CRANBERRY CHEESECAKE PROTEIN OATMEAL BARS
These Cranberry Cheesecake Protein Oatmeal Bars are so dreamy I’ve made them twice! There’s just something about that oat cookie base topped with lightly sweet cheesecake and tart cranberry preserves. YUMMM. Did I mention these are gluten-free with no sugar added, a boost of protein, and a dairy-free option? Oh yeah, baby. You might also like my vegan Protein Carrot Cake Bars!
Did you know? Cranberries have more fiber than sugar! Also, their skins contain the antioxidant quercetin (among others) which helps combat cell damage and reduce inflammation, both linked to chronic disease.
Protein powder substitutions
The oatmeal cookie base combines certified gluten-free quick oats and vegan protein powder in place of flour. If you don’t have protein powder, feel free to substitute three-quarters of a cup (90 grams) of gluten-free baking flour or oat flour. You can also use regular quick oats if you’re not gluten-intolerant!
The protein powder I used is LIV Body Lean Vegan Protein in Cinnamon Cookie Crumble (use code NOEXCUSES for 20% off)! While you can substitute flour, I can’t guarantee the result substituting whey or casein. Typically whey blends (combining isolate with milk protein, whey concentrate, or casein) work far better than whey isolate.
To sweeten the oatmeal base, I use my favorite brown sugar monk fruit sweetener, which measures 1:1 like sugar. You can also use coconut sugar or regular brown sugar if you’re not worried about the added sugar! The two egg whites hold the crust together, but can be substituted for two tablespoons of ground flaxseed combined with one-quarter cup warm water.
Instead of using a ton of butter, I used half vegan buttery spread, half unsweetened applesauce for a chewy cookie texture. Of course, you can substitute regular unsalted butter if you’re not dairy-free, or swap the applesauce for more buttery spread (this will increase the fat and calories).
Cheesecake filling options
For the cheesecake filling, just combine reduced fat cream cheese, egg whites, monk fruit sweetener, and lemon juice. You can sub Neufchatel cheese or dairy-free cream cheese, too! The monk fruit sweetener can be swapped out for an equal measure of granulated erythritol, baking stevia, or regular sugar.
Now, the cranberry filling is a must! It adds a nice tart contrast to the sweet cookie base and creamy cheesecake. For this recipe, I used Cape Cod Select Frozen Cranberries, which are some of the highest quality you can buy! This is actually my entry into their recipe contest 😉
To find a store near you that carries Cape Cod Select, use this link. You can also follow Cape Cod Select on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for more delicious cranberry recipes! It really is such an under-rated fruit. Just simmer with a little sweetener and lemon juice for homemade cranberry preserves.
Here’s the printable recipe for these Cranberry Cheesecake Protein Oatmeal Bars! I hope you’ll rate and comment below if you try them 😉
This post contains affiliate links and is sponsored by LIV Body.
Cranberry Cheesecake Protein Oatmeal Bars
- 1 cup quick oats
- 1/2 cup 60g vegan protein powder* I used LIV Body Lean Vegan Protein in Cinnamon Cookie Crumble, use code NOEXCUSES for 20% off
- 3/4 cup brown sugar alternative* I used one that measures 1:1 like sugar
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon optional
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt optional
- 1/4 cup vegan buttery spread* chilled
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tbsp. egg whites*
- 8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese* or dairy-free cream cheese like Miyoko’s
- 1/4 cup egg whites* or water for vegan
- 1/4 cup calorie-free sweetener I used one that measures 1:1 like sugar
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice optional
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract optional
- 1 1/2 cup frozen cranberries
- 1/3 cup calorie-free sweetener*
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice optional
*See above for more substitutions.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Whisk together dry ingredients (through salt) for oat layer in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add chilled buttery spread, applesauce, and egg whites and combine with a fork until a crumbly mixture forms.
- Press 1 cup of the mixture into the bottom of an 8″x8″ baking pan lined with parchment paper (or coated with buttery spread). Place the mixing bowl with remaining crumble in the fridge.
- Soften cream cheese at room temperature, then beat in egg whites, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth.
- Spread over top the pressed oatmeal base and set aside.
- Add cranberries to a small saucepan with sweetener and lemon juice.
- Simmer and stir until cranberries thicken into a sauce, about 10 minutes.
- Spread cranberry sauce over top the cheesecake layer, then take remaining oat crumble and spread over top.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until light golden brown
Leave a comment
Comments will be approved before showing up.