All your friends have been telling you that plant protein is the way to go. So you decide to give it a shot. The next day, you bite into a plant-based protein bar, chew once, and grimace.
Are they always chalky and bland? Is this what clean eating is like? After a bad experience, you could be forgiven for wondering if any plant-based protein bars actually taste good.
These days, plant-based protein bars come in many shapes and sizes—and not all of them are as tasty (or healthy) as advertised. While lots really do taste amazing, many are also loaded up on refined sugars and other additives that load on calories without any nutritional benefit. Other “healthy” plant protein bars are cooked or processed in ways that break down the vital nutrients in their superstar ingredients.
So where can a health-conscious shopper catch a break? You’re craving a bar that’s filling, delicious, and overflowing with healthy plant proteins. One solution is to make them yourself. You’ll know exactly what goes into them. Another is to buy pre-made bars that have all the ingredients you love at home.
Here are three styles of protein bars that all taste fantastic—and the ingredients you’ll want to scope out for your DIY recipe or on the package at the store.
What’s In the Best Plant-Based Protein Bars?
All plant-based bars need some sort of a base. Oats and sunflower seeds are a great place to start. Then you can get your salty and your sweet in natural, raw, organic ingredients like dates and pink crystal salt.
Oh, and don’t forget the protein, of course! You’ll want a protein powder with complete plant-based proteins (all 8 of the essential amino acids your body can’t make) like sacha inchi, hemp, brown rice, or spirulina. Don’t know where to look? Healthy Truth offers a ton of different protein and superfood powders you could pick from.
With the basics out of the way, it’s on to flavortown. We’re huge fans of these 3 styles of plant-based, organic protein bars:
The Fruit and Nut Butter Bar
Ever had nut butter slathered on a banana? If not, you’ve got to try it. The fruit/nut butter combo is to die for (and extra-rich in protein!). Plant-based protein bars taste savory, sweet, and leave you reaching for more with a mix of your favorite nut butter and some dried or juice-infused fruits like bananas, blueberries, and sour cherries.
Round out the nutty and sweet flavor profile with coconut nectar and a bit of vanilla extract for the win. Our Exercise Recovery Bar was tailor-made to fit this profile!
A Vanilla Coconut Medley
If you’re really into that light and sweet tropical vanilla flavor, you’re in luck. Shredded coconut and coconut nectar work wonders in plant-based protein bars. Combined with a healthy dose of vanilla extract, it’s bliss for the discerning palette. Almost like a protein-packed macaroon.
We designed our Hi-Protein Vanilla Bar in this style, with the addition of sprouted pumpkin seeds, ground flaxseed, and pea protein powder for extra crunch and muscle-boosting plant-based nutrition.
Cuckoo for Cacao!
Who doesn’t love chocolate? Chocolate protein bars are super popular and taste great, but milk chocolate has three critical shortcomings:
- Cocoa is roasted, which destroys a lot of the nutrients from the cacao bean.
- Chocolate is loaded with refined sugar.
- Milk is an animal ingredient with cholesterol, lactose, and other undesirables for dairy-free protein bars.
Instead, go with cacao nibs, cacao butter, and cacao powder for all your chocolatey goodness! We came up with our Hi-Protein Chocolate Bar using these ingredients, plus pea protein, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed oil, and some coconut nectar for good measure.
So there you have it! These 3 plant-based protein bars actually taste good. Make them on your own if you’ve got the time, or buy a bunch to grab on the go.