So like...about chickpeas in protein bars. I mean, what's not to love?
I'm sure you can think of a lot of things you love more than vanilla chickpeas.
Like doing laundry. Emptying the dishwasher. Scraping the zucchini out of your vegetable peeler.
Considering I myself am basically a chickpea, it should come as no surprise that I stuffed chickpeas into bars. I wanted to do a base of something other than nuts since I've been eating my weight in hemp seeds, chia seeds, almond butter, and avocado lately. Healthy fats galore! I mean it's not wonder why I have to get my nails done like every two weeks. They grow like weeds! Thank you, nut and seeds. My hair and nails adore you.
So naturally I threw a can of chickpeas in the food processor and crossed my fingers. Welp, my frands....these babies are FAB. They have this totally amazing texture and flavor that I just can't get enough of. I used MCT Lean vegan natural vanilla protein powder, a plant-based protein powder that I've been using for a little over a year now. Remember when I put it in these peanut butter protein cookies? And these peppermint brownie protein muffins?! Oh and how can I forget these banana nut protein bars?
I'm very picky when it comes to protein powder. It must have good ingredients, but it also has to taste good and not be super chalky like most brown rice protein powders are. The first time I ever tried MCT Lean was the chocolate flavor in a smoothie with frozen banana and almond milk. I was shocked how much it tasted like a dreamy chocolate milkshake! Now you all know I'm not really one to put protein powder in my smoothie every day. I use it more in baking to create more filling snacks for the week.
MCT Lean Vegan Protein Blend is made of pea and brown rice protein (20 grams per serving), which together have an ideal amino acid profile for enhancing lean body mass. I personally love that MCT Lean is not only 100% plant-based, but it's also free of GMOs, gluten, dairy, lactose, soy, and corn. It's also 100% Pharmaceutical Grade Verified by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP). Considering the fact that supplements aren't regulated, this is something important to look for whenever you're buying a supplement in order to verify good current FDA manufacturing practices. Did you know that fewer than 1% of the 55,000 or so supplements on the market today bear this recognition?
And let me reiterate---it actually tastes kind of dreamy.
Now trust me when I say that these bars will not taste good unless you use a vanilla protein powder that you LIKE. If you can't tolerate it in a smoothie, you won't like it in these bars either! Make sure your protein powder is sweetened (MCT Lean uses a combination of evaporated cane juice and stevia) and preferably vanilla flavored, although chocolate would probably be yummy as well! If you're using an unflavored variety, try adding some coconut sugar or stevia to sweet it up. Liquid sweeteners would probably make the batter too wet.
These bars are like hummus' evil twin cousin. Bad has never tasted so good.
These flourless no-bake protein bars feature chickpeas, protein powder, and seeds to power you through the day!
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or wax paper. You may want to spray the pan with cooking spray first to help the paper stick.
- Combine chickpeas, dates, almond butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in a large food processor. Process until very smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary.
- Add in protein powder, hemp seeds, and chia seeds. Process again until very well combined. The mixture should start to form a "dough" ball.
- Using wet hands, press mixture evenly into lined loaf pan.
- Freeze for about an hour before removing paper from pan and slicing into 8-10 bars. Place cut bars in a baggie or tupperware and store in the refrigerator or freezer. These will become soft at room temperature.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by MCT Lean Vegan Protein Blend. I was compensated for my time. All opinions are my own.