I recently went through a 21-day cleanse where I ate all plant-based meals, no added sweeteners, and I drank only water. I researched ways to have enough protein, plus how to add natural sweetness into my meals. One morning I decided to add mashed dates into my oatmeal and put my usual walnuts on top. This moment changed my life. I literally loved every bite.
I then started to contemplate snacks. Eating a piece of fruit was nice, but it didn’t give me the feeling I craved. Peanut butter on celery was fun for a while, it was a pleasant reminder of a childhood treat, but that still wasn’t what I was looking for. After my morning oatmeal, I had an epiphany.
I grabbed a bowl, pitted some dates, and then began to mash them with my pestle. I decided to chop some almonds and walnuts, add them to the dates, then mix them up. I felt something was missing. After a few moments I grabbed some oats, put them in the bowl, mixed away, and put it all on a cutting board. I laughed as I kneaded the mushy mixture, and then rolled out little balls. I took a bite and knew I was onto something.
Those small bites lasted me about three days, so I decided to create the recipe again, this time cutting the mixture into small circles using a wine glass. I thought I would psych myself out if I saw a bigger shape. Those lasted me three days as well.
My next attempt, I increased each ingredient, and then decided to cut them into rectangles. This was it for me. I made a total of 12 bars and so far, I’ve eaten two each day. This is working.
What I love most about these protein snacks is that they are filling, nutritious, and give me a quick energy boost with absolutely no caffeine. My belly is very happy.
These raw, vegan protein snacks are officially a part of my regular eating plan. Even though I’ve transitioned from a 100% plant-based eating plan to about 75%, I’ll be keeping these little babies in my fridge for a protein boost.
If you try them, I’d love to know in the comments how they work for you.
Vegan Protein Snacks
These vegan protein snacks are raw, use a few basic ingredients, and are super simple to make.
Lay out all the ingredients on or next to your cutting board. Open dates one-by-one and pull out the seeds. Place the dates in a bowl and mash them with a pestle or potato masher, whichever you have. Once the dates form a paste, put the bowl to the side.
Pour the almonds and walnuts onto the cutting board and chop into fine pieces. Add the chopped nuts to the date paste, then pour in the uncooked oats. Mix with a spoon or fork until the ingredients start to combine.
Scoop out the mixture onto the cutting board and knead like dough. Make sure everything is combined into one large ball. Press down with your hands, or a rolling pin until it's about a quarter of an inch thick.
At this point you have three options. For small ball shape, scoop out a tablespoon of the mixture, roll into balls. If you want small rectangles, simply use a knife to cut into desired shape. Or, for circles, use a shape cutter or round glass to cut into circles.
Whichever shape you choose, place the protein snacks into an airtight container and keep them refrigerated until ready to serve.
In theory you can put the ingredients into a food processor and mix it together, however I have not tried this yet.After cutting the protein bars into desired shape, put them in an airtight container and keep them in the refrigerator to maintain freshness. Dates can last in the refrigerator for a year as long as they are in an airtight container.