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Chickpea-Pepita Protein Bars {Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan}

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chickpea protein bars 1

I am all for a crispy, crunchy granola bar, but sometimes a woman needs something fudgy. And since one of my favorite forms of fudge is peanut butter, why not make a power bar with a creamy, fudgy, peanut buttery texture and flavor?

Why not, indeed!

I am the person who like all sorts of stuff in her ice cream–nuts, chips, swirls, bubblegum, toffee, etc.–and I am the same way with energy bars. I added some toasted pepitas (just put raw ones in a skillet and move/shake–the pan, not you!–for a few minutes until they puff up) and dried cranberries. Hello, delicious.

This recipe spawns from a version of chickpea power bars in my Power Hungry book, but, since the heat is already in the 90s here, I designed the recipe to be a no-bake wonder. Chickpeas are key to this quick and easy recipe, contributing creaminess and nuttiness, as well as structure to hold the bars together.

These bars have vegan protein powder, which boosts the protein, of course, but also balances the moisture in the bars so that you end up with bars instead of fudge sauce. If you do not wish to use it, substitute an equal amount of finely ground oats (you may want to add a bit of stevia, too, to boost the sweetness).

Similarly, if using whey protein, you will need to add some finely ground oats to hold the bars together. Use the same amount of protein called for in the recipe, but also add 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup of the ground oats (it will vary by protein powder brand, so eyeball it).

These should definitely be stored in the refrigerator, and while they are great in a lunch bag (a cold-insulated one in summer), they are not the best for sticking into a fanny pack while running or cycling (I can attest!). Enjoy! 🙂

chickpea protein bars 2

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Chickpea Protein Bars {Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan}


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup packed, very soft dates (about 6-8)
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (or any creamy nut/seed butter, e.g., almond, sunflower seed, tahini)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2/3 all-natural vegan, vanilla protein powder (like this, or use your favorite)
  • 1/3 cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds), toasted
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan (e.g. parchment paper, foil, plastic wrap)
  2. In a large food processor, process the chickpeas, dates, peanut butter, vanilla and salt until smooth, stopping and scraping the sides of processor bowl once or twice.
  3. Add the protein powder, pepitas and cranberries. Pulse until very well combined and mixture looks like a dough ball (if not, add a bit more protein powder).
  4. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan.
  5. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or freeze 1 hour until firm. Remove using pan liner and cut into bars, Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (or freeze for up to 2 months).

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 135
  • Sugar: 3.9 grams
  • Sodium: 201 mg
  • Fat: 4.8 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 0.8 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 12.7 grams
  • Fiber: 2.7 grams
  • Protein: 10.8 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

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Opkikkerreepjes – Framemaatjes

Friday 30th of October 2020

[…] *Deze laag is gebaseerd op een recept van Power Hungry […]

ACG

Tuesday 16th of August 2016

I just made these two days ago because I was going to attend Zumba classes for the first time. I always want to snack on something after I work out, and these are perfect! They are super yummy and easy to make and I know I am getting my protein. I am usually so hungry after a work out but I am careful in what I eat after working out.

Thank you so much for this awesome recipe!

Camilla

Monday 22nd of August 2016

I am so glad you love them, Annie!!! Thanks so much for taking the times to let me know. I am usually starving post-workout, too, so I stash homemade bars for the drive home.

Picking the Right Nutrition Bar | HealthCorps

Tuesday 15th of September 2015

[…] Chickpea Protein Bars recipe has all the right ingredients and at 135 calories it has the perfect calorie count for an energizing […]

TR

Friday 31st of July 2015

Dear Camilla,

I just found your chickpea recipe, which looks marvelous, with the high fiber content listed at the end. Thank you again.

Camilla

Monday 17th of August 2015

you are so welcome, TR!

Sherry

Sunday 26th of July 2015

You left out how much protein powder. It only says 2/3...is that cup or spoon?

Camilla

Friday 28th of August 2015

oops--2/3 cup! Tahnks for letting me know!

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