No-Bake Vegan Nut Butter Bars
Amaranth is an ancient grain that is naturally gluten-free and protein-rich. If you can’t find amaranth or don’t feel like taking the time to pop it, you can substitute puffed brown rice cereal or other puffed grains.
Servings Prep Time
9bars 30minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
9bars 30minutes
Cook Time
  • ~1/3cup amaranth, (1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups popped*- see directions below)
  • 1/4cup vanilla, or unflavored protein powder
  • 1 1/2 – 2tablespoons maple syrup, or honey
  • 1cup peanut butter, or natural almond butter (sun butter if sensitive to nuts)
  • 2-3tablespoons dark vegan chocolate, melted (optional add-in)
  1. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. *Pop your amaranth by heating a large pot over medium-high heat. You’ll know it’s ready to start adding amaranth when a drop of water disperses quickly and balls up.
  3. Add about 2-3 tablespoons of amaranth at a time and immediately cover. Shake the pot back and forth over the heat (wearing oven mitts is helpful) to move the grain around. It should start popping within 1-3 seconds, and be done popping at the 10-second mark. Be sure to pull them off at around 10 seconds or they’ll start to burn.
  4. Not every single grain will pop, but that’s okay. Very quickly empty into a mixing bowl.
  5. Continue until you have roughly 1 1/2 cups popped grain. As you go, add your popped grain into a small mixing bowl first to ensure none are burnt. Then transfer to a larger bowl so you don’t mix any burnt grain with perfectly popped grain. Set aside.
  6. Add peanut or almond butter and maple syrup to a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine. Then add protein powder and stir.
  7. Add popped amaranth a little at a time until you have a loose “dough” texture. Be careful not to add too much or the bars can lose their tackiness and won’t stick together. I found roughly 1 1/4 cups to be about right. Stir with a wooden spoon or use hands to disperse mixture evenly.
  8. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and press down to form an even layer. Lay parchment paper or plastic wrap on top and use a flat-bottom object like a liquid measuring cup to press down and pack the mixture into an even, firmly packed layer.
  9. Transfer to freezer to set for 10-15 minutes or until firm to the touch. Then lift out and slice into 9 bars. Enjoy as is, or drizzle with a bit of melted dark chocolate (optional).
  10. These get a little soft at room temperature, so store in the refrigerator (up to 5 days) or in the freezer (up to 1 month).
Recipe Notes

Very slightly adapted from The Minimalist Baker at ingredients/