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6 Homemade Vegan Energy Bars

Raise the Bar

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If you're stuck somewhere and need a nutritional pick-me-up, bars can be a great option. But they can also be expensive (costing upward of $5 depending on where you purchase them) and often include a ton of hard-to-pronounce ingredients. After experimenting with and tasting pretty much every vegan energy bar out there, searching for a cleaner, higher-protein bar that had ingredients I could actually say, it occurred to me that I could make them at home, save a bunch of money, and rest easy knowing where they came from.

Here are a few of my favorite super-easy and delicious recipes. These bars won't weigh you down, and they'll give you the energy you need to tackle your busy daily life. Most require no cooking, and all of them can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week or wrapped individually in parchment paper and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for any time you are on the go.

RELATED: For another portable meal, try these six satisfying vegan smoothies, each with at least seven grams of protein.

Chocolate Fig Bars with Sea Salt

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Serves: 6

Ingredients:
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup cup water
1 cup figs
4 scoops pea protein
6 tablespoons vegan dark chocolate chips
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
Sea salt

Directions:
1. In a Vitamix or food processor, blend pumpkin seeds and water for about 1 minute until smooth. Add figs and pea protein and blend again until smooth. Flatten mixture onto a cookie sheet and freeze for 35 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, using a double boiler, melt 3 tablespoons chocolate. Spread melted chocolate onto fig-protein mixture and place back in the freezer for 15 minutes. Melt remaining chocolate and coconut oil and mix well.
3. Take date mixture out of the freezer and cut into 6 even pieces. Dip each piece into melted chocolate and roll with hands to evenly distribute. Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt and place on a plate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before eating.

Nutrition score per serving: 208 calories, 6g fat (3g saturated), 21g carbs, 19g protein, 3g fiber

Apricot Oat Bars

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Serves: 6

Ingredients:
12 dried apricots
4 strawberries
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 scoops pea protein
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cup oats

Directions:
Blend 6 apricots, strawberries, water, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt in a blender or food processor 1 minute until smooth. Add protein powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Finely chop remaining 6 apricots and place in a mixing bowl with oats. Top with blended apricot mixture. Hand-mix ingredients until they are smooth. Place on a lined 8-by-8-inch cooking pan and spread mixture evenly. Freeze for 45 minutes. Remove from the freezer and cut into 6 even bars.

Nutrition score per serving: 278 calories, 8g fat (1g saturated), 30g carbs, 23g protein, 4g fiber

Carob Quinoa Bars

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Serves: 6

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup vegan carob chips
6 drops liquid sweetener of choice (such as stevia)
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup protein powder
1/4 cup flour of choice (such as spelt, whole-wheat, or gluten-free)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-by-5-inch baking pan lightly with cooking spray. In blender or food processor, combine quinoa, dates, carob, sweetener, tahini, flaxseed, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend until relatively smooth, about 1 minute.
2. In a small bowl, mix protein powder and flour. Fold dry mixture into wet mixture and use hands to mix thoroughly for 1 minute. Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake until firm, about 18 minutes. Let cool, then slice into 6 bars and serve.

Nutrition score per serving: 143 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated), 21g carbs, 5g protein, 4g fiber

Brown Rice Bars

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Serves: 6

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked brown rice
6 prunes
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup brown rice protein powder
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
Place all ingredients in food processor or blender and blend for 20 to 30 seconds. (For a smoother consistency, blend for about 1 minute). Spread mixture evenly into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper and freeze for 35 minutes. Remove from freezer and cut into 6 pieces. If you'd prefer a drier consistency, bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees after taking out of the freezer.

Nutrition score per serving: 210 calories, 7g fat (1g saturated), 31g carbs, 8g protein, 4g fiber

Raw Banana Nut Bars

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Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1/2 cup mashed banana
2 scoops raw vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup raw sliced almonds (or nut of choice)
2 tablespoons raw coconut flour
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon raw coconut sugar or desired sweetener (optional)

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth. Roll out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut into 4 pieces. Keep refrigerated.

 

Nutrition score per serving: 131 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated), 12g carbs, 14g protein, 3g fiber

Nutty, No-Bake Coconut Bars

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Serves: 8

Ingredients:
10 dates
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup chocolate protein powder (such as Sunwarrior Warrior Blend)
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Blend dates, pecans, protein powder, and coconut oil in a food processor or blender for 1 minute until smooth, scraping the sides as needed. Remove from blender and mix into a bowl with coconut flakes until coconut is evenly distributed.
2. Flatten into a parchment paper-lined 10-by-5-inch pan and place in the freezer for 35 minutes. Remove and cut into 8 even pieces.
3. Melt chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave and drizzle over squares. Refrigerate until chocolate firms, about 15 minutes.

Nutrition score per serving: 214 calories, 15g fat (9g saturated), 15g carbs, 5g protein, 2g fiber