These Vegan Vanilla Pecan Bars taste like vanilla cake and pecan pie combined. They are a dense, fudgy dream bar that is sweet, moist and will remind you a little of both cake and pie. These are topped with a wonderful creamy cashew icing!
Keyword: healthy protein bars, vegan gluten free bars, vegan pecan bars, vegan protein bars, vegan vanilla bars
Author: Brandi Doming
1cup(100g) certified gluten-free rolled oats, not instant
1/2cup(56g) pecan pieces
1/4cup(40g) coconut sugar
3tablespoonsSprout Living "Vanilla Lucuma" Epic protein powder (SEE NOTE below to sub)
1/4teaspoonfine sea salt
1/4cup(64g) super smooth cashew butter, slightly warmed to a soft liquid if it is hard or from the fridge
I know some of my readers do not use protein powders, so if you still want to make the recipe, you can leave it out and just add 2-3 more tablespoons of oats and an extra tablespoon of coconut sugar (since the protein powder provides sweetness). The flavor will change slightly and be less vanilla-ish, but still delicious.
Add the oats to a food processor and process until a fine flour forms. Add the pecans and coconut sugar and process again until it is finely ground.
Add the protein powder and salt and process once more until just blended.
Add the cashew butter, syrup, apple juice and vanilla extract to a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour over the dry ingredients into the food processor. Process until it all comes together in one large bowl and is chunky. As soon as it does this, stop so it doesn't turn into a butter.
Line a 9x5 loaf pan with plastic wrap (or use a smaller one for thicker bars) and press the mixture out evenly to the corners. Flatten with a spatula.
Combine the cashew icing ingredients and spread out over the bars. Sprinkle coconut sugar over the top. Place in the freezer until firm and set. Cut into 8 bars. Keep them stored in the freezer or fridge. The icing will be softer in the fridge and I prefer the texture from the freezer. If you leave them out for an extended period of time at room temperature, they will soften more.
If you don't like or can't have cashews, then I would try subbing a creamy almond butter. I would probably use 3 tablespoons instead of 1/4 cup since almond butter tends to be oilier than cashew butter. Nutrition per bar (based on 8) without icing: 194.75 calories, 10 g fat, 5.78 g protein, 21.5 carbs, 10.625 g sugars With icing: 240.78 calories, 13 g fat, 6.9 g protein, 25.7 carbs, 13.5 g sugars