A few weeks back Trevor, my amazing Vega representative, reached out to me to give me a heads up that a package was coming my way with some products from their new line, Vega Clean. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect because with my #HappyHealthyApril Challenge, I had recently revamped my workout schedule and had started cleaning up my eating routing (hello luscious greens!) and was almost finished my current supply of protein powder. By the time the package arrived- and oh boy was it a package!– I had just finished my spring classes and was looking forward to focusing more on my strength building as well as continuing to improve my cardiovascular abilities. It arrived in the evening right before I was about to head to the gym so I excitedly opened the massive box and fondled the contents like it was Christmas morning. After some brief ooh-ing and ahh-ing, I popped open the Vega Clean Energy and mixed it into a shaker bottle before jumping into the car and heading out. The flavor I tried was “Berry” and while it had a sweet berry taste, it had a slightly bitter finish, reminding me more of a grapefruit than anything else. Admittedly, pre-workouts rarely affect me and when they do, it’s fairly minimal (one of the many woes of not being affected by caffeine). Subsequently, I was excited -and also a little surprised- to find that it did largely affect my workout. I felt stronger when lifting and was less tired between sets (and actually hit a few PR’s that day!). In subsequent workouts I’ve found it to be similar as well and it’s even helped me to have more drive when spinning (haha, that almost was a pun- you know- “drive”…”spin”…ok nevermind).
The Vega Clean Protein I received was Chocolate- my flavor of choice when it comes to protein powders. Before the package arrived I had looked at it online and found some reviewers saying that it was too sweet so I was curious about what my thoughts would be once I was able to try it. To be honest, I actually found it to be slightly less sweet than some of the previous lines but it still had a rich chocolate taste. Needless to say, I was quite happy and this is probably one of my favorite lines to date. It has less protein than their current Vega Sport Protein line (25g rather than 30g) and thus, less calories (130 instead of 150) but as someone who is no longer working out competitively and no longer needs to count every gram of protein consumed, I find it to be just fine. While it’s only a slight difference, I believe it makes it more universally friendly to active people from all spectrums.
Their new line, which has the accurate tagline of “ready for anything” is –as always- non-GMO Project Verified, gluten-free, vegan certified, made without dairy or soy and contains no artificial, flavors, colors, or sweeteners. Since one of my goals this June is to resume my regular workout schedule, I’m looking forward to continuing sampling and working with this new line.
This recipe is one that I created largely because I wanted to make something with protein powder that wasn’t just a shake (I’ve been making far too many shakes and drinks here lately) but also wasn’t pancakes or brownies like my usual go-to. During the summer, when turning on the oven is almost out of the question, my aunt often makes the most deliciously sinful Chocolate No-Bakes which are full of sugar, butter, peanut butter and, you guessed it, chocolate. While this recipe still has some added sugar, I’ve stayed away from white sugar and kept what was added to a minimum. These vegan protein bars are full of healthy fats and are sure to keep you full and fueled for hours on end and are easy to transport so it’s a win-win!
Disclaimer: Vega sent me their products to sample and review for the purpose of making recipes- no other compensation was received. All opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using this link. This is no extra cost to you and helps me support myself and keep this blog going. I only work with and recommend companies that I believe and support myself!
Chocolate Almond No-Bakes
¼ Cup Coconut Oil
½ Cup Almond Milk
¼ Cup Dark Brown Sugar, Packed
¾ Cup Almond Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Scoop Vega Clean Chocolate Protein Powder
2 1/2 Cups Rolled Oats
In a small sauce pan, add the coconut oil almond milk and brown sugar. Stir frequently and bring to a simmer until everything is full combined. Remove from heat and mix in almond butter, vanilla extract and protein powder. Once it is homogenized, add in the rolled oats.
When the mixture is cool enough to handle, use an ice cream scoop or a spoon and measure out 12 balls (each is about 2 tablespoons) onto a lined cookie sheet or large plate. Roll them smooth with your hands and flatten each slightly. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes until they are hard.
*Note: Because coconut oil is either solid or liquid depending on room temperature, I would recommend storing these in the fridge until you are ready to eat- they’re quite delicious chilled!
1 Bar Per Serving: 249 cal, 17g fat, 24g carbs, 4g fiber, 5g sugar, 7g protein