Soft, chewy, dense, and satisfying, these cookie dough protein granola bars are something you can really sink your teeth into. Packed with plenty of protein and fiber, they make a perfect healthy snack. Gluten-free, refined sugar-free, vegan, and crazy delicious!
Home, sweet home!
Well… almost home sweet home. I’m currently writing this on the plane ride back from Blend, missing friends but looking forward to settling back into my comfy, cozy routine. And bed. And kitchen. And wifi zone. I mean… I love travelling, and this past weekend was tonnes of fun, but it’s always nice to get yourself back on home turf, ya know? Especially when home turf includes a pantry and fridge.
I don’t know what you guys do when you get home, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to be making a beeline straight for the kitchen as soon as I walk through the door so that I can get some fresh food in my belly. A weekend of nonstop snacking on cereals, crackers, breads, and bars will do that to ya.
But I can’t exactly speak badly of cereals and bars since they’re what get me through the majority of my trips.
Allergies make it a little difficult to eat out, and I can’t exactly travel with a trip-long supply of home cooked meals stuffed into my suitcase, so snacks are where it’s at when I’m out and about… and I was especially thankful to be able to snack on these cookie dough protein granola bars this past weekend.
I know, I know. It’s a little crazy to bring homemade bars to a retreat like Blend where the snack bars flow like water, but I don’t think I’ve ever come across a bar that wasn’t made with peanuts and/or traces of peanuts… which isn’t exactly useful for someone with a peanut allergy.
I mean… as much as I like exploring new cities, I don’t have much of an interest in seeing the ER units of the hospitals there. And because I don’t like feeling left out of all the deliciousness, I make my own tasty snacks…
These bars are a spin-off combination of my chocolate chip cookie dough bars and my popular soft and chewy protein granola bars. After all the experimenting I did with those cookie dough bars, I wanted to see if I could pack in some extra nutrition that’d be useful for travelling and/or working out, so I swapped the flour for some extra oats and added in some protein powder to make cookie dough protein granola bars.
Just like their parent recipes, these granola bars are soft, chewy, dense, doughy, and super satisfying — a bar you can really sink your teeth into. They’re also gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan as long as you use a plant-based protein powder and dairy-free chocolate chips; and the granola bar recipe they’re based off is one of my favourites that I’ve made countless batches of, so I hope you love them as much as I do!
- 1 cups quick oats, ground into a flour*
- 1 cup quick oats**
- ½ cup vanilla protein powder***
- 1/2 cup Medjool dates, pitted (about 6 large dates)
- ¼ cup almond butter (or any nut butter)
- ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 - ⅓ cup dairy-free mini chocolate chips
- Place dates in a small bowl and cover with enough hot water to fully submerge them. Set aside and let sit for about 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350F and prepare an 8x8 baking dish by lining it with a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on the sides to allow for easy removal. Spray foil with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine oat flour, oats, and protein powder. Set aside.
- Drain the dates and place them in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until they begin to turn into a smooth paste before adding almond butter, almond milk, and vanilla. Continue processing until ingredients are fully combined and mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Pour wet mix into dry mix and stir until fully incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Transfer dough to the prepared baking pan, and use a spatula or your hands to spread the mixture evenly in the pan.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until edges begin to turn golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool in pan before cutting into bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
** Make sure to use certified gluten-free oats if you need to make these gluten-free.
*** Use your favourite protein powder, but make sure that you like the taste since it'll be quite prominent in these bars.
Looking for more healthy granola bar recipes? Try one of these!
What food/meal do you miss the most when you’re away from home?
Where was the last place you travelled to?