Vegan Cookie Dough Bars (High Protein!)

ALT="Vegan Cookie Dough Bars (High Protein)" pinit

Oh yes, you heard me. Vegan Cookie Dough Bars. High Protein. Best of all, super healthy!

What is the secret ingredient that makes them high-protein, you ask? It’s not protein powder.

I believe our bodies were meant to eat a diet made up of whole foods, and protein powder, which isolates the protein from food products, does not qualify as a ‘whole food’ in my books. In fact, if you do take protein powders, you might want to check if they have been tested by The Clean Label Project, or the brand you buy carries out third party lab testing and is transparent about the results. This is because protein powders are known to contain heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury), over 100 pesticides, BPA/BPS (plasticizers that are known endocrine disruptors), residual solvents, mycotoxins, melamine and its analogues, and antibiotics residues.

And if you’re think you’re safe because you stick to organic, plant-based protein powders: Think again.

This study found that plant-based protein powders usually have MORE contaminants than animal-based protein powders, and organic protein powders had, on average, higher levels of heavy metals than non-organic. What’s most concerning is that two servings per day of protein powder could put you significantly above what is considered an “acceptable level” of contaminant exposure!

There are also other risks associated with taking protein powders. There are very few long-term studies of the possible side effects of taking protein supplements, for instance, and they are often very high in sugars and contain various dubious ingredients. Besides, especially in the US, labelling is extremely intransparent. The FDA leaves it up to manufacturers to evaluate the safety and labelling of products. So, there’s no way of actually knowing if a protein powder contains what manufacturers claim.

Besides, why take protein powders when you can get enough from whole foods?

So what do we use to increase the protein content instead?

These vegan cookie dough bars use chickpeas for that extra protein kick! Now hear me out. It’s a bit strange, I know, to use chickpeas in sweets. But I promise you can’t taste them in the recipe, and it gives these bars a super fluffy texture. It also makes them super filling! And it’s totally acceptable to eat them as lunch, because they’re so healthy 😉

Indulge in this amazing treat! For more recipes ideas, go to the Recipe section on our website!

An older version of this recipe can be found on Peaceful Dumpling.

Vegan Cookie Dough Bars (High Protein!)

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 20 mins Total Time 30 mins
Servings: 9
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year



  1. The night before you want to make this, soak 1 cup of dry chickpeas in water overnight. Once they’re ready, cook them until soft. This should give you about 300g of cooked chickpeas, which is what we need for this recipe. 

  2. Mix the Chia seeds with 6TBSP of water and set aside.

  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

  4. Add 100g of the quick oats to a blender and blend until finely ground. Then, also add in the cooked chickpeas, dates, almond butter, oat milk and soaked chia seeds. Pulse until well combined and a relatively thick ‘dough’ is formed.

  5. In a large bowl, gently fold in 50g of roughly chopped dark chocolate and the remaining 100g of quick oats into the dough.

  6. Line a baking dish with baking paper, and then press the dough into the baking dish with your hands or the back of a spoon. Once the dough is evenly distributed and flat, sprinkle on the remaining 20g of dark chocolate. Press them in a little too.

  7. Place in the oven for 15-20 min, then take it out and cut into bars. Let it cool before removing them from the baking dish.

  8. Enjoy on their own or crumbled on top of vegan yoghurt! These bars are super filling and can be made ahead of time, so they make a brilliant breakfast on the go. I’ve even taken them in lieu of lunch with me sometimes, when I know I have a busy day ahead 🙂


Makes 9-12 bars, depending how large you cut them.

Alternatively, use canned chickpeas instead (although I really recommend cooking your own, it’s super easy!).


Keywords: cookie dough bar, high protein, vegan cookie dough bar

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ALT="Rebecca Botello, author of the blog Wholesome by Becky"

Rebecca Botello

Food and Sustainable Lifestyle Blogger
Rebecca is an International Development student with a passion for healthy and sustainable living. If she isn’t in the kitchen creating delicious vegan recipes, you’ll find her doing yoga, curled up with a book and a cup of Chai Tea, or researching anything from nutrition and natural cancer treatments to the ins and outs of plastic-free living. Always up for new adventures and eager to travel to new places, you can follow her journey on Instagram @whatbecky and @eatsimplylive.

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