

While peanut butter is not technically paleo, and while I don’t typically eat legumes, I can have some peanut butter in moderation. For the peanut version (see below) I like “cutting” mine with sunflower butter or cashew butter, so I’ll do 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1/2 cup sunflower or cashew butter.

Because sunflower – and especially cashew – butter are close to peanut butter in terms of flavor (more so than, say, almond butter), they won’t alter the flavor profile too much and you still get that delicious peanut butter taste without excessively stressing out your digestion.

And if you can’t do peanut butter at all, I’ve got ya! You can do 1/2 cup cashew butter and 1/2 crunchy almond butter, for a peanut-crunch like version, or you can go with the vanilla bean flavor (second option) and use mixed nut butter, almond butter, macadamia nut butter or pili nut butter, or whatever else you love! Personally, I wouldn’t use a very fragrant or earthy nut butter like walnut butter here because it will overshadow the vanilla bean flavor, but that’s just me.

If you’ve looked at the ingredients below, you might be wondering, why the different protein powders?? Well, I tested the recipe using different combinations of powders and butters and found that the earthy, salty and only mildly sweet flavor of Ancient Nutrition works beautifully with peanut/ cashew butter, while the more domineering, sweeter, and full-on decadent Paleo Pro powder (which has real vanilla bean powder in it!) is perfect for more neutral butters, and for “masking” the chalkiness of almond butter (there, I said it).

I haven’t tried every powder on the market though, and I do have OCD tendencies, so feel free to use whatever you have on hand and let me know how it goes! I haven’t tried yet, but I suspect that the peanut version would be delicious with chocolate-flavored protein as well.

Now, I mentioned Bulletproof bars before so, for the sake of transparency, a fair warning that my fudge bars are not shelf-stable like the Bulletproof brand ones. Since I work mostly from home, that’s not an issue for me and also wasn’t a priority when developing the recipe, but it’s something to be aware of.

With no added sweetener (beyond the stevia in the protein powder) and healthy fats from the coconut oil and nut butter, this fudge is delicious and good for you! It’s the perfect little snack when you have a sweet tooth, need a bridge snack or want to stretch a meal. You feel like you’re indulging but they’re really made with all healthy ingredients! The best part is NO baking is required!

YIELD

12 medium square pieces

INGREDIENTS

For the crunchy peanut butter fudge:

For the vanilla-bean fudge:

PREPARATION

For the crunchy peanut butter fudge:

  1. Melt coconut oil together with nut butter in heatproof bowl over medium heat-proof bowl over pot of hot (not boiling) water.
  2. Add the protein powder and collagen peptides to the bowl and mix well.
  3. Transfer mixture to a 5×5 pan or glass dish lined with parchment paper and place in the fridge for 20 minutes or until mixture has started to set.
  4. Take out and cut fudge into desired size squares and transfer to freezer to set fully. Fudge will be very hard to cut once frozen, hence the extra step of letting it harden just enough to cut.
  5. Store cut fudge airtight in the freezer for up to a month (though it won’t last that long!)

For the vanilla-bean fudge:

  1. Melt coconut oil together with nut butter in heatproof bowl over medium heat-proof bowl over pot of hot (not boiling) water.
  2. Meanwhile run the cashew nuts briefly through the processor, until flour-like consistency is reached. (don’t overdo it or you’ll end up with cashew butter)
  3. Add the cashew meal, protein powder and collagen peptides to the bowl and mix well.
  4. Transfer mixture to a 5×5 pan or glass dish lined with parchment paper and place in the fridge for 20 minutes or until mixture has started to set.
  5. Take out and cut fudge into desired size squares and transfer to freezer to set fully. Fudge will be very hard to cut once frozen, hence the extra step of letting it harden just enough to cut.
  6. Store cut fudge airtight in the freezer for up to a month (though it won’t last that long!)

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