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
Author: 
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.
Ingredients
Wet
  • 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
Dry
Add-ins
  • ¾ cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup raisins
Topping
Instructions
  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.
Notes
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

  1. We just got home from a weeklong camping trip. I am soooo making these tomorrow morning!
    My husband’s idea of healthy eating is only having three s’mores instead of four…..I just showed him the picture of the bars and how I found it difficult to maintain healthy eating while camping with him and he said, “Why? Marshmallows are a fruit.”. Good lord…….

    • hahaha marshmallows are fruit, that’s cute. Well, time to change the mans mind! Hope you enjoy the bars ;)

  2. I made these yesterday and oh my!!! I used unsweetened applesauce and this is the first sweet item I’ve had other than raw peanut butter balls and they sure hit the spot.

  3. How do you store these? They look delicious and I’m wondering how long they will be fresh without refrigeration or freezing?

    • Hi Carly – 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. Enjoy!

  4. Hi Leanne,

    Thank you for all of these wonderful recipes! I was just wondering if you have tried to freeze these? I make a lot of “make ahead snacks” that I freeze and I’m going to make these and I’m hoping that they will freeze well!!

    • Hi Tracey, you’re most welcome! I’m glad you like them :) Yes, I have frozen several batches of these bars and they weren’t impacted at all. Enjoy!

  5. Made these bars over the weekend – they are fantastic! They’re tastey but not too sweet and also very filling. I didn’t have any coconut butter but I think they are just fabulous “naked”. Leane, thank you for creating and sharing all these amazing recipes. I’m willing to try anything so your blog has turned me into a gluten-free and semi dairy-free girl lately. I wasn’t looking to change my diet but after following your recipes day after day I noticed how much better I feel without gluten and dairy in my life. I have a random question for you that I’ve always wondered – does “full fat coconut milk” always mean the stuff out of a can (~14g fat)? If so, do you happen to know if that freezes well? Thanks in advance. This is an amazing site and your dedication/knowledge shows!

    • Hi Kate, that’s so cool that you’ve just fallen into this new eating style and that you feel better as a result. I love hearing stories like yours :) So glad you liked the bars. I’ve made a couple of batches and love how filling they are too. Full fat coconut milk – yes, it’s the stuff that’s around 14g of fat per 2-3 tablespoons. I freeze mine so that I can use it in smoothies and ice creams. I haven’t tried to freeze it then defrost it so not sure what would happen, but I don’t see it being a major issue. Hope that helps!

  6. Hi there

    Just made these yesterday, but it was so runny, I had to make a little loaf out of it instead, which was not bad, but I really want it to be like your original. I live in Mauritius, and we can’t find coconut flour here, how can I adjust the recipe to be not so runny? I know that you have to adjust all liquids if you don’t use coconut flour.

    Thanks for your amazing site.

    • Hi Sorea, what flour did you end up using?

  7. Oh my gosh. I am saving this recipe for when I get my hands on coconut flour. Do you think I could make this with protein powder in place of the coconut flour? I do have that. :)

  8. Really nice photo journal. I’m so glad you enjoyed camping. We’re heading out this weekend. I’m looking forward to hiking, and being in the cool weather near the coast.

  9. Yay camping! So glad you guys had a relaxing time – it sounds great :) The bars look amazing but no eggs for me either so I am going to try the apple fiber bars instead. I will definitey take those camping with me. I find it pretty easy to eat healthy while camping – I am a planner and a snacker so I just pack everything I need. Protein powder, fruit and nori wraps are my go to!

    • Nori wraps, good call! I’ll have to remember that for next time.

  10. This looks so tasty. Any way I can make it without eggs?

    Please…..

    • Thanks, Chris. I haven’t tested it so I’m not sure. You could try using my apple fiber bar recipe and tweaking it a bit. There are no eggsin the recipe so you may have more success with making the apple bars carrot and high in protein than trying to adapt the carrot cake bar. Here’s a link to the recipe: https://www.healthfulpursuit.com/recipage/?recipe_id=6006460 You could probably: replace brown rice flour with rice protein, replace apples with carrots, replace coconut oil with apple sauce and add a bit of raisins to make them similar to these! Hope that helps ;)