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This year I’ve finally managed to kick my dependence on store-bought protein bars. It’s not that I have anything against them, so much as I found myself really relying on them and eating 1-2 per day. This adds up fast. One of my new year’s resolutions was to eliminate protein bars from my grocery shops altogether and figure out a way to make some tasty ones at home. These vegan keto maple granola bars are one example of the ways I’ve been getting some extra protein into my day, without breaking the bank.
Like a lot of protein-rich low carb vegan recipes, these bars rely on pepitas and hemp seeds for those aminos. Both are readily available now in most supermarkets but can also be purchased online. If you happen to be in the group of people who can’t find hemp seeds where you live, you can replace them with sunflower seeds, sesame seeds or flax seeds. Keep in mind that this will change the nutritional profile of these breakfast bars, though!
While this recipe does utilize a specific sugar-free maple syrup from Lakanto, you don’t actually have to include it if you don’t want to! Check out the notes below for a substitution. These bars contain only 1.6g of net carbs each, while serving up 3g of fiber and 7.7g of protein. They are also nut-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, egg-free, dairy-free and provide more than 70% of the recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids per serving. Not too bad for something so delicious!
Notes on Making Vegan Keto Maple Granola Bars (nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free)
- This recipe calls for a sugar-free maple syrup. It’s the brand I’ve found that works best for baking, and doesn’t upset my stomach. You can save 15% if you shop on their site using the code MeatFreeKeto.
- If you don’t have any at the ready (or really hate the taste of maple – how dare you), you can sub the 2 tbsp of maple syrup for 1 tbsp water + 2 tbsp granulated sweetener (like erythritol), plus maybe vanilla extract.
- If your syrup isn’t thick enough and doesn’t seem to be holding the bars together, you can either try adding a little more, or adding in some granulated sweetener (so it holds together when baked).
- Cinnamon is just about my favorite thing in the whole world, but if it’s not yours, you can easily remove it from the ingredients.
- The seed blend I used here is just a preference. These seeds were all picked because of their high protein content, but aren’t integral to the structure of the recipe. Any seed here can be substituted for pretty much any other seed, or even nuts.
- If you want more protein, you could replace the sesame seeds with an equal amount of additional hempseeds.
- Nutrition information was calculated using the USDA values for generic brands of the seeds and coconut flour, as well as the Lakanto brand of sugar-free maple syrup. You may calculate different values if using different brands.
- Remember to subtract the grams of sugar alcohols from your recipe in order to calculate net carbs! If your carb count in MFP (or whatever app you use to track) seems much higher than it should be, it’s probably because these apps often do not track sugar alcohols separately, and instead lump them into total carbohydrates.
Vegan Keto Maple Granola Bars (nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free)
- Preheat your oven to 350F (177C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir all the ingredients together until the mixture is fairly homogeneous.
- Scoop the seed mixture onto the parchment paper and form it into the shape of bars. I made mine about 1cm thick, so baking time is based on that thickness. (You can make it into one long loaf, but it's harder to cut into bars, as they tend to fall apart.)
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges are golden and the top is solid to the touch. Check them at 20 minutes - if are still soft in the center, you need to bake this a little longer.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes before removing from the pan. If you don't wait for them to cool, they will fall apart!
- You can store these in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days. Avoid keeping them in the fridge, as they will absorb some of the moisture, and become soft.