When you need a quick energy boost, it may be tempting to grab a protein bar from the grocery store checkout line. But did you know you can easily make DIY no-bake vegan protein bars at home? These low-sugar snacks pack the protein punch you need for a post-workout recharge or a midday pick-me-up. And, as a bonus, they eliminate plastic packaging waste!
Don't stress if you're not exactly a culinary queen. These easy recipes are simple enough for even the novice chef to whip up on a whim.
Homemade Protein Bars with Oats
You likely already have rolled oats in your kitchen cupboard. So why not put them to use for something other than a breakfast meal? If gluten isn't your friend, rest assured most oats are naturally gluten-free. However, always check the product's packaging first—some commercially prepared oats are processed in facilities that also handle gluten-containing products.
Along with two cups of rolled oats, you'll also need:
- ⅓ cup protein powder in your favorite flavor
- ½ cup of your favorite nut butter, melted
- 1-2 tsp. honey
- ¼ cup raisins (optional)
Mix the rolled oats with the protein powder. Stir in the melted nut butter and drizzle the honey into the mixture. Add the raisins if desired. Line a baking pan with wax paper and spoon the protein oat mix on it. Smooth your mix flat, cover it with a second piece of wax paper, and place the pan in the freezer. After half an hour, take the protein bars out and cut them into squares or rectangles.
Tropical Protein Bars
These vegan treats will take you away on a tropical vacay, without ever having to leave your kitchen.
The bar's base requires:
- 1 cup dried pineapple
- ⅓ cup shelled, unsalted pumpkin seeds
- ⅓ cup additional dried tropical fruits (such as shaved coconut, mango, and papaya)
- ½ cup of your favorite nut butter (choose one that doesn't separate easily), warmed
Mix the dried pineapple with the pumpkin seeds and the other tropical dried fruit in a food processor until it's mostly smooth. Add in the warmed nut butter. Follow the same spreading, freezing, and cutting method that you used for the rolled oat bars.
Bananas contain bioactive compounds that act as antioxidants and offer positive health effects, according to a review published in the journal Food Chemistry. And they're the perfect ingredient for protein bars!
For this recipe you'll need:
- 2-3 chopped bananas
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2 tbsp. dark chocolate flakes or chips (optional)
Combine the bananas, peanut butter, and rolled oats. If you're craving something sweet, mix in the dark chocolate flakes or chips. Not only is dark chocolate totally tasty, it may also offer health benefits! According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the flavanols in dark chocolate can lower blood pressure and may even reduce the risk of diabetes.
Once you have your mixture ready, freeze and cut your oat-banana bars according to the rolled oat bar directions.
No-bake vegan protein bars are easy, tasty, and healthy alternatives to the store-bought versions. Depending on what you like and what's in your cupboard, you can completely customize them to fit your needs. Don't like bananas? Add another soft fruit instead. Not a fan of peanut butter? Use almond or cashew butter. There are endless protein-packed possibilities to choose from. The best part is that you'll be nourishing your body without tossing plastic packaging in the landfill!
What's your favorite protein bar flavor? Share your pick with us on Twitter!
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Why It's Good
Energize after a workout, recharge during your next nature walk, or just get your daily dose of protein with these homemade bars. Not only are they nutritious, but they're also good for the planet. Without wrappers and plastic packaging, these DIY bars are an eco-friendly alternative to store-bought options!