Holy espresso chip batman, these bars are amazeballs and contain 10g of protein and 4.5g of fiber for only 245 calories and 4g of sugar! I dare you to find a comparable protein bar in the store (spoiler: you won’t. They are all loaded with sugar.) Plus, the majority of the fats in this bar are healthy unsaturated fats (think omega-3s, polyunsats, and monounsats!) from heart-healthy nuts, seeds, and oats.
I just… I don’t even know how to begin to transcribe the taste of these slices of heaven. Should I start with the gooey, rich chocolate? Or perhaps the way the taste of espresso permeates the dense oats? Or maybe I should begin by describing the way that chopped walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds add an airy crunch to the multifaceted texture of these bars? Or how the hints of cinnamon unite chocolate chips and freshly ground coffee in mocha paradise? It’s like a Bonk Breaker Espresso Chip Bar… but better. Chewy oats, crunchy nuts and seeds, rich chocolate, and smooth espresso. Earthy, grainy, sweet, savory. It’s a granola, it’s a protein bar, it’s a dessert, it’s an edible mocha latté, it’s a powerhouse of nutrition, it’s…. the Gluten-Free, Vegan Chocolate Espresso Protein Bar.
2 cup gluten free rolled oats
¼ cup brown rice flour
2 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbsp flax seeds
¼ tsp sea salt
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup Plant Fusion Cookies n Creme Protein Powder
3 tbsp ground coffee
1 tsp brown sugar
¾ cup unsweetened plain almond milk
¼ cup epsresso almond butter
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup vegan chocolate chips
Serving Size: ~12 bars
Time: 10-15 minutes prep, 25 minutes baking at 350ºF
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
2. In a large bowl, combine your dry ingredients: rolled oats, brown rice flour, chia seeds, flax seeds, sea salt, cinnamon, protein powder, ground coffee, and brown sugar. Mix well.
3. In a separate bowl, combine your wet ingredients: almond milk, almond butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Whisk well until almond butter incorporates with maple syrup and milk, forming a lovely, gooey almond butter syrup.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Fold in ½ cup of vegan chocolate chips.
5. Line a medium-sized baking pan with parchment paper. Using a large spoon, scrape the bar “batter” into the pan and spread out evenly using the back of the spoon.
6. Place in the oven and cook for 25 minutes. Chocolate should be melty, oats should be lightly toasted, and the bars should be firm yet springy to the touch.
7. Let cool for 10 minutes, remove the slab o’ protein bars from the baking pan and place on a cooling rack for at least another 10 minutes. Be sure the bars have cooled before cutting to ensure that the bars won’t break or crumble when cut. Cut into desired number of bars (I divided my slab into 12 bars).
Start by measuring your dry ingredients- 2 cups of certified gluten free rolled oats, 2 tbsp chia seeds, 3 tbsp flax seeds, ¼ cup of brown rice flour, 3 tbsp of ground coffee beans, ¼ tsp sea salt, 1 tsp brown sugar, and 1 tsp cinnamon.
Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
Measure 1 cup of walnuts and briefly place them into a food processor or chop them by hand. Add to the other dry ingredients.
Grab your favorite protein powder. I used 2 scoops (roughly ½ cup) of Plant Fusion’s Cookies and Creme protein powder- this is my absolute favorite brand of plant-based protein, and it tastes divine. Plant Fusion is rich with plant-based protein complete with all essential amino acids provided by quinoa, amaranth, yellow peas, and globe artichoke. This protein powder contains Bromelain and Alpha-Galactosidase, which aids digestion (no more bloated protein belly!). Plus, the cookies and creme flavor really added an extra hint of chocolate and creaminess.
Mix together all the dry ingredients in your large bowl.
Now, onto the wet ingredients: ¾ cup unsweetened plain almond milk, ¼ cup of almond butter, ¼ cup of maple syrup, and 1 tsp pure vanilla extract. I found a miraculous treat at the Co-Op the other day- Vanilla Espresso Almond Butter… I couldn’t believe my eyes. With coffee grounds swirled in rich almond butter, it was the perfect addition to these Chocolate Chip Espresso bars. However, you can use whatever almond butter you have on hand, as this delight is a tough find! My favorite almond butter is Justin’s Honey Almond Butter, mmm. You can use any plant-based milk you prefer, but I enjoy almond milk the most, particularly Silk’s unsweetened original- tastes the best and has the least amount of sugar.
Combine all of your wet ingredients and whisk or mix by hand until the almond butter thins out in the maple syrup and forms a fluid yet viscous glue for your protein bars.
Add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients. Mix by hand very well to ensure all the oats and flour are incorporated into the bar batter.
Grab ½ cup of your favorite vegan chocolate chips and fold into your batter. I used these Chocolate Dream Semi-Sweet baking chips, and they were a rich, gooey, and delightfully melty addition to my protein bars!
Using a large spoon or spatula, spread your bar batter into a baking pan lined with parchment paper and spread out evenly.
Bake for 25 minutes at 350ºF. Remove, take a big whiff of the oaty cinnamony, vanilla-y mocha magic. Let cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes. Remove the slab from the pan and cool on a cooling rack for another 10-15 minutes (this will help prevent your bars from cracking or crumbling when you cut them). Cut your slab into your desired number/size of power protein bars!
Sample one… just one… Close your eyes and savor this delicious creation full of protein, fiber, and omega-3s . They’re delicious, but they’re so filling that they keep you from going crazy and chowing down! I ate one bar and was satisfied for hours! And, now, let us commence the gallery of food porn…