Quick ‘n Easy No-Bake Protein Bars (vegan & gluten-free)

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I recently subscribed to Angela’s fabulous Oh She Glows blog, and I’ve been loving her recipes ever since! This week, with family in town, I enlisted the help of Zander and his cousin, Ella, to make an ever-so-slightly modified version of her Quick ‘n Easy No-Bake Protein Bars. They are so yummy–and absurdly easy to make–that I just have to share them!

Also, with the sweltering heat we’ve been experiencing this week, a no-bake option was just too appealing to pass up. I think we might have all melted if we’d had to turn on the oven for any amount of time. These are a cool and refreshing treat each time we pull one out of the freezer. 🙂

The only difference between Angela’s bars and the ones we made is that melting chocolate chips with coconut oil and drizzling it over the top seemed too daunting a task with the “help” of two enthusiastic 3-year-olds. Instead, we just tossed our chocolate chips right into the batter.

I ordered Angela’s recommended protein powder from Amazon.com before making these, and I’m so glad I did, because I’ve never liked the taste of stevia, and this powder is wonderfully un-sweetened. Made from raw/organic cranberry protein, pea protein, and hemp protein, it packs a huge punch of protein–17 grams per scoop!

The kids really love eating these as an afternoon snack, and so do I. We call them peanut-butter chocolate chip cookies. Guilt-free snacking is the best! 🙂

Here is the recipe (but please visit the link above for the original/full recipe with much prettier photos than mine):

Ingredients:

1.5 cups gluten-free rolled oats, blended into a flour
1/2 cup unsweetened/unflavoured vegan protein powder (we used Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Natural)
1/2 cup rice crisp cereal (we used Barbara’s Organic Brown Rice Crisps)
1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt, to taste (we used 1/2 tsp)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter (we used peanut butter)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp mini dark chocolate chips (we used Enjoy Life)
1/2 tbsp coconut oil (we omitted this ingredient, because we didn’t melt our chocolate chips)

Directions:

  1. Line an 8-inch square pan with a piece of parchment paper (we forgot to use parchment paper, but our bars turned out great, anyway). Mix the oat flour, protein powder, rice crisp, and salt together in a large bowl.
  2. Add in the nut/seed butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir well to combine. If the mixture is a bit dry, add a splash of non-dairy milk and mix again. (we didn’t add any non-dairy milk, but in retrospect, we probably should have, and next time, I will)
  3. Press into pan and roll out with a pastry roller until smooth. (we didn’t use a pastry roller, because I don’t have one–mashing down with fingers worked fine, though) Pop into the freezer.
  4. Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together in a small pot over low heat. When half of the chips have melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth. (we omitted this step and just tossed our chips into the mix before pressing into the pan)
  5. After freezing the bars for about 5-10 minutes, remove from freezer and slice into bars. Drizzle with melted chocolate and freeze again until set. Store in the freezer for a week or longer in an air-tight freezer bag or container. (I don’t think ours are going to last for an entire week… they are being eaten far too quickly…)

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About Kim McCoy

Kim McCoy is a passionate animal and environmental advocate with a B.S. in Business Administration from UT Knoxville and a J.D. specializing in Animal and Environmental Law. She graduated with honors from Lewis & Clark Law School, where she served as Editor in Chief of the internationally acclaimed Animal Law Review and interned with the National Center for Animal Law and the International Environmental Law Project. Kim is a member of MENSA (the “high IQ society”) and previously worked for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in a variety of roles, including Executive Director, Director of Campaigns, and Director of Legal Affairs. Kim is also the former Executive Director of the One World One Ocean Foundation and the proud mother of a healthy, thriving son who has been vegan since conception. Currently serving as Executive Director of Big Life Foundation, which protects wildlife and wild lands in Eastern Africa, Kim remains deeply committed to the defense of animals worldwide.
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