Vegan protein bars that are savory instead of sweet! Made in a muffin tin, without protein powder, they have 153 calories and 6.5 g protein each.
We are 70+ muffin tin posts strong at this point and I can say, without hesitation, that I like each and every recipe and absolutely love others.
These portable snacks and mini meals are in a category all of their own: I am crazy about them.
If you have ever hunkered for a savory power bar–one that you can vary to your heart’s desire with different herbs and spices, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and more–this is the recipe for you, too. Allow me to introduce you:
The base for these bars comprises readily-available, affordable, familiar ingredients: flaxseed meal (to hold everything together, plus to contribute healthy omega-3 fats), rolled oats, milk (nondairy or milk), some seeds or nuts, white beans (adding both creaminess and protein), and shredded carrots (for moisture and subtle sweetness). I chose classic flavorings–garlic (I used garlic powder to streamline the process, but you can use fresh, if you like), a dried herb blend (complex flavor in on convenient ingredient), salt, and freshly cracked pepper–but the possibilities for flavor variation are vast,
The method took a few trials and errors, but I got it down so that the results are decidedly bar-like: a soft bite, but with some toothsome texture (the seed/nut topping adds a great contrast crunch) and firmness for portability on hikes, runs, backpacking excursions, or daily trips to school and work.
Yes, these are round (technically pucks instead of bars); it’s for convenience as well as texture. Regarding the former, baking in a muffin tin means no cutting (nor crumbling) post-bake. Fill cups, bake, remove from tin, done.
Using a muffin tin means instant portion control, too.
As for texture, baking in muffin tin cups yields more baked edges, a pleasing contrast to the tender centers.
I opted for carrots as my vegetable of choice; just like the ubiquitous banana in many DIY energy bars, carrots are inexpensive, nutrient-dense, great-tasting, and convenient (they keep in the refrigerator crisper for weeks). But you can use equal amount of zucchini or other finely grated/chopped vegetables, such as parsnips, sweet potato, spinach, kale, you name it..
Each puck is balanced combination of slow-burning carbs and protein, so prepare for some serious energy and satisfaction. If it’s a savory protein bar you are after, simply add a scoop of your favorite unsweetened (plain) protein powder to the batter, as well as 1 or 2 additional tablespoons of milk or water.
Here’s to savory power! Let me know if you give these bars a try–I would especially love to hear (or see!) your unique adaptations. 🙂
- 1 cup nondairy milk (or dairy milk, if not vegan), divided use
- ⅓ cup flaxseed meal
- ⅔ cup rolled oats (certified GF, as needed)
- ⅓ cup seeds or nuts (I used pepitas, hemp hearts & sunflower seeds)
- ½ cup rinsed and drained canned white beans
- 2 tablespoons tahini or almond butter
- 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence or dried Italian herb blend
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 medium carrots, finely shredded (use small holes of grater)
- 3 tablespoons additional seeds or chopped nuts
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease or spray 8 cups of a standard size muffin tin.
- In a medium bowl, stir together 3/4 cup of the milk and flaxseed meal, Let stand at least 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, process the oats and ⅓ cup seeds/nuts in food processor until finely chopped (but not powdery); add to bowl with flaxseed meal.
- In same food processor, process the beans, tahini, and remaining ¼ cup milk until smooth; add to flaxseed mixture along with herbs, garlic powder, salt, pepper and carrots, stirring until blended.
- Divide mixture evenly among prepare cups, smoothing tops. Sprinkle with seeds or nuts, gently pressing into batter.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown at edges. Transfer to cooling rack and cool for 20 minutes, then remove from tin and cool completely.
Add more protein: You can easily add some unsweetened (plain) protein powder to these; you will want to add a few more tablespoons of milk, or water.
Vegetable Variation: An equal amount of zucchini or other finely grated/chopped vegetables (e.g., parsnips, sweet potato, spinach, kale) can be used in place of the carrots.