Made with just six ingredients, these homemade snack bars are a healthy way to keep your body energized all afternoon.
After making my On the Trail Protein Bars last summer, I’ve been constantly experimenting with ways to tweak the recipe ever so slightly to make them even better. After many failed attempts at using different dried fruits, brown rice crisp cereal, and other sweeteners, I finally found a version that I actually love more than the original!
While none of the changes were earth-shatteringly different, it’s amazing how just a little change in a recipe can give you such a distinctly different product. To start, I cut back a bit on the protein powder as I know not everyone is down with the texture and taste of protein powder. Next, I nixed the dried fruit as I really wanted a more subtly sweet bar. But the most important change was swapping out the peanut butter for almond butter. Seriously, almond butter and maple syrup are meant to be. In fact, since making these bars I’ve started putting almond butter and maple syrup on my Sunday morning pancakes – you gotta try it 😉
These snack bars are definitely on the soft side and need to be stored in the fridge. However, if you want to add a little more texture, instead of pulsing all the cashews into tiny pieces, leave a few whole or in slightly larger pieces. For a chewier bar, instead of pulsing the oats into a flour, just pulse until they are in smaller pieces, almost like instant-oatmeal texture.
For the protein powder, I used my go-to Sun Warrior Vanilla powder. I love that it’s plant-based and easy on the stomach. Plus, the texture and taste is so much creamier than other protein powders. However, feel free to sub in other vanilla powders, just be sure to adjust the amount of almond milk accordingly as some protein powders soak up liquid more than others – and the last thing you want is a soggy protein bar. I recommend slowly stirring in the almond milk about 2 tablespoons at a time until you get a sticky consistency. Note: if you don’t mind the texture of protein powder and want a larger protein boost to your bars, go ahead and bump it back up to ½ cup of powder. You will likely need 1-2 extra tablespoons of milk to get the right consistency.
While I’ve been packing these bars for my 3pm snack at work, they would also be perfect to take on a road trip or as a quick grab-and-go breakfast along with a piece of fruit.
So here’s a toast to discovering the magic that is almond butter + maple syrup!
Healthy Maple Almond Snack BarsPrint Recipe
- 1.5 cups rolled oats
- 1/3 cup vanilla-flavored vegan protein powder*
- ½ cup unsalted cashews
- ½ cup natural almond butter
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- Up to ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (may need more or less depending on the type of protein powder you use)
- Optional pinch of salt
In food processor, pulse oats into a flour-like consistency then pour into a large mixing bowl.
Next, pulse cashews into small pieces and add to the large mixing bowl. Stir in vanilla protein powder and optional pinch of salt. Stir well to combine.
Stir maple syrup and almond butter into oat, cashew, and protein powder mix until well combined. Finally, pour in unsweetened almond milk, 2 tablespoons at a time, until you have a sticky cookie dough-like consistency.
Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper or foil. Pour mixture into prepared pan and use a rubber spatula to evenly distribute batter.
Place pan in the freezer for 15 minutes to harden. Remove from freezer and slice into 12 bars.
Store bars in fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Nutrition (1/12 of recipe): 164 calories, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 72 mg sodium, 16 g carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar, 7 grams protein *If you don’t mind the taste/texture of protein powder and want an extra protein boost, feel free to increase the protein powder amount to ½ cup and add another 1-2 tablespoons of almond milk.