Vegan Protein Energy Bars

RECIPE:
Last Minute Protein Energy Bars

FROM:
Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows

Oh She Glows is one of my favorite blogs and I look forward to every post. Angela is always coming up with excellent healthy vegan recipes. I cannot wait for her cookbook to come out! Her very handy Recipage makes it easy to find and print  her recipes (with beautiful photos – luv that). I have a binder full of OSG recipes and I’ve yet to find one I didn’t like.

I’m happy to report that this is an easy recipe with little prep time, no cooking time, moderate clean up time and a DELICIOUS candybar-like flavor. I do feel like they gave me some extra energy, but they are not filling. In fact, the only downfall is that it was really hard to have just one. I was instantly craving another. I’m still on the hunt for a filling protein bar that gives me energy and doesn’t leave me with cravings.

STEP 1
Mix dry ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats*
1 cup brown rice cereal*
¼ to ½ cup protein powder*
½ tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

*NOTES
I used Barbara’s Brown Rice Crisps Fruit Juice Sweetened, which are also gluten-free. Brown rice cereal can be found in the cereal section of your local health food store. I am not up on the whole protein powder scene quite yet, so rather than investing in a giant can, I opted for a .8 oz. single serving packet of Spiru-tein Simply Natural Original Vanilla. I realize this is a “high energy protein meal” (when mixed with other fruit, juice, milk, etc), not technically “protein powder.” At this point, I don’t care enough to figure out the difference cuz this is how I roll. And it worked just fine.

STEP 2
In separate (microwave-safe) bowl, mix:
½ cup brown rice syrup
½ cup sunflower seed butter (lightly sweetened)*

Heat in microwave for 45 seconds, then stir in:
2 tsp vanilla extract

*NOTES
I used a locally made, 100% organic product by Naturally Nutty called Pepita Sun Seed Butter. It’s made with Flax Seed, Hemp Seed, Pumpkin Seed and Sunflower Seed. Dee.lish.us.

STEP 3
Add wet mixture to dry mixture and mix very well. (Angela says the batter will be dry if you used the protein powder, so you might have to get in there with your hands and squeeze the dough together.)

STEP 4
Press into pan. I used an 8×12 brownie pan, which worked perfectly. To avoid the sticky mess, I filled a small dish with warm water and dipped a large metal spoon into the water periodically while pressing the mixture into the pan, until it was even. This little trick works great!

STEP 5
Melt ⅓ cup vegan chocolate chips in microwave and spread on top of the bars in a very thin layer.* I also sprinkled a few sunflower seeds on top.

*NOTES
I used Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Mini Chips (dairy, nut and soy-free, vegan, very good, only 3 ingredients). I used a small glass prep dish for melting the chocolate in the microwave. Heat for 1 minute, stir, then another 30 seconds and stir again. Ready to go. The chocolate just barely covered my whole pan, which was 8×12. If you are using a larger pan or want a thicker layer of chocolate, bump it up to ½ cup of chocolate chips.

STEP 6
Freeze for 10 minutes (see notes before you put it in the freezer), then cut into bars.* Store in the fridge or freezer.

*NOTES
These were really hard to cut after I took them out of the freezer. (Perhaps I just need a knife sharpener.) You may want to try scoring (marking the cuts with a knife, not cutting all the way through) the mixture BEFORE it goes in the freezer. After they were frozen, I ended up cutting them in five long strips, removing them from the pan, then one more cut across the middle of each strip (for a total of 10 bars.)

I’m not really sure how well these bars would pack (in a lunch, for a hike, etc) without insulation, as they do become very sticky as they cool off. I would be sure to use an ice pack.

STEP 7
Clean up your mess.

If you enjoyed this free recipe please check out my vegan t-shirt line – it would mean the world to me <3

Thanks again to Angela of Oh She Glows for this great recipe! Give it a try and let me know if you come up with your own variations.

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