Many people are falsely under the presumption that a diet devoid of meat and animal products is a diet devoid of protein. Thanks to the meat and dairy industries, meat and dairy are heavily promoted as the best sources of protein in one’s diet. Meat and dairy are encouraged because protein is something our society stresses out about. Ask any vegan what one of the top concerns they hear from family and friends is. They’ll most likely answer that they often hear about where they are getting their protein from.
Fortunately, we live in the age of easily accessible information, from books to the internet it is truly easy to find answers to the vegan protein concerns. We’re here to share that a plant-based diet has an abundance of sources of protein and even delicious options if you’re looking to boost your protein intake. A plant-based vegan diet is one of abundance and almost all plant foods have protein, from protein powerhouses like beans, to nutritious leafy greens, to even fruit! Protein is not a struggle for most people to eat enough of, including those on a vegan diet.
How much protein is actually necessary?
According to Dr. Gregor from nutritionfacts.org, who bases his information on current research:
“Adults require no more than 0.8 or 0.9 grams of protein per healthy kilogram of body weight per day. So, that’s like your ideal weight in pounds, multiplied by four, and then divided by ten. So, someone whose ideal weight is 100 pounds may require up to 40 grams of protein a day. On average, they probably only need about 30 grams a day, which is .66 grams per kilogram, but we say 0.8 or 0.9 because everyone’s different, and we want to capture most of the bell curve.”
So despite the protein obsession our culture has, we do not actually need much, and it is very rare for someone eating a variety of whole, plant based foods to be deficient (outside of certain health conditions or states).
Are vegan protein sources considered complete?
A longstanding myth is one of “protein combining”, which states that plants foods aren’t complete sources of protein meaning they don’t contain all the essential amino acids. So we must eat certain foods together to make them complete, and therefore, get adequate amounts of protein and the amino acids our bodies need. This myth while still very much so alive, has been disproved, as our bodies are capable of putting amino acids together. As Dr. Gregor from nutritionfacts.org states, all plant foods are complete proteins, meaning we do not need to worry.
What are good vegan sources of protein?
Almost all plant foods contain protein in a variety of amounts, however some boast far higher protein levels and are great options if you’re looking for more protein. The following are great sources of plant based protein:
How can you add more protein to your diet?
Adding more protein to a vegan diet is an easily fulfilled task and can be quite delicious too. Some people want to add in more protein to meet specific fitness goals. While others may have specific health conditions they are addressing with higher protein content in their diet. Pregnancy is a period of life where protein needs are higher and can be harder to meet at times due to food aversions. So finding palatable ways to add in more protein is a must. Whatever the reason you want to up your protein intake, it is quite easy. Protein powders and protein bars are two easy ways to dramatically increase protein outside of your normal vegan diet. Protein powders are often mixed into smoothies for an easy and healthy boost of protein while protein bars are the easiest grab-and-go snack or dessert for a boost.
While either option is a great choice, we’re focusing in on the best vegan protein bars on the market. These are such an easy way to get in more protein without much effort, which can be the difference in meeting your protein goals or not. As most people who have tried any protein bar know, some of them can taste extremely fake, bland, overly sweet or have an off-putting texture. We’ve rounded up the best of the best to ensure you can meet your protein needs without sacrificing your tastebuds or health goals. Below are our top picks for the best vegan bars on the market, so read on, then stock up!
These bars are the best on the market. They are worth seeking out at your local health food stores or through an online retailer. If you’re not able to find these bars we offer some recipes below to make your own. If you’re interested in buying bars not listed here, always double check the ingredients for eggs, whey and collagen as these are extremely common in protein bars and are all from animals.
Brand: Raw Rev
Bar Name: Glo Line
Protein Source: Pea Protein, Organic Brown Rice Protein, Raw Organic Hemp Protein
Amount of Protein: 10-15 grams per bar depending on the flavor
Why We Love it: These bars are incredibly delicious and especially so when you notice they only contain 2-5 grams of sugar each! Besides being incredibly low in sugar, they have a high amount of protein per bar, high amount of fiber from flax and chia seeds, and are free from grains and sugar alcohols, meaning they are great for people with all diets and digestive systems. We love they flavor and low sugar content and they always digest just perfectly. These make a great grab and go snack or if you grab one with chocolate chips, it tastes decadent enough to replace your dessert!
Brand: Whole Earth & Sea
Bar Name: Organic Vegan Greens Protein Bar
Protein Source: Organic Brown Rice Protein
Amount of Protein: 15 grams of protein per bar
Why We Love It: This organic protein bar is absolutely decadent and delicious! It has 15 grams of protein per bar, high fiber, and is packed with organic, nutrient rich and antioxidant rich foods such as wheatgrass juice powder, broccoli sprouts and raspberries! It’s coated in an absolutely delicious chocolate that makes it feel more like a treat and helps to hide the healthy green taste a bit. It does have a healthy taste to it but it isn’t overbearing thankfully.
Bar Name: High Protein Bar Line
Protein Source: Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Protein, Organic Pea Protein
Amount of Protein: 10-12 grams of protein per bar depending on the flavor
Why We Love It: These organic protein bars are absolutely delicious and do not have a hint of “protein bar” flavor! These bars are a delicious texture, are free of soy and gluten, and some are even free of nuts, making them a great choice for those with intolerances or allergies. We love that they offer a wide variety of flavors to accommodate all palates from peanut butter to coffee to cashews and blueberry. The ingredients are all easily recognizable and this bar is a great treat and an easy way to boost protein without feeling like you’re sacrificing anything.
