These healthy no bake carrot cake protein bars taste exactly like a soft and fluffy carrot cake but in a healthy snack bar form! Packed full of protein, fiber and with no added sugar, it’s the perfect snack recipe to have on hand! Naturally gluten-free and vegan, there’s a tested paleo option for my paleo friends!
Imagine if vegetables were in high school. Two of it’s pupils would be the humble carrot and the..not so humble pumpkin.
The carrot is your quintessential ‘classic’ high schooler- An all arounder.
Pumpkin, on the other hand, is like that popular girl who’d only speak to you and shimmy around your locker during exam time or when they want something from you. Once exams are over- BOOM. Gone. Shimmying around those guys who’d merely yawn and a bicep pops out.
Dear GOD why did you not gift me which such bodily functions? I yawn and I look like Kim Kardashian crying over her latest ‘leaked’ photo….and by leaked photo I mean whichever photo Kris Jenner anonymously sent to TMZ.
….Friends, ignore that mini paragraph. My inner high schooler is having a whinge.
Anyway, pretty much pumpkin only occurs for part of the year (in the northern hemisphere) and we all forget about that epic orange creation, who is there consistently- The humble carrot. Carrots (no longer in a school setting) are the perfect vehicle for dips, peanut butter or that added crunch we all crave when we don’t have access to a pack of chips. Sure we may get a beta-carotene glow from them too, but unlike pumpkin, it’s less likely unless we’re part bunny rabbit.
Today’s recipe was originally going to be delicious carrot cake protein bars I’d been working on for a while. I originally had planned to make a simple cinnamon glaze using coconut butter but then did one better- Made a frosting with an even bigger boost of protein. Holla!
Some of you may remember me mention in my first collaborative post with Bai how my favorite drink was the Molokai Coconut one. Unlike other coconut style beverages, Bai’s Molokai Coconut drink has a subtle taste which was perfect to use as my liquid thinner in the frosting. It took the carrot cake to the NEXT level AND saved me adding a dash of coconut extract.
Now? No-Bake Carrot Cake Protein Bars with a delicious frosting with the option to use Bai for that added ZING.
These healthy no-bake carrot cake protein bars taste like carrot cake right down to the texture (crumb cake from the fridge or fluffy in room temperature) and taste like dessert. However, these bars are packed full of protein, fiber and even a dose of veggies too! They are refined sugar-free which makes them a healthy snack to have between meals or when the munchies strike. Naturally gluten free, vegan and dairy free, there is also a paleo option too! The frosting is completely optional, but I highly recommend it. It’s creamy, smooth and the added coconut flavor takes it up a notch. For my paleo friends, stick to the cinnamon glaze used in this recipe– It’s paleo friendly and tastes just as delicious!
HACK! You can certainly mash your own carrots or do as I did and……go to the baby food aisle. I found jars of 100% mashed carrots which had 1 ingredient in them. Any guesses?
Make these delicious, healthy no bake Carrot Cake protein bars and let the ruler of all orange have their crown back.
Carrots ain’t seasonal, yo.
Healthy No Bake Carrot Cake Protein Bars
For the bars
- 2 cups gluten free oat flour For the paleo option, use 1 cup coconut flour and omit extra coconut flour
- ½ cup coconut flour sifted (Can sub for almond or more oat flour)
- ½ cup vanilla vegan paleo or casein protein powder
- 2 T granulated sweetener of choice optional*
- 1 T cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1/4 cup almond butter can sub for any nut butter
- ½ cup brown rice syrup sub for maple syrup in the paleo version
- 1/2 cup mashed carrots
- 1 T + dairy free milk of choice**
For the frosting (non paleo)
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder Can sub for 1/4 cup granulated sweetener of choice
- 1/4 cup cream cheese I used a vegan brand to keep it dairy free
- 2 T + dairy free milk of choice
For the bars
- Line a large baking dish with greased paper and set aside.
- In large mixing bowl, combine the flour, protein powder, granulated sweetener, cinnamon, mixed spice and mix well.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the nut butter and liquid sweetener and heat until melted. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix well. Add the mashed carrots and mix until combined- The batter should be crumbly.
- Using a spoon, add the dairy free milk of choice one spoonful at a time until a thick, firm batter is formed.
- Transfer to lined baking dish and press firmly. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Once firm, frost with frosting, if desired.
For the frosting
- In a small mixing bowl, add the vanilla protein powder and softened cream cheese and mix well. Using a tablespoon, add dairy free milk of choice until a thick batter is formed. Spread on protein powders and refrigerate until firm.
** Depending on the flour/protein powder combination, you may need more or less. I used up to 3/4 cup with the paleo version.
Non-frosted bars can be kept at room temperature but I recommend them to eaten from the fridge.
Did you have any ‘pumpkins’ in your high school? Yes. I WAS THE PUMPKIN. (Just kidding) .