This Berry Collagen Protein Bar recipe is both Paleo and Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) compliant. These protein bars are creamy, full of flavor, and are truly a healthy addition to your weekly breakfast routine. Grab the recipe below.
I'm sure every health coach claims that every recipe they ever create is “insane”, right?
Even if this is true, you have to believe me when I tell you this Berry Collagen Protein Bar recipe is INSANE. I truly mean that these healthy as f***, low sugar, high protein bars taste as good as a seriously irresistible dessert.
Unlike most of my recipes, these bars didn't just ‘happen'. This recipe was one that I had to research, test, retest, and retest again before finally stumbling upon the perfect combination of ingredients.
Here's how this Berry Collagen Protein Bar recipe came to be.
If you read my post on these Mashed Cauliflower Breakfast Bowls, you know that I've been pretty lazy with my breakfasts. So naturally I began searching for the best way to indulge my lazy breakfast mentality: protein bars. It's pretty much impossible to find a store bought protein bar that is dairy, nut, and grain free, so I went to Pinterest to find a homemade recipe.
Even going the homemade route, I quickly realized how few recipes were A. dairy free, B. nut free, and C. oat free. It seemed every recipe I saw included one or more of those three ingredients. And so the drive was born to create something of my own that was free of all three.
About that Berry Collagen Protein Bar recipe…
In this recipe, the combination of collagen protein, coconut butter, coconut cream, and berries makes the most insanely delicious protein bar. These protein bars are so delicious, I swear they could pass as dessert.
The Protein Component: Collagen
Although I was once an avid plant-based protein kinda girl, the protein powder I swear by these days is a form of protein called collagen hydrolysate, aka collagen peptides.
Collagen is one of the most structural substances in your body, responsible for healthy tissue repair, joint flexibility, bone and skin renewal, and reducing inflammation. If one of your goals is to stay looking young sans botox, collagen is your golden ticket.
The Creamy Component: Coconut
Confession: I'm not a fan of coconut butter. It's dry, crumbly, and not easy to snack on since it solidifies at room temp. It is however key to the success of this recipe, and once all the ingredients come together, the coconut butter is a non-issue for me. These bars are anything but dry or crumbly, and they're a perfect snack.
Coconut butter on it's own has plenty of merit as well. It's said that the fat from coconut butter can’t be stored as body fat since it's so readily available for energy. This means that despite these bars being higher in fat, you don't need to worry about your waist line when eating them. In fact, you can expect any of the following benefits from indulging in these coconut butter based bars:
- High in healthy medium chain triglycerides
- High in fiber
- Improved blood sugar control
- Reduced sugar cravings
Pretty insane, right? Let's move on.
The Fruity Component: Berries
I've made these bars with two berry options: fresh blueberries, and dried mixed berries. The first option has a shorter shelf life, but the end result is delicious. I love the combination of the fresh, juicy blueberries mixed into the creamy coconut butter. This option is also lower in sugar than what is shown on the nutrition label (which is calculated with dried berries). The second option, dried mixed berries, yields more of the chewy texture that you'd expect from a protein bar. I can't say I prefer one over the other, but will likely choose to use dried berries for when I'm prepping a bunch of bars for weekday breakfasts.
The Dessert Component: Chocolate Icing
Full disclosure, I didn't photograph these bars with the coconut oil chocolate icing recipe listed below. I decided to use 80% dark chocolate for when I was snapping photos solely so I wouldn't worry about them melting during the process. However, after tasting the recipe with the substitution of dark chocolate in place of my coconut oil chocolate icing, I realized that this collagen protein bar recipe had an alter-ego… and it's that of a true dessert.
Regardless of the chocolate option you choose (dark chocolate or coconut oil ‘chocolate icing'), you won't be disappointed.
Berry Collagen Protein Bars
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp coconut flour
- 3/4 cup Perfect Supplements Collagen Peptides
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
- 1/4 cup dried or fresh berries
- 1/2 cup coconut butter
- 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract, swap with vanilla powder for AIP
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
Chocolate Icing (optional):
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp cacao powder, or carob powder for AIP
- 1/2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
For the Bars
- Mix all ingredients together by hand in a bowl. It may take a bit of stirring before the dough comes together.
- Form into 8 equal bars. I used this inexpensive silicon mold to make my bars all the same size, but you can also use a greased glass baking sheet, or you can shape the bars by hand.
- Place the formed bars in refrigerator for 30 minutes to set. Once they're set, remove the bars from the silicon mold or the baking dish. At this point, you can choose if you'd like to make the chocolate icing, (recipe below ) or leave plain.
- The bars tend to have the best texture at room temperature, but you can also store in the fridge for a longer shelf-life.
For the Chocolate Icing
- Melt the coconut oil and stir in cacao powder (or carob powder for AIP) and maple syrup.
- Dip bottom half of each bar in the chocolate icing.
- Use a piping bag or a ziploc with a small hole cut in the tip to drizzle chocolate on top of the bars.
- Place bars on waxed paper in the refrigerator to set.
- Nutrition information is for the bars without the chocolate icing. If you're including the icing, you'll add 85 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 2 grams of carbs.
These sounded interesting and our whole house is starting on the AIP diet tomorrow so it was important to find something quick and easy for breakfasts and this is spot on! I wasn’t too sure so I took a bar to taste test… sat down to do a bit of computer work and when I looked up for where I had put the bar so I could take another bite, it was gone! Very delicious and on the first try even!
