It’s an exciting time to be a vegan. It seems like every day a new plant-based product hits the market and expands the number of snack options available to those who have chosen to give up animal products.
This expanding market is no more apparent than in the protein bar aisle. It used to be that the only protein bars you could find were made from whey—a byproduct of dairy—and tasted like chalk. Now there are hundreds of protein bar and protein powder options available to vegans looking to add a little more protein to their diet.
But all this choice can be a bit of a double-edged sword. Especially if you find yourself standing in the health food section staring up at a thousand different boxes that all claim to be filled with high-protein, low-sugar, healthy-for-you, yum-packed snack bars.
If you get dizzy just thinking about shopping for the right vegan protein bars to fit your needs, then we are here to help. We’ve picked our favorite vegan bar choices and organized them based on those that pack the most protein, the ones with the least calories, and the ones that cater to those with special ingredient restrictions.
Keep reading to find your vegan protein bar match made in heaven.
High Protein Vegan Protein Bars
If your main goal for including protein bars in your diet is too bulk up on those necessary amino acids after your next gym visit or to replenish your system after a long day of fun on the trail, then this section is for you. Every product included here contains at least 20g of plant-sourced protein per serving to keep you going long after the rest of your friends have called it quits.
Vega 20g Protein Plant Based Vegan Protein Bars
These power-packed vegan protein bars from Vega contain a high 20g of protein and 290 calories per serving, making them the perfect option for stashing in your backpack during long hikes and bike riding adventures. You can choose from chocolate peanut butter or salted caramel in the 20g variety, or size down to the 10g protein bars for options like blueberry oat and coconut almond.
Whatever you choose, you’ll be impressed by the rich flavor and energy-pumping nutrition these tasty bars have to offer.
No Cow Best Seller Variety Pack, 20g Plant Based Protein
If you want all the protein Vega has to offer, but would rather not bulk up with the extra calories, No Cow protein bars are an excellent option. These rich and flavorful bars include an impressive 21 to 22g of protein per serving with only about 190 calories and 1g of sugar. They are perfect for the gym rat or meal-skipper who wants to stay lean but keep their protein intake up.
Choose the variety pack to get an assortment of awesome flavors like fudge brownie, lemon meringue pie, and blueberry cobbler.
Garden of Life Organic Sport Protein Bar
If you love all the protein and reduced calories the No Cow bars have to offer but would rather steer clear of sugar alcohols, these Garden of Life Sport bars are worth a try. Like all Garden of Life products, they are packed with whole-food ingredients that will provide a boatload of nutrition on top of the energy-producing power of 20g of protein. And they provide all of that with only 8g of sugar.
These chewy bars come in four fantastic flavors including chocolate mint and sea salt caramel.
Low Carb Vegan Protein Bars
Staying vegan on a low carb diet, such as the Keto diet, can be a challenge, but it is possible. Keeping a vegan, low carb protein bar in your bag is a great way to ensure you stay on track when there are limited low carb options available.
One thing to pay attention to when shopping for a low carb protein bar is net carbs vs. total carbs. The main difference is that net carbs include all the different types of carbohydrates, like starches, dietary fiber, and sugars. Net carbs only include carbs the body can fully digest into glucose. To get the net carbs, you subtract the dietary fiber from the total, so it’s important to understand which number you need to consider to stay compliant with your diet.
IQ BAR Brain + Body Bars
The Brain + Body Bars for IQ BAR contain only 4g of total net carbs while offering 10-11g of plant protein per serving. Aside from being vegan, they’re also keto and paleo friendly. IQ BAR also includes 6 science-backed nutrients shown to support optimal brain function, so you can get a crash-free energy boost without being in a fog.
All flavors of this bar contain almonds and coconut, so these might not be a good option for people who have allergies. And pay attention to the nutrition info, too. Even though it says “Keto” on the label, each bar has 18g of total carbohydrates, so enjoy in moderation.
Keto bars are a high fat, low carb vegan protein bar designed for keto diets. They come in a variety of flavors—most of them with chocolate—and contain up to 21g of keto-friendly fat with no added sugar (3g of net carbs).
While they are vegan and keto friendly, they offer a relatively modest 8g of protein. Consider other options if protein is the main thing you’re after.
