Chickpea protein bars: what a brilliant idea, right? Protein bars are usually expensive and have a mile-long ingredient list, but when you can make them in your own kitchen with mostly whole-food ingredients, they get significantly simpler and more affordable. Chickpeas, which make up the base of this recipe, are less than $1 per can!
People generally believe that high doses of protein after a workout are necessary for stimulating muscle growth, but according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a mere 15 grams will have this effect, and there is no greater advantage with consuming 40+ grams of protein after a workout. Many people neglect carbohydrates after a workout and are only focused on getting protein, but post-workout carbohydrate intake is totally important for replenishing glycogen stores and refueling muscles. These bars contain about 13 grams of protein each, so combine with a higher-carb side like milk or juice for a balanced and beneficial post-workout snack.
Alexis of Hummusapien gets all the credit for this stellar recipe. She’s the queen of plant-based bars and bites, and I’d recommend any of her creations.
When making this recipe, make sure to use a protein powder you like as the bars will certainly take on the flavor. I used this one.
- 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 6 medjool dates or 9 deglet noor dates
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 scoops unflavored protein powder (any unsweetened version will do)
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2-4 tablespoons water
- Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine the chickpeas, dates, peanut butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor and blend until very smooth.
- Add the protein powder, maple syrup, hemp seeds, and chia seeds and blend again. Add water sparingly, if needed, to help the mixture begin to come together in a dough ball. The dough may be slightly sticky but should not be wet to the touch. If the mixture ends up too wet, add a little more protein powder.
- Press the dough into the parchment-lined pan. Freeze for 30 minutes before cutting into bars. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer as they will become soft at room temperature.
- SR Clients: 1 bar = Level 1 (50%) snack. Add ¼ cup nuts or 12 oz. milk or juice to make a Level 2 (100%) snack.
If you make this recipe or any others, don’t forget to share on Instagram using @strongrootsnutrition so I can check out your creations!