Clean Vegan Chocolate Cranberry Protein Bars – Gluten & Dairy-Free!

I am constantly on a mission to get enough protein and, often times, enough calories – especially on days I work out. You have to get the right fuel to get the best results! However, it’s very challenging to find a natural nutrition bar that’s gluten- and dairy-free and also has a high protein ratio. It seems that either it’s whey protein, low quality soy protein isolate, or it’s a straight up “nutrition bar” with next to no protein at all! I’ve seen many a bar that contains something like 9 grams of protein with 45 carbs and 350 calories. That’s a little too steep for me, especially considering most of the GFDF/Vegan options cost upwards of $2.50 per bar which adds up quickly!

In order to obtain a high enough protein ratio, this recipe requires you to use a clean plant-based protein powder, so be sure to choose an all-natural kind that tastes good! In addition to being high in protein, these bars are also packed full of antioxidants thanks to the addition of dried cranberries and organic raw cacao powder, a superfood! The recipe also has no added sugar (besides that in the cranberries). Woohoo!


Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Chocolate Cranberry Protein Bars

• 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
• 2 cups unsweetened coconut or other non-dairy milk, divided
• 6 scoops best-quality plant-based protein powder (I used vanilla flavored)
• 1/2 cup shredded coconut
• 1/4 cup organic raw cacao powder
• 5 tablespoons creamy almond butter
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 3 tablespoon golden flaxseed meal soaked in 1/2 cup water
• 1/4 cup organic whole dried cranberries, chopped

1. In a large bowl, mix 1 cup nut milk with the rolled oats. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until there’s no extra milk in the bottom of the bowl.
2.  Add in protein powder, shredded coconut, and cacao powder. Mix thoroughly, using a fork to blend out any lumps that form.
3. Add almond butter, stirring until thoroughly coated.
4. Add in 1 cup nut milk plus flaxseed/water mixture, combining all ingredients until wet. Mix in cranberries until evenly distributed.
6. Line a 13×9 pan with foil or parchment. Pour in protein bar “dough” evenly into the pan. Cover with saran wrap and press into the pan until level. Place in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes. Once chilled slice into 14 bars, wrapping each one with saran wrap for an easy grab-and-go snack to take with you throughout your week!

Since macros are such an important factor in any nutrition bar, I’ve broken this recipe out for you: 180 calories, 8g fat, 14g carbs, 3g fiber, 3g sugar, 15g protein. Please note this will change based on the macros of your protein powder and other ingredients used!

Do you incorporate protein bars into your daily intake? What do you normally look for in a protein bar?