Vegan Protein Bars

4.94 from 44 votes

These vegan protein bars are a great post workout snack or great for a healthy energy boost. Made with no refined sugar, they are gluten-free and dairy-fee.

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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.

Close up shot of three vegan protein bars on parchment paper

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.
Ingredients to make the recipe

How do you make homemade protein bars

  1. 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.
  2. Blend until the mixture is smooth and consistent. It will look like a super thick nut butter.
  3. Add the oats, protein powder, ground flaxseed and salt.
  4. Pulse a few times until the ingredients are well combined
Process shots for how to make the batter

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.

Batter transferred from food processor to bowl and topped with mini chocolate chips

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.

Vegan protein bars after setting in the freezer and cut into bars

Tips for making homemade protein bars

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Frequently asked questions

How long do vegan protein bars keep?

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.

Why make your own protein bars?

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.

When do you eat protein bars?

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.

Protein bars stacked on top of each other with parchment paper in between

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

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

These vegan protein bars are a great post workout snack or great for a healthy energy boost. Made with no refined sugar, they are gluten-free and dairy-fee.
4.9 from 44 votes
Servings 8 bars
Course Snack
Calories 255
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • 8 large pitted dates
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup vegan protein powder
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup mini dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 10-14 days in the fridge.
Freezing Instructions: After cutting the bars, freeze them on a baking sheet until solid.  Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer safe container or bag. You then simply need to thaw them in the fridge overnight.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However, feel free to play around with the ingredients and customize to your liking. Here are some common substitutes:
  • 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
Nutritional Data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

Nutrition

Calories: 255kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 162mg, Potassium: 287mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 8g, Calcium: 69mg, Iron: 2mg

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Close up shot of three vegan protein bars on parchment paper

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Comments

  1. These were AMAZING!!. I don’t eat food with processed sugar, so for me these were perfect in sweetness. I used dates to sweeten it, I also used a chocolate vegan protein. Which in my opinion made it more decadent 😍
    They are also the perfect snack after my runs.
    If u like sweeter foods than maybe add more dates and the chocolate chips.
    But I will be making another batch tommorow. Making this recipe will definitely not be a waste. Thanks for the great recipe😉

  2. These were GREAT! I subbed some ingredients like seed butter instead of pbutter, added pepitas and almonds, and then froze them Ate them right out the freezer each time! Mine became slightly gooey while eating (most likely bc I altered the recipe, but I liked that they were dry! Already making another batch!

    1. Yay!! This recipe is super versatile in that way, so you can tweak it until it perfectly fits your tastebuds and texture preferences.

  3. I loved these so much! This is the first recipe I made of yours because it looked so simple, healthy and yummy. Turned out absolutely delicious and just a little bit made me so full! I love that I know exactly what’s going into these bars. Would definitely make these again instead of buying from the grocery store. The only thing I did differently was skip the protein powder because I didn’t have any. Still turned out great though!

  4. I made these today and they were delicious. I only had 2 dates so I subbed with golden raisins, and I also used crunchy peanut butter and almond butter. I baked them for about 15 min because I like a dryer texture but I will definitely be making these again. It was a hit for my family.

  5. I just made a huge mess and wasted a bunch of expensive ingredients. Save yourself the trouble and don’t make these. They tasted really bad and weren’t sweet enough even though I added maple syrup in addition to the dates (after tasting the mixture). I followed the recipe exactly, with the exception of substituting chia seeds for flax. The texture was on-point, which is why I’m rating this 2 stars. But I would definitely not make these again.

    1. Hi Karina, I’m so sorry to hear that. I can’t imagine how they would taste bad when you have 1/2 cup peanut butter, dates, oats, ground flaxseed and chocolate chips! It’s such a classic combination. The ground flaxseed is a better idea than the chia seeds since they have more of a nutty taste and blend better into the batter, but that shouldn’t have affected the taste. I’m wondering if it’s the protein powder you used or is it possible you don’t like the taste of oats and peanut butter?

      1. Hello, thank you for responding. It did look like a delicious combination of ingredients, which is why I selected this recipe. I do like the combination of oats and peanut butter. It may have been the protein powder I used, though. I felt as though the sweetness ratio was off — the bars weren’t sweet at all — but maybe that’s how they were supposed to turn out.
        I hope you do not take offense to my review. I simply want to help other foodies by sharing my honest experience with each recipe. If a recipe didn’t turn out well for me, I want to help others avoid my mistakes, and if it did turn out well, I want to promote that recipe. And it is never my intention to hurt anyone’s feelings.
        Again, thank you for taking the time to respond.

        1. Hi Karina – I appreciate your review so so much and it really is helpful for others to know that the texture was great but the flavor probably needed some enhancements. I love that you took the time to provide the feedback and it truly is helpful to the other readers of the website. I think for others reading this feedback, I recommend tasting some of the mixture and adjusting as necessary before forming them into bars. They are a great versatile recipe and I appreciate you trying them! Thank you!

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