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April 7, 2012

"Nutella" Fudge Granola Squares

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It's hot here in Arizona, so I don't really want anything to do with the oven right now.  But, I craved granola bars.

Edit:  I craved chocolate granola bars...

Granola bars are usually baked, but I thought a no-bake version would be better.  I tend to like chewy granola bars more than crunchy, so I usually opt for the Clif bars rather than Quaker.

I love these granola squares!  They are so incredibly easy, all you have to do is put the ingredients in a bowl, mix, and freeze.  Yes, freeze.  They remain extremely soft and chewy in the freezer due to the hazelnut butter and light coconut milk.  The texture was similar to fudge, just with oats in it  :)

This is the perfect snack to keep in the freezer for when you're hungry and too busy to cook something up.  But more than anything, this is the perfect snack for chocolate lovers at any time, busy or free.

I expected these granola squares to be super sweet (seeing as how much chocolate was put into them!), but at first bite I was surprised with a mild sweetness.  I could taste the chocolate (of course) and most definitely the hazelnut.  I took another bite and it tasted even better than the first.  My taste buds may have played tricks on me, but it seemed to taste sweeter upon the second and third and fourth bite.

Did I say bite?  I meant inhalation...

I would definitely consider these to be breakfast bars, even though they taste like dessert.  I mean, they have oats and nut butter, and contain no processed white sugars.  To make them even more "breakfast-like" you can add half a cup of dried fruit and maybe some chopped raw hazelnuts.  I've been loving dried apricots lately, so I'll try those next time.

For those of you out there who are like me (a major sweet tooth!) and prefer tooth-achingly sweet desserts, just add three more tablespoons of the erythritol or add 1/4 cup of mini dark chocolate chips to the batter.  Whatever tickles your fancy!

"Nutella" Fudge Granola Squares:  [no bake, sugar free, low fat, high fiber/protein, GF, vegan]
(makes 9 granola squares)
    1 cup Light Coconut Milk, canned
    64g (1/4 cup) Natural Hazelnut Butter (no sugar/salt/oil added)
    1 tsp Stevia Extract
    128g (4 scoops) Chocolate Protein Powder
    48g (1/4 cup) Granulated Erythritol (or dry sweetener of choice)
    30g (6 tbs) Regular Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
    1/8 tsp Salt
    144g (1+1/2 cups) Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (GF if you like)
    90g (3 cups) Crispy Brown Rice Cereal

1.  Line a brownie pan with parchment paper and reserve a spot in the freezer for the pan
2.  In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the oats and rice cereal and stir until mixture is even/soupy
3.  Fold in the oats, then fold in the brown rice cereal (feel free to add some chopped hazelnuts).  Once everything is fully incorporated, spread into the brownie pan, flatten, and freeze overnight (I sliced after a couple hours of freezing, but I recommend slicing the next day for straighter lines).  Serve straight from the freezer!  Just note that I have an ancient fridge in my dorm-room right now, so it may not be as cold as yours.  If your freezer is on the really cold side, maybe put it in the fridge for an hour before serving.

Now that I think of it, these would make an even greater breakfast bar with some instant coffee in it!  Yes!

Coffee = YUM


  1. Hi! I think your recipes are great but I was just wondering what I can do to replace the chocolate protein powder with? Can I just substitute more cocoa powder or flour? I am not really into eating that much protein

    1. I think you could double the cocoa powder to 60g (3/4 cup) but be sure to increase the erythritol too (I would double that too) because the protein powder comes pre-sweetened. I wouldn't add flour because raw flour has a strange taste.

      Taste the "batter" as you go along. I'm sure this recipe can be widely adapted since it is no-bake, just note that the "batter" should be very fudgy looking, like a glossy frosting with oats in it. If it's too liquidy, add more cocoa powder/erythritol, if it's too dry, add some more coconut milk. I hope this works for you, enjoy! :)

    2. Thanks! Ill be sure to try it :)

  2. Yum! These look delicious and so simple! Do you think they would be good with almond butter instead of hazelnut? Thanks for the recipe :)

    1. Mmmm almond butter would be delicious! Although it won't have that "nutella" flavor, I'm sure it will still be amazing :)


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