Bar Name: Organic Protein Bar
Protein Source: Organic Brown Rice Protein and Organic Pumpkin Seed Protein
Amount of Protein: 14 grams of protein per bar
Why We Love It: These bars come in absolutely delicious flavors and are made from organic ingredients. We love that they’re high in protein and fiber, while keeping the sugar content low. Additionally, these bars are soy and gluten free, making them a great option for those with allergies. Any protein bar that tastes good while keeping the sugar low and the fiber content high is always a good choice in our book.
Brand: Square Organics
Bar Name: Organic Chocolate Coated Protein Bars
Protein Source: Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Brown Rice Protein
Amount of Protein: 10 -13 grams of protein per bar depending on the flavor
Why We Love It: These gluten free, coconut syrup sweetened organic bars are absolutely delicious and minimally processed. We love the simple, easy to read ingredient list and the fact that it doesn’t taste like we’re eating a protein bar when we enjoy them. The dark chocolate makes this taste like a dessert or special treat, so it’s quite easy to eat these if you’re looking to boost your protein without sacrificing taste.
Brand: Amazing Grass
Bar Name: Protein Superfood Bar
Protein Source: Organic Pea Protein, Organic Brown Rice Protein
Amount of Protein: 12 grams of protein per bar
Why We Love It: Amazing Grass has an incredible line of greens and superfood powders and it comes as no surprise that their protein bars offer just as much nutritionally. We love that these bars are high in protein, organic, and offer a wide array of plant based superfoods to give your protein bar an extra nutrient boost beyond the high protein content. These contain ingredients such as alfalfa grass, spirulina, rose hips, maca and acai and come in delicious flavors that include chocolate to help balance out the healthy taste and make them enjoyable.
Bar Name: 20G Protein Bar
Protein Source: Brown Rice Protein and Pea Protein
Amount of Protein: 20 grams of protein per bar
Why We Love It: The plant based nutrition line from Brendan Brazier comes with serious cred just because he made it. We love these bars because we know an actual athlete uses them as part of his routine when fueling up and building muscle. We love this bar in particular because it’s an incredibly high source of plant based protein compared to most bars, so it’s great if you really need to boost your intake or have higher protein needs.
Recipes for Homemade Vegan Protein Bars
We love the convenience of an already made protein bar but it’s always way more cost effective to make your own at home. If you enjoy making everything from scratch or have specific taste preferences or allergies, making your own protein bars at home is a great option. These are just a few recipes to try as well as inspire creativity to make your very own protein bars.
Recipe: No Bake Hemp Seed Bar Recipe
Where to Find It: Krumbled
Why We Love It: This recipe is easy to make. It is packed full of nutritious foods like tahini, cacao, nut butter, hemp seeds and cinnamon. It’s not only full of protein from the tahini, nut butter and hemp seeds but loaded with antioxidants and minerals, thanks to the whole foods based ingredient list. If you’re looking to boost the protein content even higher, consider adding in a few scoops of protein powder as well as additional coconut oil or nut butter to keep the recipe moist.
Recipe: No Bake Apple Pie Protein Bars
Where to Find It: The Big Man’s World
Why We Love It: This is a really delicious recipe. It is especially great for anyone who is looking for a chocolate-free option. We love that this has so many variations and can even be made grain-free for those who feel better omitting grains. It’s absolutely delicious and tastes like a great breakfast protein bar option that doesn’t feel too heavy or decadent.
Recipe: Chocolate Coconut Rx Protein Bars
Where to Find It: Power Hungry
Why We Love It: This recipe is so delicious and uses whole food based ingredients such as dates, almonds, chia seeds and coconut flakes. We love that it’s full of fiber and omega 3’s on top of being high in protein. This makes it a super nutritious brownie-like bar for any time of day.
Recipe: Vegan Chickpea Almond Protein Bars
Where to Find it: Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen
Why We Love It: This unique recipe manages to sneak in an extra dose of protein from chickpeas. And we love it! Chickpeas add in extra protein, fiber and nutrients. They also cut down on the fat content by not adding in excess oils or nut butters. We also love that this delicious protein bar has only 5 ingredients, making it affordable and easy to prepare.
Recipe: Healthy Black Velvet DIY Protein Bars
Where to Find It: Desserts with Benefits
Why We Love It: This is a really delicious and unique recipe. It uses ultra trendy activated charcoal powder to give the bars their grey/black coloring. We love the flavor and the ingredients are simple and easy to find. This makes it a great option when you want something high in protein that also tastes decadent and chocolatey.
Recipe: Healthy Homemade Snickers Protein Bars
Where to Find It: The Big Man’s World
Why We Love It: These are the ultimate indulgence when it comes to a homemade protein bar. With a nougat layer and caramel layer coated in chocolate, it’s amazing that they only have a handful of super healthy ingredients and are a great source of protein thanks to the protein powder, coconut flour and peanut butter. We recommend these as a great dessert option for when you want to boost your protein but also want to treat yourself.
A Basic Recipe to Make Your Own Bars
If the thought of getting creative and using ingredients you love and have on hand to create your own protein bars is appealing, try this out! We hope this basic guideline helps to inspire you and help you create new delicious protein bars at home that can be catered to meet your protein goals.
Using the nut butter as your base element, mix in the rest of the ingredients and vary depending on the batch size you need, the amount of protein you want your bars to have, the texture you prefer and the sweetness and flavor that suite your palate.