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I know some people are put off about the idea of their own vegan homemade protein bars, but it’s a lot more simple to make than you might think. It’s also a great way to ensure that you know exactly what you are eating, especially if you are gluten-free.
Here’s my list of recipes for simple homemade protein bars for you to try.
I let the (vegan) food speak for itself, and the food always wins… - Rachel Lynn Frank, Author
Our Top Vegan Protein Bar Recipes
1. Easy No-Bake Vegan Protein Bars
These protein bars are ridiculously easy to make compared to other recipes. It only has 4 ingredients, and there’s no baking in an oven needed. The base is peanut butter, but you could also use almond butter if you prefer that taste.
These vegan protein bars are crunchy, naturally sweetened, and delicious. You can make a batch and freeze them for up to a month. It makes a great snack if you are on-the-go. Here are the 4 ingredients that you will need.
An optional ingredient is to melt vegan dark chocolate and drizzle it on top.
- 1Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap
- 2Pop your amaranth by heating it in a large pot over medium-high heat. Put in 2-3 tablespoons at a time and immediately cover. It will take about 10 seconds to pop. You’ll end up with about 1 ½ cups of popped amaranth
- 3Put the popped amaranth in a bowl
- 4In a separate bowl, mix the nut butter and maple syrup. Stir in protein powder.
- 5Add popped amaranth slowly and stir with a wooden spoon. Continue adding the popped amaranth until you get a dough-like texture
- 6Transfer the mix to the baking pan. Press down to form an even layer.
- 7Put the baking pan in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
- 8After freezing, cut into 9 pieces.
- 9(Optional) Melt vegan dark chocolate to drizzle on top
Recipe credit: Minimalist Baker (1)
2. Gluten-Free Vegan Protein Bars
This recipe has a basic vegan and gluten-free protein bar base, and it comes with 3 different options to choose to give the recipe more power. The options are Peanut Butter Banana, Almond Cherry, and Mango Coconut.
This is another no-bake option, but it has more ingredients than the previous recipe I shared. The ingredients give the protein bars a lot of healthy fats, protein, and fiber though. So here’s the ingredient list for the base.
Ingredient list for the base:
This recipe is pretty customizable. You can add-in ingredients like nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and vegan chocolate depending on your preference.
For the base, you will want to put in all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. After that, fold in the other ingredients.
Next, put in the mixture in a 6-inch pan lined with parchment paper. Freeze for 10 minutes, and then cut into squares.
Recipe credit: Abbey’s Kitchen (2)
3. Cookie Dough Protein Bars
Cookie dough protein bars feel like a cheat day. This is another no-bake option which makes it easy to make, but you’ll need parchment paper to prevent sticking to the pan.
This recipe has an optional chocolate coating, but I would recommend giving it a try because it makes the bar taste great. It’s a little thicker than I expected, but it still has that guilty pleasure taste to it. Let’s take a look at what you need to make these protein bars.
Let’s take a look at what you need to make these protein bars.
For the chocolate topping in a separate mixing bowl:
- 1Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper
- 2In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oat flour, protein powder, salt, and baking soda
- 3Next add the maple syrup, cashew butter, almond milk, and vanilla. Stir until it becomes dough
- 4Press mixture evenly into the baking pan
- 5For the chocolate topping, put all ingredients together in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute in 20 second intervals to stir. Pour the chocolate topping over the mixture in the baking pan
- 6Freeze for 2 hours before slicing into 9-12 bars. Top with sea salt
Recipe credit: Hummasapien (3)
4. Peanut Butter Oatmeal Protein Bars
This is another simple recipe with no cooking required. I was able to make these in 10 minutes. Let’s dive into the ingredient list.
You could substitute peanut butter for another nut butter like almond butter. I liked how it uses brown rice syrup instead of maple syrup. It has less of a sugary taste.
I also appreciated that this recipe calls for different sized oats to add texture to the bars. I ended up using a chocolate protein powder, and I liked the taste of it. Although I believe that vanilla is also a great option if you don’t want to use chocolate.
Overall, it’s a great recipe that contains a lot of protein and is easy to make.
