I have a love for sweet carb-y goodness that fuels me up without making me feel sugared out. Something that will appease my sweet truth, but also make me feel like I’ve eaten real food. That’s why I love things like VVegan Banana Bread, Blueberry Flax Muffins, and Chocolate-Dipped Nut-Butter Stuffed Dates. And now these Chewy Vegan Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Protein Bars.
These are made with a secret ingredient – chickpeas! Now, before you abandon this post convinced I’ve gone mad, I promise you can’t really taste them. This is not a sweetened hummus bar (though I’d probably be down to eat that too). This is a neutral-based soft baked bar that is packed with protein, fiber, and flavor.
I’ve done the whole bean-based cookie dough thing before, and enjoyed it quite a bit. Only recently did I think “hey, maybe this will taste good baked!” So here we are.
I should mention that these do not taste like a rich (vegan) Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookie. Because that’s not the point of these. Instead of a dessert, these are more of like a soft-baked granola-bar-type snack. And I believe there’s a time and place for both.
These are a perfect mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. They are hearty, wholesome, and vegan and gluten-free. The chickpeas, rolled oats, and nut butter pack a satisfying punch, and the chocolate chips and almond extract tingle the tastebuds.
Now: you cannot, I repeat: you cannot omit the extract(s). This is really want makes the bean flavor fall into the backdrop of the flavor profile. I used almond exclusively, mainly because real vanilla extract is currently out of my budget, and I am aversive to the use of artificial vanilla flavor. But don’t forget your vanilla extract, almond extract, coconut extract -or whatever floats your boat.
I added chopped dates + nuts to mine, but you can totally skip this step over these if you’d like. Shredded coconut or raisins could be fun too.
Anyways, I hope you make these and I hope you love them. I’m currently eating one as I type up this post. Along with a mug of hot chocolate because the air feels a touch like fall today so this whole snack situation just feels so right. Feel free to leave me a comment or holler on Insta. Have a lovely weekend, friends and fam.
Chewy Vegan Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Protein Bars
Active Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: ~15 minutes
Servings: one 9×9 sheet cake
- 1 16-ounce can of chickpeas or white beans, drained (save the aquafaba for another use)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons ground flax (can omit if desired)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup peanut or other nut butter
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey, OR 3/4 cup brown sugar + 1 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract (can sub vanilla)
- 1/4 cup applesauce or pumpkin purée
- 1/4 cup chopped dates (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a 9×9 sheet pan or 9-inch round pan with oil or melted non-dairy butter.
- Drain and rinse beans (reserve aquafaba for another use). Place beans in a food processor or blender along with rolled oats. Add flax, salt, baking soda, nut butter, syrup, flavor extracts, and applesauce, and process until well-mixed.
- Transfer dough to a bowl and add chopped dates and nuts (if desired), and chocolate chips. Stir until combined.
- Transfer dough into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
- Place bars in the oven for 15-25 minutes, until lightly golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bars is clean upon insertion and removal.
- Allow to cool and enjoy. I find these keep/taste best in and out of the freezer.