Oil-free Carrot Cake Protein Bars

Kevin and I had such a great time camping this weekend. It’s exactly what we needed.

There were many good eats to be had (including these high protein, gluten-free, homemade protein bars) naps, and long, long roads to venture down.

We had planned to stay at the campsite until this morning, but decided to head home a day early to beat the long weekend rush. There’s nothing worse than closing off a relaxing trip by being stuck in a 300km traffic jam with every other camper and their dog… literally. We enjoyed a warm dinner by the fire last night, then leisurely made our way home.

Today, we have every intention to nurture our relaxed mood until we head back into the office tomorrow morning. A big pancake breakfast is definitely in our future, followed by a long walk with the puppies, and perhaps; in keeping with camping tradition, we may treat ourselves to a nice long nap this afternoon. Sure sounds a lot better than trudging through traffic!

One of the items I prepared in advance for our trip were these protein bars. As much Kevin would love to live on a diet of hot dogs, roasted marshmallows and potato chips while we’re camping, that just wont fly with this girl!

In planning this recipe, I wanted to create a snack for us that:

  • could be squished in a cooler and still taste good
  • portable
  • mess-free
  • low in sugar
  • high in protein

Kevin’s version was raisin-free, mine was raisin packed. We make a good team he and I!

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4.0 from 6 reviews
Oil-free Carrot Cake Protein Bars
Recipe type: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Nut-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 bars, 8 servings
Gluten-free protein bars filled with carrot cake flavor! Less than 250 calories with over 13 grams of protein.
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed banana or ¾ cup unsweetened apple sauce *see note
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoon non-dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract or flesh from 1 vanilla bean
  • ¾ cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 375F and line an baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl with a hand or stand mixer.
  3. Whisk dry ingredients in a small bowl. Once incorporated, add to the wet mix and mix until smooth.
  4. Add shredded carrots and raisins. Allow to sit for 1-2 minutes to thicken up.
  5. Scoop approximately ⅓ cup at a time into your hand. Shape into a bar and place on prepared baking sheet. You can also shape the bars on the baking sheet, I found that was easiest.
  6. Bake bars for 22-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean, the bottoms of the bars or golden, and the tops are cracking slightly.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack
  8. Once cooled completely, top with a drizzle of coconut butter.
I tried one batch with banana and the other with apple sauce. Both yield a similar bar, but Kevin and I liked the banana one a bit more. We found that the banana made the bar sweeter, naturally. Any type of rice protein or combined vegan protein should do the trick. If you use hemp protein, you may have to reduce the amount as hemp protein is quite dry. To keep grain-free and paleo, choose a protein powder that’s not made from rice. If you don’t want to use protein powder, you could try almond flour instead. STORING INSTRUCTIONS - The bars will keep in the fridge for about 5 days. They also freeze well. Wait until the bars are completely cooled and coated with coconut butter. Place them in an air-tight container and stick in the freezer. No wrapping of individual bars needed. When you want to eat, just take out of the freezer and allow to thaw for 30 minutes or so.

Begin by lining up your ingredients.

In two separate bowls, combined wet ingredients in one, and dry in the other. Be sure to give the dry ingredients a good whisk so that everything is fully combined.

Add dry to wet and blend with a hand blender or spatula. Allow the mixture to sit for a couple of minutes to thicken up. Don’t be concerned if the mix is too wet at first, coconut flour will do it’s magic if left for just a couple of moments.

Add your carrots and raisins…

Stir until combined, then start shaping into bars!

Throw in the oven, clean up your messy kitchen… and await the awesomeness that is about to be your favorite homemade protein creation!

Do you enjoy camping?

If so, do you find it challenging to eat healthy when you’re camping?

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. These look great..I love making your own homemade bars for outdoor adventures! I do enjoy camping, however, we aren’t allowed to have fires bc of the extreme fire danger…it’s so hot here!

    • Oh no, that’s half the fun! The fire-level was set to low the whole time we were gone so we had many, many fires. It’s like natures television. I could watch the fire ALL day.

  2. Leanne, glad you had a nice time camping.

    We’re going camping this week & I’m preparing for the trip today, so I hope to make time to make these, as you point out, perfect travel/camping food. I’m going to try replacing the eggs with flax or chia–do you think I’ll have success. These look like a bigger version of kidz Clif bars, which my kids love. Thanks for the recipe, looks tasty & nutritious!

    • Oh you’re going to have SO much fun! I’ve tried making coconut flour baked goods without eggs and have failed every time, minus the linzer cookies I made a couple of weeks ago. I’m not sure it will work without the eggs. But, if you master it, please share how you did it! Enjoy your time away with the family, Janae!

  3. oh I love camping but haven’t been in years. Its on my summer bucket list though, I must make it happen! Glad you had so much fun on your adventure.

  4. I don’t find it challenging to eat healthy while camping – mostly because I don’t worry to much about it! Whenever we camp we usually hike for a few hours each day so by the time we sit down for veggie dogs, baked beans and smores I’m not to worried about calories considering we just burned through 1000 or so!

  5. I love this idea! I’m a huge carrot cake fan, so these bar are perfect for me!

    Camping has never been my bag… my dad used to to joke that my idea of camping was staying a the Holiday Inn instead of the Hilton. LOL! I would imagine that eating healthy while in the woods wouldn’t be too hard – it seems like anything else it’s all about being prepared.

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