Quick, easy, nutritious and delicious: A one-bowl vegan and protein bar reminiscent of a slice of soft vanilla cake. Free from gluten, refined sugars or weird additives.
Chances are that if you’ve been around the blog world for any time yet you’ll have noticed two trends: 1) a fondness of bars and 2) protein as many bloggers’ favourite macronutrient. Me, however? That’s where I’m not like your average blogger. I’m not fond of bars in general [at this point I expect some people gasping for breath in shock]. Me and protein bars? Much less. I’ve always considered these a) exclusive to body builders or b) anybody doing strength training. The way I see it I don’t fall in either category. Unless you’d count lugging around [way too] heavy bags every day weight-lifting. Hmmm …
Which didn’t bug me much because the protein bars available at stores around here are nasty. The only one I ever bought years ago – I can actually recall the time, brand and flavour of the bar – wasn’t awful in terms of taste. But it was a candy bar disguised as a healthy snack. The ingredient list: Sugar. Sugar. More sugar. Oh, and some protein. Processed soy-derived. Aren’t you getting hungry reading that?!
These? Are the opposite. Granted, that other bar won the award for appearance – how hard is it with a thick chocolate?! coating – but we already know it’s the inner values that count. Protein not only from the powder but the peanut flour and even in the chickpeas, too. A funny story or realization about those: I had my mind set on using salted peanuts here. -But-: you haven’t seen my overflowing cupboards yet. No unneccessary purchases for me.
So I went for the closest sub and – chickpeas. Before you turn up your nose or click away: Think about it. Chickpeas are legumes – as are peanuts. There isn’t much of a difference with that in mind. Clearly a case where peas [won] over nuts. And I’m nuts about those peas – my stash is dwindling by the day. If you’re still doubtful just let me tell you about the great texture and crunch they add to these bars …
A realization and my only regret about this recipe is my habit of preparing small batches. The one I prepared Saturday was meant to last me for the week. Yet there I was whipping up another pan a day later. I’m officially addicted. But it’s a good one.
Cinnamon Chickpea Crunch Protein Bars [about four generously-sized bars or more smaller ones]
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (20 g) [I used SunWarrior]
- 1/8 cup peanut flour [15 g]
- 1/8 cup coconut flour [15 g]
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon + additional for sprinkling on top
- 1/8 cup NuNaturals oat fibre OR psyllium husks* [15 g] OR oat bran*
- a pinch of salt [generous for me and any other fans of sweet-and-salty combinations]
- 1 tbsp NuNaturals Simple Syrup (could sub agave or honey)
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped dry-roasted salted chickpeas [20 g]
- about 1/2 cup non-dairy milk [I used coconut]
- 1/4 cup dried mulberries
- Optional [but actually mandatory] raw or 99% dark chocolate, chopped**
- Combine all dry ingredients.
- Stir in milk and syrup to combine. You’ll want to reach a slightly drier cookie dough texture.
- Put the mixture into a greased 8 x 8 inch baking dish and press down firmly.
- Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the top feels firm but not dried out.
- Take out of the oven and dust the top with additional cinnamon inmediately.
- Let cool before slicing into bars. These keep best in the fridge.
* These are gluten-free if using either psyllium husk or gluten-free oat bran. The texture is most cake-like with the oat fibre but still fine elsewise.
** This will add some sugar so omit if opting to stay all sugar-free.
One more note on the Simply Syrup in this recipe: it’s a new product by NuNaturals and this was my first time trying it. There may or may not be a giveaway coming up soon …
Because everybody – now even me – likes protein, bars and protein bars I’m sharing these with Gluten-Free Tuesdays, Strange but good, RecipeFriday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Recipe of the Week, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Real Food Recipes, Tasty Tuesdays, Healthy Vegan Friday and #glutenfreefridays.
Happiness-inducing today: An e-mail from a friend I hadn’t heard of in a while.
Stay in touch!
What’s your favourite kind of protein bar?
Chickpeas instead of nuts: Strange or awesome?
Have you made your own protein bars before?