Vegan protein bars recipe made with hemp seeds; no protein powder here!
My endeavors to get my toddler to eat protein are never-ending. Mamas, are you with me?
If you’re new, let me fill you in: my kid struggles to eat any source of protein beyond eggs. However, she will eat salmon (have you seen my kid-friendly salmon fish sticks in my 3-ingredient recipe collection for toddlers?), and she adores shrimp for one reason: they’re PINK! But that’s where it ends.
Remember my protein smoothies for kids? Thanks for not judging me when I put frozen peas into a smoothie, by the way! I even crammed the power of grass-fed gelatin into some healthy fruit snacks out of desperation for my kid to consume protein.
My kid eats by color, which is amazing. She adores green veggies, orange bell peppers, corn and purple tomatoes. But, the calories in vegetables aren’t nearly high enough for a growing toddler. I’m always looking for sneaky ways to get more protein in her diet. I’ve been sprinkling hemp seeds on her food lately, and she’s not resisting it!
The last time I came close to making a healthy protein-rich snack that my daughter would beg for was my omega 3 chocolate energy bites. Heck, even I would beg for those! So good! And so easy!
But last week, I developed this homemade vegan protein bars recipe. I used the power of hemp seeds for protein.
There’s a full half-cup of hemp hearts in these bars! Depending on how many bars you cut these into, 8 bars would give 1 tablespoon of hemp per bar, or about 3 grams of protein per bar! That’s a pretty good amount for not using protein powders, like most commercial bars do.
I just learned from my friend Kacie that the number of grams of protein they need a day is equal to half of their body weight. Camille needs about 15 grams of protein a day, and if she starts with a scrambled egg, enjoys cheese in her lunch, and these vegan protein bars recipe for a snack, she’s well on her way to meeting her goal before dinner. My little vegetarian babe!
She’s happy because these bars are soft and chewy due to the rice crispies mixed with the quick-cooking oats. She’s also happy because I judiciously sprinkled mini chocolate chips on top. I’m filing these under my Baby Food Recipes section, but they’re so good that all the adults in this house ate half of the pan. Oops!
My vegan protein bars recipe is:
-made without protein powder (only because I never keep it in the house)
– soft and easy for kids to chew
-made with quick-cooking oats for fiber
-made with honey, but if you’re a strict vegan, maple syrup works great
-cut with a few rice crispies to keep them crisp and soft for little ones
-made with these raw hemp hearts that I love so much
The mini chocolate chips on top are entirely optional, but in my house, they make the disappear. I hope you love these bars, and enjoy that they are entirely no-bake! They pack great into a lunch box.
Here’s a sample of Camille’s lunch box that week that came home entirely empty!
At first I was surprised she ate the salami since it’s meat, but then I realized it’s PINK, hah! Also pictured: baby carrots (she likes them with homemade ranch but I forgot to pack it on this day), baby tomatoes from our garden, and cotton candy grapes. The center circle has a cut-up pitted date, one prune and one gummy vitamin. I cut the vegan protein bars in half to make it easier for her to eat.
If you have any secret ways to get your kiddos to eat protein, please let me know!
Yields 8 bars
Homemade protein bars recipe with hemp seeds!
10 minPrep Time
5 minCook Time
15 minTotal Time
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup)
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon pink salt
- 2 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1 cup rice krispies
- 1/2 cup hemp hearts
- 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
- First, line an 8x8" square pan with parchment paper, leaving excess paper on the sides to use as handles for removing the bars.
- In a small sauce pan, combine the coconut oil, honey and dark brown sugar. Heat over medium heat and stir until melted and homogenous, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
- Meanwhile, stir together the oats, rice krispies and hemp hearts. Pour the coconut oil mixture over the dry mixture, and stir until well-mixed.
- Press the mixture firmly into the pan. Refrigerate the bars until set, about 1 hour.
- Slice into desired slices and serve. Store in the refrigerate for up to 5 days.