These homemade protein bars are full of oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, making for a figure and animal-friendly snack you can enjoy after a workout or as an energy snack during the day.
A lot of protein bars out there may be packed with protein but are often heavily processed and full of hard-to-digest whey, sugar, flavorings, colorants, and other unnatural additives. The only true way to know what is going into the protein bar you nosh on is to make it yourself!
These homemade protein bars are sweetened with banana and maple syrup. Dried apricots add a caramel-like aroma and taste that will excite your senses. Meanwhile, the nuts and seeds offer your body healthy fats and act as a vegan source of protein. Make sure the oats you use as the base are gluten-free, so you can ensure the oat benefits without the gluten. If you don’t have a gluten sensitivity, regular organic oats are fine, and often more affordable.
The combination of ingredients in this protein bar recipe work lovely together, but you can always take out and sub in other like ingredients. For example, you can swap any of the nuts in this recipe with hazelnuts or macadamias. Instead of dried apricots, consider dried figs, cranberries, or raisins. Experiment until you find the ultimate protein bar recipe catered completely to your preferences.
Meanwhile, take note that this recipe doesn’t direct you to chop any of the nuts or seeds, opting for a chunky and full texture. If you prefer a more uniform consistency, chop the nuts and seeds before adding them to the mix.
Vegan and Gluten-Free Apricot & Oat Homemade Protein Bars
- 1.5 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- ¾ cup almonds
- ½ cup chopped dried apricots
- ½ cup pistachios, shelled
- 1/3 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 mashed banana
- 1 cup almond butter
Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper, making sure the paper goes over the edges. In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, apricots, pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. Mix. Fold in the maple syrup and mashed banana until evenly combined. Add the almond butter and fold until evenly combined. Place the mixture into the baking dish and spread evenly across the dish with a spatula. Pat down the top of the mixture until firmly set. Place the dish into the freezer for about an hour. Remove and cut into 14-18 bars. Separate the bars and place them into a container for storage. Keep in the fridge or freezer.
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Healthy Homemade Bars image via Shutterstock