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Vegan chocolate black bean protein bars taste like fudge but are uber nutritious! Make them in minutes with minimal ingredients and no baking.
a single chocolate black bean protein bar on a piece of parchment paper

Meet your new favorite homemade chocolate protein bars! They are quick and easy to make, frugal, and require no baking. 

Highlights of the Vegan Chocolate Black Bean Protein Bars

Here’s why you will want to make these:

  • High protein
  • No refined sugar
  • No nuts
  • No soy
  • Vegan (no eggs, no dairy)
  • Super-Nutritious 
  • Gluten-free
  • High in Fiber

It’s no secret that I like to dabble in the making of homemade protein and energy bars. Given that I love to run–long distances, and after a certain 4-year-old, they are an indispensable part of my daily diet. Additionally, my weight-lifting, professor-ing husband likes to eat them post-workout or pre-class, But the high cost and/or whack-o ingredients of so many ready-made bars makes me crazy.

The answer was in my pantry: Black Beans. I know, I know, you’ve likely seen one of the many black bean brownie recipes floating around the web. You may have tried them. The experience was likely followed by disappointment, nausea, and a walk to the garbage disposal. I’ve made one or two edible versions, but they were not worth making again: they looked great, but tasted dreadful. The texture is particularly off, and I think the problem is the baking of the beans, which yields a leaden consistency reminiscent of modeling clay.

With that in mind, the solution presented itself: nix the baking. My favorite homemade energy bars are Lara bars, which are simply molded from fruits and nuts. Why not do the same with the black bean mixture. I grabbed the food processor and beans and set to work.

Ingredients for the Black Bean Protein Bars

The exact amounts of each ingredient are indicated in the recipe card at the end of the post.

  • quick-cooking or old-fashioned rolled oats (certified GF, as needed)
  • canned unseasoned black beans
  • moist dates
  • plant-based vanilla or chocolate protein powder
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • nondairy milk or water

How to Make Vegan Black Bean Protein Bars

Note that the complete directions are also in the recipe card below.

  • Line a 9×5-inch (22.5×12.5 cm) loaf pan with foil or plastic wrap, leaving about 6 inches of overhand on each lengthwise side; lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Process the oats in a food processor until it is a fine powder; transfer to a bowl.
  • Add the beans, dates, protein powder, cocoa powder and 4 tablespoons milk to the food processor until very smooth.
  • Add the ground oats. Pulse until mixture is well-blended and comes together to form a dough (add more milk/water as needed).
  • Transfer mixture to prepared pan; wrap the overhang lining over bars and press to flatten.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour then remove and cut into bars. Sprinkle with cocoa powder, If desired.
  • Individually wrap bars and store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Make a batch of these bars today and feel the power!

a single chocolate black bean protein bar on a piece of parchment paper
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How Should the Bars Be Stored?

Tightly wrap the individual bars in plastic wrap. Store the wrapped bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or freezer for up to 3 months.

Tips from Camilla

  • Use Unseasoned Black Beans: by “unseasoned” beans, I simply mean avoid beans seasoned with chili powder, jalapenos, etc. I don’t mean salt-free. You will rinse away most of the salt when you rinse the beans, and the little bit of salt is needed to bring out the flavor of the chocolate.
  • Pick Your Protein Powder: I used a vegan protein powder here (specifically, pea protein). If you use whey protein powder with the recipe as written, the bars will be gooey and will not be form enough to form bars. You can still use whey protein, but you’ll need to up the amount of ground oats (about 2/3 cup more oats, depending on the type of whey powder; add enough until dough comes together).
a single chocolate black bean protein bar on a piece of parchment paper
a single chocolate black bean protein bar on a piece of parchment paper

Vegan Chocolate Black Bean Protein Bars (GF)

Yield: 8 bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Vegan chocolate black bean protein bars taste like fudge but are uber nutritious! Make them in minutes with minimal ingredients and no baking.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (100 g) rolled oats (certified GF, as needed)
  • 1 (15-oz/425 g) can unseasoned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup (packed) moist dates (about 110 g)
  • 3/4 cup (90 g) plant-based vanilla or chocolate protein powder
  • 1/4 cup (20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons (60 to 90 mL) nondairy milk or water (more as needed)
  • Optional: more cocoa powder for dusting

Instructions

  1. Line a 9x5-inch (22.5x12.5 cm) loaf pan with foil or plastic wrap, leaving about 6 inches of overhand on each lengthwise side; lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Process the oats in a food processor until it is a fine powder; transfer to a bowl.
  3. Add the beans, dates, protein powder, cocoa powder and 4 tablespoons milk to the food processor until very smooth. Add the ground oats. Pulse until mixture is well-blended and comes together to form a dough (add more milk/water as needed).
  4. Transfer mixture to prepared pan; wrap the overhang lining over bars and press to flatten. refrigerate for 1 hour then remove and cut into bars. Sprinkle with cocoa powder, If desired. Individually wrap bars and store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

Storage: Tightly wrap the individual bars in plastic wrap. Store the wrapped bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1 bar
Amount Per Serving Calories 132Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 0.1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0.1mgSodium 59mgCarbohydrates 21.5gFiber 5.3gSugar 5.1gProtein 9.4g

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About Camilla

I'm Camilla, food writer, author, runner, and spin instructor. PowerHungry® is where I share my easy, minimalist, plant-based recipes, designed for living a healthy, delicious, empowered life.

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45 Comments

    1. Hi Jubilee! Apologies, I did not include ingredient weights on some of my older recipes. I have added them in–thank you for the nudge!

  1. yum! I made these with vegan protein powder and they came out super yummy. I also drizzled them with some melted dark chocolate, because I love chocolate 🙂