Raw Vegan Cacao Crunch Protein Bar
Seeds and nuts are a vital part of our diet – or should be for some. You probably have been told to avoid nuts and seeds due to their high fat and caloric content but don’t underestimate these powerful little gems. Both are high in fiber, antioxidants like Vitamin E and mono saturated heart healthy fats (unsaturated) that help keep our bodies healthy and disease free. They are a great source of plant based protein, minerals, zinc and can even help you lose weight! Munching on them throughout the day or adding them to your meals, like salads and smoothies, help to keep you full longer and aid with keeping your sugar levels down.
Personally, I love eating seeds and nuts in their natural raw form and preferably organic to benefit from their full nutritional components. It’s the best way to derive nutrition because once exposed to heat through roasting or heating, they can produce toxic substances and the essential oils, vitamins and minerals are mostly denatured.
But “bird food” doesn’t have to be boring. These bars are full of seeds, can be made without nuts too, and is a delicious way to nutritionally chirp throughout your busy day! I used the best of the best in this recipe: hemp hearts, raw almonds, raw pumpkin seeds, raw sunflower seeds, chia seeds and ground flax meal (from flax seeds).
If you’re allergic to nuts, you can omit the almonds and replace it with more hemp hearts if you wish and the almond butter can be replaced with sunflower seed butter or maybe something stick like brown rice syrup (go easy with it though!)
What you’ll need:
1 tbsp of organic virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp of all natural almond butter (unsweetened)
2 tbsp of vanilla almond milk or other non dairy milk (unsweetened)
1/3 cup of pure unsweetened dark cacao chocolate or vegan unsweetened carob chips (homemade is the best way!)
To quickly make your own homemade chocolate: 1/2 raw cacao or carob powder + 1/2 organic coconut oil + 1 tbsp of raw cacao butter (can omit)
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract (alcohol free)
2 tbsp of pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp of chia seeds
2 tbsp of hemp hearts/seeds
1/4 cup of sunflower seeds
1/4 cup of raw sliced almonds
2 tbsp of ground flax meal
2-3 scoops of vegan brown rice protein powder (or hemp powder or more hemp hearts)
1/4 cup of xylitol or stevia to naturally sweeten
Dash of cinnamon
In a small sauce pan, on a low setting, heat the coconut oil, almond butter and almond milk. Remove from heat once it starts to bubble a bit. Add the chocolate and mix. Let stand for a few minutes and then whisk until melted and nicely smooth. Add the vanilla and cinnamon.
You can pulse the pumpkin seeds and chia seeds in a blender to make a course meal but I like my bars really crunchy so sometimes I skip this step. Add the seeds, almonds and ground flax meal to the melted cacao mixture. Combine thoroughly. Add protein powder and sweetener. Mix it up!
Spread on parchment paper using a spatula or into a rectangular or squared bread pan and evenly distribute. Chill until set. Cut into desired bar shapes Individually wrap the bars and keep refrigerated. Grab and go when you please! x
Some more yummy protein and snack bar options from my blog:
Healthy Breakfast Protein Fudge Bars (Homemade)
Super Granol-Oat Nut Butter Bars (Homemade)
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