[Post #43 for 365 days of Vegan, Gluten-Free, Portable Power Pucks]
Vegan protein bars are handy, and I’ve had some particularly tasty ones.
But the cost? It can be staggering. As in upwards of five dollars–yes, $5!!!– per bar at a certain supermarkets that rhyme with the name Mole Dudes.
There’s a better–and cheaper–way.
If bright fruit flavor + almost 10 grams of protein + only 118 calories per bar sounds good to you, then go ahead and make my 3-ingredient, no-bake, real fruit protein bars!
A pouch or container of plant-based protein powder will more than pay for itself in a as few as two or three batches of bars. I promise I will continue to share plenty of options all year long to use it up in varied, delicious ways. I am especially happy with these fruit bars. All that you need is:
(1) Dried fruit ( I made two batches for this post, one with cranberries, one with apricots) but any moist dried fruit will work
(2) Plant-based (vegan) vanilla protein powder–I used brown rice protein powder, but you can sub your favorite.
(3) Coconut flour: With just a bot of coconut flour, the dried fruit stickiness is gone, making these easy to transport and easy to eat.
Making these bars is as simple soaking (soak the fruit to make it more sticky), blending (blend everything in a food processor) and pressing (into grease muffin cups).
A quick aside about the blending, or more specifically, food processors: I get asked about food processors (what I use), so I thought I would share in a post. I use my inexpensive Cuisinart Mini Prep for almost all of the recipes I post on Power Hungry. I have had mine for fourteen years and I use it all the time, far more than my big food processor. I did not get one for free, I am not working for Cuisinart–I bought this with my own hard-earned cash back when I was still a student. It has been worth every penny!
Now, back to these great bars. I am sure you noticed that they are round. Round is the new rectangle. Once you blend your fruit, protein powder and coconut flour mix, scrape out every last bit and divide into four equal pieces. Roll each piece into ball and press into 4 muffin tin cups. Ta-dah! No cutting into bars! Chill for about 30 minutes until firm, pop out of the cups, and these are ready to eat.
If you want something done deliciously, do it yourself. Happy clean eating!
- ½ cup packed dried fruit (I tested with apricots, then with cranberries}
- 6 tablespoons (48 grams) vanilla rice protein powder (see notes for options)
- 4 teaspoons coconut flour
- Grease or spray 4 cups of a standard muffin tin.
- Place the dried fruit in a small bowl. Add enough warm (not hot) water to cover. Let stand for 15 minutes and then drain.
- Process the drained fruit in a food processor until it is a thick, sticky paste. Add the protein powder and coconut flour; process until completely combined, stopping to scrape down the bowl once or twice. Scrape out the mixture and divide into 4 even portions. Roll each portion into a ball and then press each into one of the prepared cups, smoothing the top. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes until firm. Remove from tin and store as directed in notes.
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to 3 months. These will keep at room temperature (for lunches, hikes, backpacking, etc) for up to 3 days.