I’m a total sucker for a vegan protein bar. I don’t buy into the myth that a vegan diet leaves you lacking protein (my protein sources are definitely more varied than before) and I know there’s nothing magical about this particular macronutrient, especially not in a highly-processed form and shiny wrapper (ok, maybe there’s something about the shiny wrapper). Yet I still find myself reaching for any new product that comes my way – probably subliminally programmed by years of pro-protein messaging and the allure of the tasty flavors touted on the packaging.
However, when I tried some peanut protein bites the other day, I was struck by how easily I could make my own version – just as delicious (more, as I can confirm now 🙂 ) and without any stabilizers or other dodgy ingredients. The end result are these super easy Peanut Protein bites – the only “fussy” ingredient being peanut powder (for more information on it and a possible substitution see the notes below). This is a recipe that’s already becoming a staple – after all, it’s never not a good time for a tasty little protein bite!
I don’t normally calculate the macros of my recipes, but out of curiosity I checked out the protein in these babies. According to my calculations, each Protein Bite has ca. 7.3 g of protein, which is pretty good considering they’re smaller than a generic protein bar. Eat two (easily done 🙂 ) and you’re looking at almost 15g. Whether or not you’re interested in a little protein boost, they’re definitely a delicious (and nutritious) treat. Hope you enjoy!
Vegan Peanut Protein Bites
Makes: 8 Protein Bites
- 10 tbsp creamy peanut butter (unsalted, unsweetened)*
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseeds (you can buy them ground)
- 4 tbsp unflavored vegan protein powder**
- 4 tbsp peanut powder***
- 3 tbsp date syrup****
- pinch of salt
- ca. 80g dark chocolate (I used 90%, feel free to experiment!)
- optional: 1 tsp ground vanilla bean; hemp seeds, crushed peanuts or freeze-dried raspberries as a topping
* It shouldn’t be too dry or will require extra liquid or completely runny. Natural peanut butter tends to be very creamy and (at least if you haven’t yet reached the bottom of the jar) not too dry.
** I used Alver Golden Bean Protein made of mung beans. Rice protein should also work well. Try for something neutral – the flavor will come from the peanutty ingredients and the chocolate.
*** This is basically peanut flour / ground peanuts with the fat removed, making it higher in protein. The one I use is the Pure Peanut by Peanut Butter & Co. (a US brand). I saw you can get a very similar product in the UK (like this PB&ME one, which contains only organic peanuts). If you want to try the recipe but can’t get your hands on peanut flour, I would suggest simply using more protein powder. To compensate for the slight loss in flavor, a (peanut)-flavored protein powder would be ideal. I haven’t tried this yet, but could imagine it would work too. Definitely let me know if you give it a go!
**** I get my date syrup from Dattelmann (international shipping), along with the dates themselves. I’ve been using them for years and only recently started collaborating with them. If you want to try any of their products, you can use the discount code “blueberry15” for 15% off non-discounted items.
- In a bowl combine all of the ingredients except the chocolate, i.e.: the peanut butter, ground flaxseeds, protein powder, powdered peanut, date syrup and salt (and vanilla, if using). I find it easiest to start with a spoon and then combine by hand.
- Press the mixture down into a square tin (can be a loaf tin or a tupperware) and leave to set in the fridge (alternatively the freezer if you’re short on time).
- Melt the chocolate on low heat.
- Remove the set protein mass and slice into equal squares or small bars. Place in the melted chocolate with two forks and coat evenly. Place on baking parchment and continue with the others. Sprinkle any topping on while the chocolate is still melted (e.g., hemp seeds, crushed peanuts, dried raspberries, etc.).
- Once all the bites are covered, place them in the fridge to set. Tip: Use up any extra chocolate by stirring in dried fruit and chopped nuts and also placing on the baking paper to set. I love dried cranberries with walnuts and pistachios – perfect chocolate bark!
Feel free to tag @blueberrysmiles22 if you share your creations on instagram, so I can share in the joy 🙂