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Savory Vegan Protein Bars {GF, oil-free}

Savory vegan protein bars are a delicious break from sweet snacks! Made in a muffin tin, without protein powder, they are gluten-free, oil-free, and have 153 calories and 6.5 g protein each.

These savory vegan protein bars 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:

Recipe Benefits

  • Vegan (egg-free and dairy free)
  • Oil-free
  • Gluten-free
  • No protein powder required
  • Quick & easy to make
  • Made with familiar ingredients
  • 153 calories each
  • 6.5 grams of plant protein each
  • perfectly portable for hikes, runs, backpacking excursions, or daily trips to school and work

Ingredients for the Vegan Savory Protein Bars

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

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
  • nondairy milk (e.g., almond milk, cashew milk, hemp milk)
  • some seeds or nuts
  • white beans (adding both creaminess and protein)
  • shredded carrots (for moisture and subtle sweetness).
  • Some dried herbs, garlic powder, salt & pepper

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.

Directions for Making the Savory Protein Bars

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

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. 🙂

Yield: 8 round protein bars

Savory Vegan Protein Bars {gluten-free}

Savory Vegan Protein Bars {gluten-free}

Make your own savory vegan protein bars (with ease)! They are oil-free, gluten-free, and made without protein powder.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup nondairy milk (or dairy milk, if not vegan), divided use
  • 1/3 cup flaxseed meal
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats (certified GF, as needed)
  • 1/3 cup seeds or nuts (I used pepitas, hemp hearts & sunflower seeds)
  • 1/2 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 medium carrots, finely shredded (use small holes of grater)
  • 3 tablespoons additional seeds or chopped nuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease or spray 8 cups of a standard size muffin tin.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together 3/4 cup of the milk and flaxseed meal, Let stand at least 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, process the oats and 1/3 cup seeds/nuts in food processor until finely chopped (but not powdery); add to bowl with flaxseed meal.
  4. In same food processor, process the beans, tahini, and remaining 1/4 cup milk until smooth; add to flaxseed mixture along with herbs, garlic powder, salt, pepper and carrots, stirring until blended.
  5. Divide mixture evenly among prepare cups, smoothing tops. Sprinkle with seeds or nuts, gently pressing into batter.
  6. 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.

Notes

Flax: I am sorry if you cannot eat flaxseed meal; there is no immediate substitute here. You would need to experiment.

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.

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

1 round bar

Amount Per Serving Calories 153Total Fat 8.2gSaturated Fat 1.3gCholesterol 1mgSodium 162mgCarbohydrates 13.9gFiber 3.8gSugar 2.9gProtein 6.5g

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @powerhungrycamilla on Instagram and hashtag it #powerhungrycamilla

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Elizabeth

Friday 23rd of September 2022

These look great, not made them yet but wondering how they would freeze?

Camilla

Monday 26th of September 2022

Hi Elizabeth! Yes, you can definitely freeze them. I find they freeze best if they are individually wrapped (tightly; this is one of the times I definitely use plastic wrap. You can always re-use it if there is a concern about plastic). Then place the wrapped bars in an airtight container and freeze for up to 6 months. Let the bar defrost at room temperature (if you place it in a lunch bag in the morning, it will be ready to go in a few hours).

pell

Friday 17th of June 2022

I am making a pizza flavor version (parmesan and sundried tomato 30g each) and sticking it in my dehydrator. Thank you for the idea of using a flax base. The salt and herbs amounts were just right. I expect that with some experimentation and adding various forms of coconut I will be able to make a tasty pizza bar at hopefully around 150cal/oz based on your recipe, and I already have ideas for greek salad and pesto variants. I am sick to death of sweet and sticky oat-and-fruit energy bars and I undereat on hikes because of it. This savory version is also a great vehicle for greens supplements like Amazing Greens.

The carrot weight I used was 160grams when shredded. Apparently that will only be 20g of the total when dried!

Camilla

Tuesday 21st of June 2022

I am so thrilled that you like bars, Pell! A pizza version sounds delicious 😋 . Greek salad and pesto next? Oh my word, brilliant— I’m going to have to follow your lead. )I’m with you regarding the endless sweet bars. ) 😊

Jean

Thursday 16th of June 2022

Yes, I finally made these after holding onto the recipe for a while. I followed the recipe exactly but I did throw in probably a couple of tablespoons of psyllium husk powder for the fiber/binding properties. I baked them for 34 minutes and they were dark around the edges and pulling away from the side of the muffin cups. I just ate one and it was a little under baked in the middle for my liking. I think for the remainder that I will put them in the airfryer for a 3-4 minutes to "finish" the baking to dry them out a bit. No biggee, though. My guess is that the carrots added a lot of moisture. Now I know. I wanted to get a base before doing anything too custom. They are surprisingly soft and rose more than I thought they would (given that I patted in the seeds on top fairly vigorously), and for someone who doesn't know, you'd think they were made with flour, eggs, etc... I'll make these again and play around with spices, nuts, seeds, etc... It's so nice to have a savory option instead of all the chocolate, candy-like protein bars. And ... I love bananas - don't get me wrong, but they are so overused. I do NOT like bananas in smoothies, etc... I like them in their natural state and banana bread. That's about it. So to use a different veggie or fruit is something I'm always looking for. Thank you! Way to go! I like it!

Camilla

Tuesday 21st of June 2022

You are so welcome, Jean!!!

Thankful

Sunday 12th of September 2021

Thank you for this phenomenal recipe. Flaxseeds may be substituted with chia seeds (1:1). Psyllium seed husk powder is also mucilaginous and may also serve as a binder; however, some experimentation may be required to determine the ideal quantity. Happy healthy cooking.

Camilla

Sunday 12th of September 2021

I am so happy to hear that you made these, and also that you made them your own in the process! 😊❤️

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