Since I went vegan, I’ve been searching for the best protein bar recipe without any luck. So, I decided I would make my own! I wanted a bar that was high in protein (since most vegan protein bars lack a decent amount compared to whey protein bars), one that didn’t taste chalky, one that had a long shelf life and of course one that was delicious and satisfying. It took me multiple failed attempts but finally I came up with a recipe I love. These protein bars are seriously so good and the best part is they don’t taste healthy!
Pea protein – Getting a quality pea protein is important in the taste of these protein bars. I like the pea protein from nuts.com. You can try using vegan protein powder but keep in mind that you might need to adjust the sweetness if there’s already added sweetener in the protein powder you use.
Almond butter – I’ve made these with both peanut butter and almond butter and they’re both delicious. I prefer to use almond butter because it’s not as overpowering as peanut butter. I also recommend a natural nut butter that is a little drippy.
Date syrup – I love using date syrup because it comes from whole foods and doesn’t contain any added sugar. I buy this at Sprouts. The brand I use is D’vash. Date syrup is important so the dough sticks together and cannot be substituted.
Cacao butter – Cacao butter is used to make chocolate and has an unsweetened chocolate flavor. I buy this online at nuts.com. Have you noticed I like this store yet? 🙂 I haven’t tried any substitutes so I’m not sure if coconut oil would work but if you try it, please note that these won’t have as much of a chocolate flavor.
Chocolate topping – Any vegan chocolate chips will work for this recipe, but I recommend using Hu Gems. They have three different flavors, are made with minimal ingredients and are DELICIOUS. Heat them up in the microwave in 15 second increments until fully melted and pour over your bars. You can also use a double boiler to melt the chocolate, if you have one. You can cover the bars completely in chocolate or drizzle over the top, like the picture below.
- Melt the cacao butter in medium sized bowl in 30 second increments in the microwave until completely melted. If you have a double boiler, you can use this instead of the microwave.
- Mix in almond butter, date syrup and vanilla extract and stir until combined.
- Add in the pea protein and salt and mix. The dough will look a little dry but it should hold together well.
- Press dough in lined bread loaf and press down until evenly distributed.
- Melt chocolate chips or gems in microwave in 15-30 second increments until melted. Pour on top of dough.
- Place in fridge to set, then cut and enjoy!
- If you want to cover the bars completely in chocolate, cut them first and then cover them in chocolate.
- If you want to change the flavor of these bars, you can add mix ins like crispy rice or cacao powder. You can also swab the vanilla extract for coffee extract or other extracts for a different flavor.
These bars store best in the fridge for several weeks. I personally love to make a large batch and store them in the freezer. When I want one, I microwave them for ~10 seconds and they are perfect.
The Best Vegan Protein Bars
- 1/2 cup almond butter (128g)
- 6 tbsp date syrup (120g)
- 1.1 oz cacao butter (30g)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 10 scoops pea protein (100g)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup brown rice crisps, optional
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips or Hu gems
- Line loaf pan with wax or parchment paper.
- Melt the cacao butter in microwave safe dish or in double bowler on the stove.
- Once the cacao butter is melted, add in the almond butter, date syrup and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
- Add in the pea protein and salt and mix until combined. The dough will look a little dry but it should stick together well. If you're using brown rice crisps, fold them in now.
- Pour mixture into lined loaf pan and press down until evenly distributed.
- Melt chocolate chips in microwave in 15 second increments. Pour over bars.
- Place in fridge to set. Cut into 8 bars and enjoy!
Below are the approximate calories and macro/micronutrient breakdown of the bars. Please note, that the exact numbers depend on what brand(s) of ingredients you use.