Sweet, salty, chewy, and dense, these Trail Mix Protein Granola Bars make a super healthy, filling, and portable snack! They’re gluten free and vegan, and can easily be made nut free if needed.
Good morning, good morning from somewhere in the middle of the Pacific ocean! And by that I mean hi from juuuuuust off the coast of Vancouver.
We’re currently hanging out on the ferry, en route to Vancouver Island, and we’ve got one more long (and twisty) stretch ahead of us before we settle down in a condo by the ocean for a handful of days and just relax.
I’m so ready. Like… so ready. I love travelling, but living out of a car and staying in a new place every night gets a little tiring. The long drives, the constant packing and unpacking, the wifi dead zones, the lack of bathrooms and consistent, warm meals (!!)… it’s been tough. Or maybe I’m just getting old 😝
Either way! I’ve been super reliant on snacks over the past couple of days, and these chewy trail mix protein granola bars in particular have been a godsend…
I mean, just look.at.them!
They’re LOADED with awesome ingredients like oats, almond butter, pumpkin seeds, raisins, cranberries, and chocolate chips, plus a little bit of protein powder to give them some extra oomph. And if you don’t want to go the protein powder route? You can easily replace that with an equal amount of oats and have chewy trail mix granola bars instead.
Or if you don’t like/have pumpkin seeds, raisins, and/or almond butter? Swap them out with whatever you have on hand or whatever your favourite trail mix ingredients are! Sliced almonds or sunflower seeds for the pumpkin seeds, chopped apricots or dates for the raisins, peanut or sunflower seed butter for the almond butter… there are so many delicious possibilities. It all depends on what you like the most!
The only thing I recommend leaving in there is the chocolate chips. Everyone know that’s the best trail mix ingredient and the one that always disappears first.
Now there’s a question… what do you go for first when you’re hanging out with a nice big bag of trail mix? Or what are your non-negotiable, gotta-hafta-must be there ingredients?
For me, it’s chocolate and raisins. I could take or leave the nuts, seeds, and random crispies, but the chocolate and raisins are a must… which probably means I’d be perfectly content with a box of chocolate-covered raisins, but it’s nice to have options, ya know?
Actually, my perfect scenario would be something like 40% chocolate, 40% raisins, and 20% everything else. Yup. Sounds good.
But back to those bars!
I made these just before we left so that I’d have something to put up on Spoons while I was gone, and I lucked out big time because they ended up making the perfect road trip snack too.
They’re soft, chewy, dense, slightly salty, sweet, chocolatey, and super satisfying.
I made them gluten-free and vegan so that most people could enjoy them, and you could easily make them nut-free if you’re dealing with nut allergies by replacing the almond butter with sunflower seed or soy nut butter and the almond milk with another non-dairy milk like rice or soy.
They’re easy to make, easy to pack, and easy to store.
They’re basically perfect, and I hope you love them as much as we do (did)!
I’d love to know if you make this (or any!) recipe! Tag #runningwithspoons on Instagram and Twitter, and be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy and delicious recipes straight to your inbox!
- 1 1/2 cups (120 g) quick oats (GF if needed)
- 1/2 cup (40 g) protein powder*
- 2 Tbsp (14 g) ground flax
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup (64 g) almond butter**
- 1/4 cup (80 g) brown rice syrup (or honey)
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (70 g) pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup (80 g) dried fruit***
- 1/4 cup (45 g) mini dairy-free chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350F (176C) and line an 8x8 (20x20 cm) baking pan with a sheet of parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on the sides to allow for easy removal. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, protein powder, flax, and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the almond butter, syrup, almond milk, and vanilla, mixing until fully combined. Pour the wet mix into the dry ingredients and stir until fully incorporated. Finally, stir in the seeds, dried fruit, and chocolate chips.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared baking pan and use your hands to spread the mixture evenly in the pan, pressing down firmly.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the centre has set and the edges begin to turn golden brown. Remove the bars from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 20 minutes before cutting them into individual bars. Store them at room temperature for up to 5 days, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
** Feel free to use whichever nut/seed butter you like the most.
*** I used a mix of raisins and dried cranberries, but you could really use any dried fruit that you love. Just make sure to chop bigger ones like dates or apricots into smaller pieces.
Click here for nutrition facts.
Looking for more healthy snack bar recipes? Try one of these!
What are your must-have ingredients in trail mix?
What do you find is the hardest part about travelling?
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