I’m hoping we can use other dried fruit with this. I didn’t put the icing as I’ve not got a big sweet tooth- instead I scattered about 1/8 of a cup of carob chips on the bottom of my loaf pan and patted the dough into the chips (think like pineapple upside down cake) and called it a day. Very simple.
What would you recommend for starting AIP for a child? I am floundering trying to understand what my daughter needs and how to help her.
I just made these this afternoon. My 11 year old daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder last week. I’m attempting to tomove towards AIP with her, much to her chagrin, and trying to find recipes that will make her feel less deprived. These are a hit! Thank you! I made these with fresh blueberries this time, but I’m already planning different variations. I’m having a hard time finding other parents who have implemented the diet and would love it if you can point me towards any groups or pages focused on children? We are planning on doing this under the guidance of a nutritionist or dietician, but I could really use some ‘been there, done that’ stories.
Any replacement to coconut cream? Can I replace it with coconut butter as well?
You could try replacing the same amount with 1/2 coconut milk, and 1/2 coconut butter. I think if it was entirely coconut butter it would be too thick.
What product are you referring to when you say coconut cream?
Hi there, ingredients looks amazing. What would be a keto-friendly replacement for the maple syrup? I’m thinking Monk fruit or Yacon syrup but just a bit concerned with the taste.
I would think any syrup would work, but I’ve never tried either of those personally.
What would be a substitute for coconut butter? I don’t have that
Nothing else would yield the same texture or flavor, but you could try a thick (not a super runny one) nut butter if you tolerate nuts. I’d try almost a 1:1 ratio, and may swap 1 Tbsp for coconut oil so it hardens up a bit in the fridge.
What brand of collagen do you use (for celiac). I’m new to this!
I just updated this recipe to link to the collagen protein I personally use. I’m celiac as well. Sending you lots of love!
I didn’t think cacao or maple were AIP compliant. Could you fill me in?
Maple is AIP compliant, you just want to use it in moderation. I would say this recipe is definitely in moderation. Cacao is not AIP compliant, but I suggest using carob if you’re following AIP.
Are the calories listed for one single bar? 295 calories seems to be a lot for one bar.
Hmm, I’m not sure why you’re seeing 290. It should be around 210.
Could I use frozen berries at all?
I love these, but my icing always separates. Any tips for how you keep yours smooth?
Try sifting the cocoa or carob before you add it to the oil! I use melted chocolate primarily.
Hi — I had the same problem — mine was super crumbly! I wonder if it’d be worth adjusting the recipe so it says melted coconut butter?
You bet 🙂
These bars are great! I make them (without the chocolate topping) in a loaf tin and then just cut them into 8 bars. Perfect AIP snack and they hold up quite when even when out of the fridge for a little while. Thanks so much for this recipe 🙂
Thank you for letting me know how they turned out! I actually prefer the texture when they’re at room temp. 🙂
These taste great and a nice change for a breakfast option. My bars came out very crumbly. Any suggestions to have them form up better. Thanks.
Glad you like the flavor! I’ve made these probably 20 times and haven’t ever had them not stick together. The mixture might be a little crumbly in the bowl, but once I form them in my silicon bar mold and then refridgerate them, they’re totally set and don’t crumble at all. I even let it sit out at room temp before I eat it, and it’s just a super creamy texture.
Did you follow the recipe exactly? I might suggest reducing the coconut flour by 1-2 Tbsp if you still have trouble. Also, I always melt my coconut butter before mixing, since coconut butter solidifies at room temp. It’d be nearly impossible to mix without melting beforehand!
Which autoimmune do you have? I have fibro. I wish someone would have told me about the collagen. That is amazing! I am relatively new to this, but I’m a personal health chef also and I am always looking for new ways to heal the gut. Is that what damaged tissue you were speaking about above?
I have Celiac, PCOS, and endometriosis. Yes, collagen is SO powerful for autoimmunity since research shows gut health plays a heavy role in autoimmunity. So, yes, to answer your question, collagen is wonderful for gut health. Good luck on your healing journey!
Endometriosis is an autoimmune disease?
These bars look delicious ! Can the batter go into a pan then cut into bars rather than forming them by hand or buying a bar pan? Thanks.
Oh totally! I’ve never made them that way, but they’ll definitely set up just fine. I’d put down some parchment paper that also comes up the sides so they can pop out of the pan easily. That’s what makes the silicon bar pan so easy since they just pop right out 🙂
They’ll also probably be thinner in a pan, so maybe you’d want to double the recipe if they’re kind of thin the first time. Mine are about 1-1.5″ tall.
Hi Anne, I am so sorry, but I cannot find the bar’s nutritional value…just the value for the icing. Can you point me to where it is?
Hi! Sounds yummy! I’m about to purchase Dr Axe bone broth collagen, would that work? 🙂
I haven’t ever tried that one. If it doesn’t have a flavor, I’d guess it would be fine! If you try it please let me know how it works!
would great lakes college work for this recipe??? pls say yes, bc I can make them without having to shop.
Yes, it works exactly like Vital Proteins collagen 🙂 Hope you enjoy!
Just so you know, 1/3 Tablespoon (maple syrup) is a teaspoon. I look forward to trying these when I have all the ingredients!
Oh, thanks for catching that! It should be 1/2 Tbsp. Can’t wait for you to try them!