Protein bars are truly one of my favorite foods. Why do I love them? They are high in protein, they travel well, and they are compact. Although, I don’t mind carrying around my protein shake it’s not ideal for me. I’m already carrying a child, purse, and diaper bag so again, I love that protein bars are small but big in nutrition.
What I don’t like about protein bars is the price. Why are they so expensive? Does anyone know? Before, we moved to CA I could only find one brand of protein bar that we could both eat. Now that we live in CA, the sky is really the limit. I need my protein bars gluten and dairy-free. My husband needs a protein bar that is dairy and almond free. My kids love anything with chocolate that is gluten and dairy-free. 🙂
Even though protein bars make the cut when we travel, I don’t buy them on a regular basis. The price is just too high. So, what do you do when you love a certain food but can’t afford to buy it pre-made? You make it of course.
Like many of ambitions it took some trial and error. Okay, maybe a lot of trial and error. But, I am SUPER STOKED about how these Chocolate Vanilla Protein Bars turned out in taste and texture.
These protein bars with vanilla protein are firm but moist. Covered in melted dark chocolate with the right balance of chopped walnuts makes every bite of these protein bars irresistible.
Since these chocolate vanilla protein bars are high in protein but have a sweet flavor, they are perfect for any time of the day. Breakfast? Yes. Lunch? Yes. Snack? Yes. Dessert? Yes. Just because I’m hungry? Double yes. 🙂
I’m buying more chocolate just so I can make these protein bars again. SO good. I am especially happy they turned out because I switched brands of chocolate. For the last few years I have been a die hard, Enjoy Life chocolate lover. In fact, I still am. However, I am always looking to cut sugar down in our house. Sugar isn’t all together bad but I do believe certain types of sugar can be highly addictive.
In an effort to just eat more clean, I used, Lily’s Dark Chocolate baking chips. They are vegan and sweetened with stevia. The sugar grams is 0 and the dietary fiber is 4 grams. You can definitely taste a difference. They chocolate chips taste more chocolatey than sweet. I don’t know how this chocolate would taste in my Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge recipe but I’m definitely going to keep buying Lily’s chocolate and testing it out.
I also taste tested, Chatfield’s Carob Chips (Vegan) and absolutely do not like them out of the bag. Haven’t used them in a recipe yet. My hubby and kids love them but I can’t get over the taste of the beet sugar. They taste too sweet and the sweetness of the chocolate chips is a very unique flavor.
Well, now that I gave you a little chocolate review, let’s get on with the recipe.
Chocolate Vanilla Protein Bars
1 hour, 15 minutes
1 hour, 25 minutes
Author: Allison Kuslikis
2 cups gluten-free oats
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup vanilla protein powder (I used Vega)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/3 cup crushed raw walnuts
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. of dark chocolate chips (vegan)
1/2 tbsp. melted coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Measure and blend oats in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Make sure there are no chunks.
In a large mixing bowl, add grounded oats, baking soda, sea salt, and cinnamon. Mix well.
Next, add in bananas, vanilla, and maple syrup.
Once mixture is completely mixed, pour into a 9X9 baking pan that is either greased or has parchment paper.
Bake chocolate vanilla protein bars for 10 minutes or until fork clean.
While protein bars cool down on the counter, place 1/3 cup of walnuts into a blender and blend until desired size.
Next, place 1/2 cup of room temperature chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds with a 1/2 tbsp. of melted coconut oil. Stir chocolate and coconut oil until chocolate chips are completely melted than spread chocolate mixture of the bars evenly. (You can always pop the chocolate chips back in the microwave but only for 10 more seconds.)
While chocolate is still warm, spread chocolate over protein bars and sprinkle chopped walnuts on top. Allow bars to cool to room temperature and then place bars in the refrigerator for one hour or until chocolate hardens.
Keep protein bars stored in covered container in the refrigerator. Bars keep for 2-3 days. You may want to store them precut in the freezer.
*Nutritional Value is based on the use of Vega Vanilla protein powder.
Serving Size: 1 bar
Calories per serving: 276.74 kcal
Fat per serving: 8.17 g
Saturated fat per serving: 4.15 g
Carbs per serving: 41.97 g
Protein per serving: 12.64 g
Fiber per serving: 5.36 g
Sugar per serving: 15.78 g
I would love to hear from you. If you give this recipe a try, please let me know by giving the recipe a rating and leaving a comment.