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After an absurd amount of trial and quasi-disastrous error, I’ve managed to come up with a vegan keto protein bar that not only tastes delicious, but doesn’t require the use of a protein powder. Protein powders just aren’t for everyone (I totally get it), so it can be kind of a pain when you see a recipe that calls for the use of one, especially in a low carb vegan recipe, as there are only a few low carb vegan protein powders out there….and boy, they are expensive.
Also expensive are processed, ready-to-buy, low carb vegan protein bars. While convenient, these also often rely on protein powders and soy to boost their macros, while also usually containing a lot of nuts. For those of us with nut or soy allergies/sensitivites, it can be almost impossible to find a decent bar that doesn’t also cost $3 a pop. I’m all for spending a little more than the average bear on foods, but I’m really not into the concept of spending $30 or more per week just to get some more protein in my diet. So, like basically every post on this blog, the solution came through some recipe creation.
These bars have 8.3g of protein and just 1.4g of net carbs per serving while being gluten free, nut free and soy free, which is pretty darn amazing. They also happen to be pretty easy to whip together, and have a pleasantly chewy texture. While keto isn’t traditionally a protein-focused diet, it’s sometimes nice to have a convenient source of tasty protein ready to go, especially if you’re a little sick of eating straight nuts and seeds to meet your quota.
Notes on Making Low Carb Vegan Protein Bars
- I baked these, but you could also form them into the little bar shapes and dehydrate them overnight to make them raw (you’ll want to be sure you use raw cacao powder in that case).
- If you aren’t sold on psyllium husks, you could try mixing 2 tbsp of ground flaxseed in with the water, and letting the gel form by letting it sit for about 5-10 minutes before adding it in to the dry ingredients.
- Be sure you use raw seeds for this, as you are going to be baking them!
- I buy my seeds whole, and grind them up as I need them. This prevents them from going rancid as quickly. I also store them in the fridge for the same reason!
- If you wanted to add some additional flavors to these, you could mix in 2 tbsp of any of the following: instant espresso powder, unsweetened coconut flakes, peanut butter, dehydrated berries, vegan cream cheese. Just keep in mind that every addition will change the macros a bit!
- If you want a little extra flavor without the extra cals/carbs, you could add in 1 tsp of any extract of your choice – I especially recommend hazelnut, almond or peppermint.
- I topped mine with peanut butter, but they’re equally delicious plain!
These chocolate low carb vegan protein bars are gluten free, nut free and soy free and contain just 1.4g of net carbs per serving!
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 3/4 cup raw hemp hearts
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp psyllium husks
- sweetener to taste (I used about 2 tbsp of granulated, sugar-free sweetener, but 1/4 tsp of liquid stevia should do the trick as well!)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup of water
- Preheat oven to 350F, and grind all of your seeds into a flour-like texture. I tend to leave the sunflower seeds a bit chunky to add some interest.
- Mix together all the dry ingredients, until thoroughly combined.
- Stir in the water, and let the mixture sit until a pretty thick dough forms.
- Spread on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat, and flatten into a rectangular shape that is about 1/4" thick all the way across.
- Bake for 45 minutes, removing the tray around 30 minutes, and using a knife to score the bars into 8 equal pieces before returning for another 15 minutes.