These treats are great as snacks or even as a dish to bring to a holiday party. There’s a short list of ingredients, there’s no baking involved and they taste great! It’s a win for everyone.
Vegans tend to have a stigma of not having food with flavor or not enough protein to sustain a lifestyle for those that want to build and keep muscle. With more and more people switching to plant-based lifestyles, people are finding healthier ways to make great tasting foods.
Protein Packed Chocolate Oat Bars
Ingredients (about 16 servings)
1 cup Ghirardelli bittersweet chips or dark chocolate, 60% or higher cacoa (if you truly want it vegan, make sure it is dairy free)
1/2 cup nut butter (I use a mixed nut butter that has almonds, cashews, pumpkin, chia, and flax seeds – peanut butter works just fine)
2 tablespoons plant-based vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup shelled hempseed
3 cups quick oats
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dairy-free butter
Optional Oat Addition Ideas
Chopped dried fruit
First, line an 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. If you let it come up the sides a few inches even better, You can use that to remove your treats from the baking dish. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Stick with medium to medium low heat. Once melted, mix in the coconut sugar, vanilla extract, and oats. Stir for about 2-3 minutes until evenly mixed and slightly cooked. Turn off the heat and mix in protein powder and hempseed. Transfer this mixture to a mixing bowl, wipe the saucepan clean.
Line the bottom of the baking dish with about half of your oat mixture, firmly pressing it down evenly into the corners and edges with a spatula.
Now we get to the good stuff! In the same saucepan, melt the nut butter and chocolate chips on low heat (be sure it doesn’t burn!). You will have to continuously stir until this mixture is smooth and thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture over the bottom layer as evenly as you can. You may have to smooth it out a bit with a spatula.
Cover the chocolate mixture with the remaining oats as evenly as possible. Lightly press the oats into the chocolate without mushing it all together. We just want it to stick together nicely.
Pop the baking dish in the fridge for at least an hour. Once everything sets, you can pull the edges of the parchment paper and lift the entire square of goodness out of the baking dish. Now you can easily cut these into 16 squares.
See! Super easy… now I’m going to go back to eating mine while you make your own!