Ohhhh, protein bars. We never know how to feel about you. Half the time, bars that *seem* healthy are actually hiding tons of sugars or leave us hungry an hour after eating. And for vegans, it’s a whole other story. There's nothing worse than assuming a bar is safe to eat, only to find out there's actually dairy products lurking in there. One solution: Make your own! Sure, it may take a bit more work than a trip down the health food aisle, but prepping bars at home has definite advantages—like taking the guessing game out of what's in your snack. Here are nine vegan protein bars to DIY.
You had us at cookie dough. Since afternoon cookie cravings are basically a given, having these on hand can't hurt. The base is made with three main ingredients—cashews, hemp seeds, and flaxseeds—plus maple syrup and vanilla extract for flavor. Don't forget about the mini chocolate chips (dairy-free, of course). After all, it is supposed to taste like cookie dough.
Cranberries and almonds make a great combo in trail mix and oatmeal, so clearly they’re a power duo in vegan protein bars too. These protein-packed bars also use puffed rice cereal, which makes us feel like we're biting into a way healthier Rice Krispies Treat.
Not only are these vegan approved, they’re Paleo too. How great is that? The super-clean bars have 10 grams of protein per bar thanks to a smattering of nuts and seeds, plus cashew butter, which binds it all together. Feel free to swap it out for almond butter if that's what you already have on hand.
You know those Justin’s cups you probably love? Yep, these taste just like that. And with oats and almond butter involved, they’ll definitely fill you up. To add to these bars' list of praises, they'll be ready in 30 minutes and can be prepped in one bowl. That means cleanup won't take you all day. You're welcome.
Dates are naturally sweet (we think Mother Nature made these when she was craving some candy) and add a caramel-like taste to the PB bars. Meanwhile, with oats, almond meal, and peanut butter, the bars are full of fiber and protein, which are key to keeping you satisfied.
These guys are a bit of a mind trip. One, they look like chocolate, and two, you’d never think they were vegan. Flavorwise, though, they're somewhere in the middle. They've got vanilla protein powder (pick a plant-based one, of course) and cocoa powder, so your taste buds get the best of both worlds.
We don’t know what it is with protein bar flavors being inspired by desserts, but we’re not mad about it. Especially when it can be vegan and gluten-free. To make the magic happen, mix up oat flour, shredded carrots, cinnamon, vanilla protein powder, and a few other goodies, and sprinkle more coconut flakes on top.
PB and chocolate get all the credit as a food power couple but don’t count out PB and vanilla just yet. These Quest-copycat bars are soft and chewy and only include four ingredients. How's that for low-maintenance?
As American as apple pie... protein bars! These no-bake bars almost look like little cakes, and they’re SO soft and chewy. A dusting of cinnamon over the top goes a long way both aesthetically and taste-wise. Protein for dessert, anyone?