HEALTHY LITTLE VITTLES is a food blog created by certified health coach and published author, Gina Fontana, that focuses on gluten-free + vegan + plant-based recipes. Here you'll find simple, flavorful meals, many made in 30 minutes or less! All eaters are welcome, there is a little something here for everyone!
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These soft and delicious no-bake protein bars are a must-have in your fridge at all times! These easy Four Seed Homemade Vegan Protein Bars are loaded with plant-based protein from pumpkin, sunflower, chia and flax seeds, fiber, and don’t contain any added sugars, nuts or grains making them an allergy-friendly breakfast or snack everyone will enjoy!
Move over energy bites, there’s a new protein-packed super snack in town! Out with the old, in with the new… Hello 2022! 😉 Guys, I am so addicted to this snack- like, why haven’t I made these before and shared them with you? Not to mention these Four Seed Homemade Vegan Protein Bars are one of the simplest, nourishing things you could made from this blog. For real.
Protein is so important on a vegan diet. And there are plenty of plant-based sources of protein, despite what most of the world thinks. But one of my goals this year is to be more mindful of my protein intake. An easy way to get more protein in my diet? By making it taste like your favorite snack bar. I think these homemade protein bars are going to have a permantent spot in my fridge from now on! My kids love them too, so hello! No brainer.
Sure. There are some decent options for protein bars out there. But let me tell you what I’ve noticed while trying to find the perfect protein bar that fits all my needs… It doesn’t exist. Either they have gluten or grains (boo!) which sends my body into a super inflammatory state, they aren’t vegan (boo!), and/or they are loaded with sugar (boo, boo, boo!) So making my own just needed to happen. I was also inspired by my friend Kaylie to make my own. Her No Bake Chocolate Protein Bars looked so delish and seemed so simple I decided to give my own a go.
So what’s in these bad boys that makes them so delicious, protein-packed, and check all the boxes?! Let’s dive in:
Sunflower Seed Butter. If you don’t have a peanut problem like I do, you can certainly swap out this sunflower seed butter for peanut butter. BUT sunflower seed butter is allergy friendly and still has 5-7 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons making it a really great allergy-friendly swap. It’s my go-to for a lot of my recipes actually. I buy the unsweetened sunflower seed butter to cut back on sugar.
Protein Powder. Now, this is where it could get tricky. You want to make sure the protein powder you buy isn’t loaded with all of those other items I listed above- the sugar, the gluten/grains, and the dairy. It’s becoming easier to find these days, but you want a protein powder that is clean and has minimal ingredients, my go-to lately has been pumpkin seed powder! Pumpkin seeds are very high in protein (up to 20 grams per serving!) and they aren’t made from nuts or grains (or dairy). Yay! You can search on Amazon and find one that you like, preferably no other added ingredients to hold these protein bars up to their standard.
Tigernut Flour. My newest flour obsession, and I’ll tell you why. Not only is it gluten-free and also grain-free, but it’s also nut-free (despite its name). It’s actually made from a small root vegetable that grows in Africa. Our ancient ancestors have been enjoying tiger nuts for millions of years, and was one of their primary food sources. Tigernut flour is not only high in protein, making it a great option for these protein bars, but it’s also high in fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins E and C! And if that isn’t enough to make this flour a superstar, tigernuts are also considered a prebiotic rich food, having a high level of resistant starch to promote prebiotic growth to nourish the good bacteria in your gut and helps suppress the bad bacteria. #winner
Chia Seeds. These mighty little seeds are highly nutritious! You may have noticed I am a huge fan of chia pudding, like this Caramel Apple Chia Pudding, Caramel Eggnog Chia Pudding, Bananas Foster Chia Pudding, or my Peach Cobbler Chia Pudding, but aside from chia pudding being a nutritious and delicious breakfast or dessert, chia seeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, iron, calcium, antioxidants, and yep- you guessed it. Protein.
Flaxseed Meal. We all know flaxseeds are great for fiber, but did you also know that ground flax seeds contain B vitamins, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and yes, a little bit of protein. I mostly include flax eggs in a lot of my baking recipes as an egg replacement, but in these Easy Homemade Vegan Protein Bars they are just another added source of nutrients.
Cacao/Cocoa Powder. Instead of using chocolate chips for the top layer of these Four Seed Homemade Vegan Protein Bars, which often contain added sugars, we are going to make our own healthier chocolate topping by combining unsweetened cocoa powder, coconut oil, and flax milk (or other plant milk). You may have heard that chocolate has antioxidants, and that’s true because of the cocoa powder used to make chocolate. Here, we are using the raw form of chocolate- cocoa powder in its richest form of polyphenols (antioxidants). Take it a step further and use cacao powder instead, which is unheated, untreated cocoa powder in it’s rawest form. Cocoa contains antibacterial, anti-enzymatic and immune-stimulating properties to help decrease inflammation, improve heart and brain health, balance blood sugar (when not combine with a ton of sugar), and contribute to healthy teeth and skin.
So as you can see, these Four Seed Homemade Vegan Protein Bars are highly nutritious, delicious, easy to make, and will keep you satisfied when the snack craving hits! You simply combine the ingredients, press into a square baking pan, top with the cocoa topping and place the freezer to set up for 15-20 minutes! Grab-n-go in the morning and have an easy snack on hand at all times. And there you have it! Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Facebook if you make these delicious homemade protein bars!
* recipe inspired by Purely Kaylie