Julian Bakery Pegan Thin Protein Bars
If you’re a chocolate lover needing a low net carb protein option, the Julian Bakery Pegan Thin Protein bars in Chocolate Lava will knock out even your strongest craving. Pegan is a combination of paleo and vegan, so if that’s your thing this is a great way to get 20g of organic seed protein in an efficient 2.29oz serving.
If you’re on a keto diet, however, be sure to consider the total carbohydrates here. Although the label indicates only 1g of net carbs, there are actually 27g total carbs due to the high dietary fiber. That might be compliant for diets where you’re trying to keep your body in ketosis, so be sure to understand your dietary requirements before purchasing.
Low-Calorie Vegan Protein Bars
For many vegans, protein bars are as much about finding a healthy, quick, and tasty snack as they are about adding some extra protein to the diet. For those whose main concern is finding a treat that won’t add too much to the waistline but can still provide sustained energy, here are our choices of the best low-calorie vegan protein bars.
Garden of Life Organic Fit Bar
Garden of Life is back on our list with their lower-calorie, lower-protein Fit bar. With 14g of protein, these bars still provide a substantial boost but do it while adding only 200 calories per serving. As an added weight loss benefit, these treats also contain 14g of prebiotic fiber to help you feel fuller longer.
These satisfying snacks come in a long list of tasty flavors including chocolate-covered cherry and s’mores.
Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Bar
Another great option for any vegan counting their calories is the plant-based protein bar from Orgain. These crispy, chewy bars are free from all artificial ingredients, carrageenan, and GMOs. They don’t pack quite as much protein (10g) or fiber (6g) as the Fit Bars, but at only 140 calories, they make the perfect pick me up that won’t spoil dinner.
Give any of the four chocolatey, peanut-buttery flavors a try today to see how far protein bars have come in the last decade.
Raw Rev Glo Protein Bars
Not only are these Raw Rev protein bars lower calorie than many at only 180 with less than 5g of sugar, but they also pack an impressive 10 to 15g of protein, depending on the flavor. But what really sets these bars apart is the use of superfood ingredients like chia, sprouted flax, and pumpkin seeds.
These tasty bars are as good for you as they are for your waistline. And, since they come in nine different indulgent flavors, you’re sure to find the right one (or ones) for you.
Allergy-Friendly Vegan Protein Bars
If you are one of the growing majority of people who suffer from food allergies or intolerances, it can make the task of finding a healthy, yummy, vegan protein bar that much more difficult. For you, we’ve picked three of our favorite bars that deliver tasty protein without some of the more common allergens.
Amrita Foods – Top 14 Allergy Free, Variety Pack Protein Bar
Not only are these Amarita vegan bars packed with 15g of protein each, but they do it all without the top eight most common allergens. They are tree nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and gluten-free, and of course include no eggs, dairy, or animal products. And as a major plus, they taste great and have a smooth, satisfying texture.
The bars come in seven superfood flavors including unique combinations like chocolate maca, mango coconut, and dark chocolate quinoa.
ALOHA Organic Plant Based Protein Bars
These organic Aloha bars may not go as far as the Amrita bars when it comes to excluding allergens, but they are gluten and soy-free. They are also kosher and don’t contain any sugar alcohols or stevia. Not bad considering they only have 4g of sugar and 240 calories, most of that coming from the impressive 14g of protein. This is also a good low carb option.
These bars come in six decadent flavors including vanilla almond crunch and chocolate chip cookie dough.
REDD Plant Based Protein Bar
Last but certainly not least, these gluten-free, soy-free protein bars from REDD are a great choice for anyone with wheat or soy sensitivities who is looking for a nutrient-packed protein bar to keep them at their best. Each flavor contains at least 10g of protein coming from unique sources like hemp and pumpkin seeds as well as peas. And, they all include REDD’s special blend of adaptogenic mushroom powder which provides a ton of unique nutrients and boatloads of iron.
This variety pack contains all six flavors of these mushroom superfood bars, including classics like chocolate, oatmeal, and peanut butter.
Not sure which vegan protein bar to try? Why limit yourself to just one! Each of these products brings something unique to the table and is more than qualified to power you through your next electrifying adventure.
Feature photo: ©Rido81/Bigstock