There may be some decent packaged vegan energy bars on the market, but there is nothing like homemade.
These vegan energy bars are so easy to throw together, and the flavor combinations can be as creative as your imagination.
Often I will add dried tart cherries, slivered almonds or even some carob chips for sweetness. Anything goes!
You could also top them with some hemp seeds for added omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
Think of this recipe as the blank slate for your favorite add-ons.
Most commercial vegan energy bars are thought to be a healthy, quick, energizing food, but in reality, they contain many unhealthy ingredients.
Let's begin with sugar. One vegan energy bar can contain as much sugar as a candy bar. The next problem is fractionated oils.
Fractionated oils can contain nearly 90 percent saturated fat. Always check the amount of saturated fat on a commercial energy bar.
Next are protein isolates.
Isolated protein is found in nearly every commercial energy bar. Protein isolates are anything that has been separated from the original food.
For example, whey protein isolate is created by separating components from milk. Isolated proteins go through a chemical process for the manufacturers to isolate just the protein whether it is whey, soy or seeds.
Last is preservatives. Most commercial energy bars have preservatives so they can stay on the grocery shelf for long periods of time.
Preservatives are used to stop the browning and discoloration of foods. They have also been linked to allergies, cancer, and even neurological issues.
Now, let's break down the ingredients in our homemade energy bars.
Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3 fatty acid, a type of fat essential for brain function and memory. Omega-3 fatty acids also help reduce inflammation and lower your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
They also contains mega amounts of lignans. Lignans are antioxidants that support the immune system and are excellent for balancing hormone levels in the body.
Ground flaxseeds are also high in fiber.
Now on to the key ingredient – oats. Did you know oats contain more protein than most grains?
Oats are loaded with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidant plant compounds. They also contain a powerful soluble fiber called beta-glucan which helps reduce cholesterol levels, reduce blood sugar and insulin response and increases a feeling of fullness.
Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavonoids and dietary fiber. The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.
Even the cinnamon in this recipe has health benefits. Did you know cinnamon is a high source of antioxidants and contains anti-inflammatory properties? Cinnamon has also been proven to help defend agains cognitive decline and protects brain function.
So why buy a $2.00 or more vegan energy bars when you can economically and safely create your own nutrient-dense snack?
Thanks for joining me today. Hope you enjoy these vegan energy bars.
Don't miss any of Ordinary Vegan's recipes by signing up here.
Just getting started on a plant-based diet? Here is a free downloadable list of delicious vegan protein.
Vegan Energy Bars with Oats, Apples & Flaxseed
- 2 ground flax eggs*
- 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup of non-dairy unsweetened milk
- 1 large apple, peeled, seeded and coarsely grated
- 2 cups of oats
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 9 whole walnuts
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F
- Grease an 8 inch square baking pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Make the flax eggs by whisking together 2 tablespoons of ground flax with 5½ tablespoons water. Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes to thicken.
- Meanwhile in a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
- In another bowl whisk together all the wet ingredients including the flax eggs.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, spreading it out with a rubber spatula in an even layer.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the oatmeal is firm to the touch and lightly colored on top.
- Cut into 9 squares and serve warm or room temperature. Top each with a walnut.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated up to 3 days in an airtight container, or wrapped well and frozen up to 3 months.