Vegan Life | Recipes
One of my favorite flavor combinations is chocolate and peanut butter. Since I don't eat Reese's peanut butter cups anymore, I have to get my fix from other treats. Fortunately, peanut butter is a good vegan protein source. So with this recipe, I can have my flavors and get my protein too! (Feel free to substitute out the chocolate chips for nuts or dried fruit if chocolate's not your thing).
Recently I wrote about vegan protein and getting enough of each amino acid. If you haven't seen that post, you can find it here. Adding complete proteins to our diets can help us avoid amino acid deficiencies. While there aren't a lot of vegan foods that are naturally complete proteins, we can make our own complete proteins by combining protein from different sources. This recipe does exactly that.
These (delicious, easy, and quick) granola bars make use of hemp and chia seeds (complete proteins), rolled oats (from the grain category), and peanut butter (from the legume category). With this combination of ingredients, the amino acid profile of these granola bars is fairly balanced. And, they have less sugar than most grocery store brands.
The best part about these granola bars is how quick and easy they are to make. They take about 15 minutes of actual work, then they go in the freezer. And voila! You have mid-day snacks for a week (or more)!
This recipe makes (about) 12 granola bars.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup quick oats
6 tbsp. hemp seeds
3 tbsp. chia seeds
1/4 cup dried unsweetened coconut
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. vegan butter stick (such as Earth Balance)
1/4 cup agave
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt to taste (1/2 tsp. will give the granola bars a sweet & salty taste)
1/4 cup non-dairy mini chocolate chips
Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, hemp seeds, chia seeds, coconut, and cinnamon. Mix well.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt your vegan butter. Add in your agave and peanut butter, stirring as you add. Be careful, as these ingredients may burn if your heat is too high, or if you don't stir enough. Cook until the mixture starts to bubble (about 2 minutes), then remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
Slowly pour your wet ingredients into the oat mix and stir well. Your wet ingredients will act as glue to hold everything together. Every part of the dry mix should be coated with the peanut butter mixture.
Once your granola mixture has cooled a little, stir in your chocolate chips (you don't want them to melt!)
Spread your granola mix into the prepared pan. Then, using your hands, flatten the granola mix as much as you can. The more you push it together, the better it will hold together after you cut it!
Cover your pan and put it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
After your granola bars have cooled and hardened, use the parchment paper to lift them out of the pan, and place them on a cutting board. Cut them into 12 bars by cutting 6 rows, then cutting the rows in half.
Wrap them individually, in freezer bags, or place them in an airtight container, and store them in the freezer or refrigerator.
Chia seeds have a tendency to get stuck to your teeth when you eat them. So if I need these to-go, I often use extra hemp seeds in place of the chia seeds.
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