- 1In a saucepan, warm peanut butter, brown rice syrup, and almond milk over medium heat. Stir to avoid burning. Continue until the mixture becomes liquid and smooth.
- 2In a large mixing bowl, combine rolled oats, jumbo oats, protein powder, and dark chocolate chips.
- 3Stir in the peanut butter mixture until it creates a dough and the chocolate chips melt
- 4Move the mixture to a square baking pan covered in parchment paper. Spread mixture evenly
- 5Top with extra chocolate chips.
- 6Refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes
Recipe credit: Sweet as Honey (4)
5. Vegan Hemp Protein Bars
I was excited to find this recipe because hemp is a powerful source of protein and other nutrients. It’s high in omega-3, magnesium, zinc, iron, and manganese. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is also a complete source of protein.
Luckily this recipe keeps it simple with ingredients, but it still manages to be no-bake, all-natural, gluten-free, and oil-free.
The cinnamon gave it a nice kick, and the gluten-free protein bars were creamy and soft. The dates were also pretty good and added some sweetness.
So here’s the ingredient list:
It only took me 5-10 minutes for prep time.
- 1Put the almonds through a food processor until broken dowm
- 2Add the dates to the food processor and continue to mix
- 3Add all other ingredients and process until it becomes a dough
- 4Put the dough in a baking dish lined with parchment paper
- 5Place in the freezer for 60 minutes
Recipe credit: Running on Real Food (5)
6. Vegan Chickpea Almond Protein Bar
These protein bars are packed with protein. Not only does the recipe contains chickpeas, which is an excellent source of protein, it also calls for protein powder. You won’t have any excuse to not get enough protein in your diet if you make these.
It also helps that these soft vegan bars are easy to make and only has five ingredients that are all probably in your pantry anyway. The protein bars seem to have a good amount of nutrition with protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
Here is what you need to make these vegan chickpea almond protein bars.
- 1Put all of the ingredients together in a food processor, and process until it becomes a dough.
- 2Put the mixture in a loaf tin.
- 3Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Recipe credit: Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen (6)
What Ingredients Should You Use For Recipes That Aren’t Vegan?
It’s a lot easier than you think to swap out dairy or eggs for something more vegan-friendly. Here’s a quick look at what you can substitute.
Milk: Instead of cow's milk, use an equal amount of soy milk, almond milk or coconut milk. The right non-dairy milk choice depends on the dish that you are making. For example, almond milk is complimentary for nutty baked goods. According to a study, it is quite clear that nutritionally soy milk is the best alternative for replacing cow’s milk in human diet (7).
Buttermilk: You can make vegan buttermilk. Pick any non-dairy milk and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for every 1 cup of non-dairy milk.
Butter: Instead of butter, you can use canola oil, olive oil or coconut oil. If recipes need a buttery texture, use vegan margarine or vegan shortening.
Egg: A popular egg substitute is flaxseed. Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water for every egg. You could also use applesauce (¼ cup for every egg) or mashed banana (half of a medium banana for every egg) for an egg substitute. In fact, some studies encourage the development of new branded healthy and functional foods using flaxseeds, oil and cakes (8).
What Vegan Protein Powder Should You Use?
Vegan protein bars are a great snack option for meal plans, a mid-afternoon snack, or a post-workout recovery.
Although you could buy these, it’s possible to only use a few minutes of your day to make your own protein bars. It’s a great option because you can control what ingredients are in them and how much nutrition you want.
I would highly recommend choosing Transparent Labs. It not only tastes great in protein bars, but it’s also a great source of organic rice and pea protein with 24 grams in every scoop.
They have two flavors; chocolate and vanilla. Both are great options if you want to add a little flavor to your protein bars. It is a nice additional ingredient if you are looking to increase your protein intake.
Check out our main plant-based protein powders page for more options.
Vanga, S. K., & Raghavan, V. (2018, January). How well do plant based alternatives fare nutritionally compared to cow's milk? Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5756203/
Kajla, P., Sharma, A., & Sood, D. R. (2015, April). Flaxseed-a potential functional food source. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4375225/
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