This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
If you are looking for a post workout snack or a mid-afternoon energy boost, these vegan protein bars are so perfect! Quick to make with just a handful of ingredients, they are gluten-free, dairy free and loaded with plant-based protein.
Ingredients to make your own protein bars
- Rolled oats: Oats are naturally gluten-free and a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Use rolled oats for the best texture. Quick oats will also work well, but it’s best to avoid steel cut oats as they will be tougher to eat.
- Natural peanut butter: I prefer to use natural peanut butter as it doesn’t contain any added salt, sugar or oils. You can use peanut butter with oil and cane sugar though. It’s also easy to make your own peanut butter.
- Dates: Dates provide natural sweetness, eliminating the need for refined sugar and also help to make the mixture sticky and bind well.
- Almond milk: To keep these bars vegan, I op to make them with almond milk. If you are not vegan, you can use dairy milk. Alternatively other plant based milks like oat or soy will also work well or even just water!
- Vanilla extract: For a little extra sweetness and to help bring all of the flavors together. Use pure vanilla rather than imitation if you can.
- Protein powder: I add vegan protein powder to boost each bar to a whopping 13g of protein. I use a plain flavored powder.
- Ground Flaxseed: I use flaxseeds wherever I can! They are loaded with healthy essential fats as well as a good amount of protein. When ground, flaxseed can actually help bind the way egg whites would.
- Salt: A little salt helps to balance out the sweetness of the other ingredients.
- Dark chocolate chips: Because everything is better with a little chocolate! Dark chocolate is also a great source of antioxidants.
How do you make homemade protein bars
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the peanut butter, dates, almond milk and vanilla extract. These are the wet ingredients that I like to blend together first.
- Blend until the mixture is smooth and consistent. It will look like a super thick nut butter.
- Add the oats, protein powder, ground flaxseed and salt.
- Pulse a few times until the ingredients are well combined
Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula or your hands. I find it easier to just use my hands.
Press the mixture into the prepared pan and flatten out the top with your hands or the back of a spoon. Place in the freezer until it sets, about 15 minutes.
Remove from the pan and slice into 10 equal bars.
Tips for making homemade protein bars
- Wet your hands with water or oil when handling the batter. Because of the sticky nature of using dates to sweeten the recipe, it will be very sticky so this tip will help you manage the dough.
- Use your hands for mixing the chocolate chips into the batter. Once you pulse everything in the food processor, it helps to use your hands for folding in the chocolate chips because it’s much easier. It also allows you to mix in anything the food processor missed.
- Set the batter in an 8×8 baking pan with straight edges. This size and the straight edges will help you form the best looking protein bars that look like the packaged ones.
- Soften dates with warm water if necessary. If you have very fresh dates that feel soft, you won’t need to do this. However, if the dates are older or feel more tough, softening them will help them more easily blend and bind to the other ingredients.
Popular substitutions & additions
- Make with Oath Overnight Oats: This is a brand I launched to create convenient packages of my oatmeal recipes. Try substituting equal parts of the Mountain Wild Blueberry mix in this recipe instead of rolled oats.
- Add shredded coconut. Mix in about a cup of shredded coconut to make these oat bars extra chewy and delicious!
- Add chopped nuts. You can’t go wrong with a handful of walnuts, almonds, or pecans mixed into these bars. Toast them first for an extra nutty flavor and crunch.
Frequently asked questions
These bars will last for up to 7 days. Store the bars in the fridge in an airtight container. Don’t store them at room temperature as the natural peanut butter will soften too much.
It’s so easy to make a batch of protein bars that you can enjoy all week. It is considerably cheaper to make your own, and it takes no more than 10 minutes to make a batch. You know exactly what goes in to each bite.
I like to have a protein bar either 30 minutes before a workout or directly after it to replenish my energy. They are also far better option than reaching for a chocolate bar when you are experiencing a mid day slump in energy. I’ve also been known to grab one of these when I run out the door early in the morning.
These vegan protein bars are so great for a quick energy boost, whether it’s post workout or for a mid afternoon pick me up. It’s so quick and easy to make a batch and have on hand throughout the week to keep those cravings at bay.
More vegan treats
- No Bake Energy Bites
- Chocolate Coconut Balls
- No Bake Pumpkin Balls
- Oatmeal Banana Cups
- Almond Joy Bites
- Cookie Dough Bars
- Caramel Apple Granola Bars
- DIY Hot Cocoa Bombs
- Edible Cookie Dough
- Matcha Chia Pudding
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Vegan Protein Bars recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
Vegan Protein Bars
- Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhanging paper on the sides. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the peanut butter, dates, almond milk and vanilla extract. Blend until the mixture is smooth and consistent, about 1 minute.
- Stop the food processor to scrape down the sides, then add the oats, protein powder, ground flaxseed and salt. Pulse a few times until the ingredients are well combined. The mixture should have a cookie dough-like texture. If it’s too dry, add a splash of milk. If it’s too wet, add more protein powder and pulse again.
- Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula or your hands.
- Press the mixture into the prepared pan and flatten out the top with your hands or the back of a spoon. It helps to spray your hands with oil when pressing down. Place in the freezer until it sets, about 15 minutes.
- Use the overhanging parchment paper to lift from the baking pan, and slice into 8 bars. Enjoy immediately.
- Equal amounts chia seeds instead of ground flaxseed
- Any liquid instead of almond milk
- ½ maple syrup instead of the dates
- Quick oats instead of rolled oats
- Any nut butter or sunflower butter instead of peanut butter
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.