I love to make homemade power bars. They are so much better than store-bought options–better quality ingredients, frugal, no wasteful packaging–and are perfect for quick, nutritious snacks and mini-meals any time of day.
But as much as I enjoy my naturally sweet creations, I’ve long wanted to create a savory power bar, one completely absent of sweet ingredients that is every bit as portable and variable as homemade granola bars, larabars, and clif bars. I know I am not alone on this subject : I’ve received countless requests for just such a bar for years from fellow fitness enthusiasts, backpackers, and snackers, but it took me forever to figure out a feasible, delicious, convenient and affordable way to do it.
I am so excited about these bars! They are delicious, a cinch to prepare, frugal, gluten-free, vegan, and perfectly portable for every kind of venture.
One of my star ingredients is familiar–cooked quinoa–but the other key player, unsweetened pea protein powder, requires a bit of explanation. Pea protein powder is a high protein, versatile protein powder made from yellow peas. It is naturally gluten-free, vegan, allergen-free,easy-to-digest, low in calories, and low in fat; it has a fine powdery texture and neutral flavor, which means you can add it to smoothies, soups, baked goods, and more for a boost of protein and overall nutrition.
I’ve been using pea protein powder for a few years, but I want to note that I used Growing Naturals Pea Protein in these bars; the company was kind enough to send me samples of their protein powders and I am loving them! The texture is much finer than any other pea protein I’ve used, and I also love that it is raw (which is not the case for several other pea protein powders).
I use 1/2 cup of the pea protein powder in these bars, but if you want to make an even higher protein bar, simply omit the 1/2 cup oats and add another 1/2 cup of pea protein. Conversely, if you do not have pea protein, you can still make these bars simply by increasing the total amount of oats to 1 cup.
The possibilities for variations with these bars is vast. For example, add different spices or herbs, and use any combination of nuts and seeds that you like. I’ll be sharing some of my own flavor combinations and variations in the days to come.
In the meantime, get busy baking! I know that you are going to love these bars as much as I do!
- ½ cup rolled oats, Gluten-Free if needed
- ½ cup unflavored (plain) pea protein powder (e.g., Growing Naturals)
- 1-1/2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ⅓ cup roasted, salted pistachios, chopped
- ⅓ cup roasted, salted almonds, chopped
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
- Optional: ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- Optional: 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast or grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease or spray an 8-inch square baking pan.
- Process the oat flour in food processor until it is a fine flour. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the pea protein powder, cooked quinoa, chia seeds, pistachios, almonds, salt, milk, and (optional) pepper and (optional) nutritional yeast, stirring until blended.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and firmly set at center. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely in the pan.
- Remove bars from pan and cut into 10 bars. Individually wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 4 days, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 2 months.
No Protein Powder Bar: Omit the protein powder and increase the total amount of oats to 1 cup. This will result in the following nutrition stats per bar: 144 calories, 6 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 4 g sugar, 5 g fat.