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Chocolate Pecan Pie Protein Bars {vegan, no-bake}

Healthy, no-bake, chocolate pecan pies that double as protein bars! They are naturally vegan, gluten-free, and incredibly delicious!

Hi everyone! This is a celebratory post of the completion of not one, but two marathons: both the  26.2 miles of running and 100 posts of portable power pucks varieties. Whoohoo!

Regarding the first, I finished The Cowtown marathon in Fort Worth, TX and had a stellar experience! The weather was perfect (40s, then low 50s) and overcast for the entire run, the crowds were an enthusiastic hoot (cheering, additional water/gel stops, block parties, mardi gras beads and more), the neighborhoods were fascinating, ranging from historical to industrial to residential (great distraction from thinking about the number of miles yet to go), and it was super-organized from start to finish. Loved it! If marathons are your thing (or you are looking to make them your thing), this is a great one to run!

Best of all, two of my Saturday morning running buddies ran, too. Here we are, huddling for warmth, just before the start (Manda on the left, Wendy center, me on the right).  We were all feeling pretty jolly :).

(For the record: we did not plan on coordinating pink and purple ensembles–It just happened!).

Now, on to the second marathon: 100 portable power pucks posts, done!!! It’s been a most delicious feat. I hope you have found a few options along the way that have struck your fancy and made eating on the run both easy and tasty.

To cap off the year, I am keeping it simple: chocolate, plus some protein and pecans in handy, portable, no-bake treat form.

Oats, pecans, plant-based vanilla protein powder, almond butter and dates comprise the base, while dark chocolate and a bit more almond butter make the easy topping. If you feel like it (I did), add some toasted chopped pecans on top. Yum.

Vegan protein powders vary, so adjust the amount of added milk as needed to make a thick and sticky dough for the base. It’s hard to wrong. You can certainly swap the pecans and almond butter for any nuts/seeds and nut/seed butter you prefer, so have fun with variations.

Onward, to even more fun and delicious adventures on the move!

Yield: 8 round bars

Chocolate Pecan Pie Protein Bars {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

Chocolate Pecan Pie Protein Bars {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

Healthy, no-bake, chocolate pecan pies that double as protein bars! They are naturally vegan, gluten-free, and incredibly delicious!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

Bottom Layer:

  • 1/3 cup (packed) pitted dates, soaked in warm water 20 minutes, drained
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (or nut/seed butter of choice)
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecan halves
  • 2/3 cup vegan vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup plain nondairy milk (more, if needed)
  • Chocolate Layer
  • 1/3 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips (I used sunspire)
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter (or nut/seed butter of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon nondairy milk
  • Optional Topping
  • About 1/2 cup pecans, very coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Bottom Layer: Grease or spray 8 cups of two standard size, 12-count muffin tin.
  2. In a food processor, process the dates, almond butter, oats and pecans until very well blended. Add the protein powder and milk; process until well blended into a sticky, cohesive dough (add more milk if needed). Add the remaining pecans; pulse until pecans are broken down and just incorporated into the dough.
  3. Divide mixture evenly between the prepared cups, firmly tamping down and smoothing tops of each. Refrigerate while preparing chocolate layer.
  4. Chocolate Layer: In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate, almond butter and milk in 15 to 30 second intervals, stopping to stir, until melted. Divide mixture evenly on top of the bottom layers, smoothing the tops. If desired, top with pecans, gently pressing down to adhere. Refrigerate the cups for at least 2 hours until very firmly set. Run a thin knife around the edge of each and gently remove each cup. Store in the refrigerator.

Notes

Storage: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 hours (so long as it is not too hot out), in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or the freezer for 3 months.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size

1 bar

Amount Per Serving Calories 218Total Fat 12.6gSaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 0mgSodium 90mgCarbohydrates 21.8gFiber 3.2gSugar 12.9gProtein 7.8g

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