No Bake Cookies (Vegan, High Protein, Sugar-Free)

Zero to one-eighty. Black and white. It’s how I roll. There are no 87 degrees or shades of gray. This is precisely why after reading a single recipe made with textured vegetable protein (TVP) I became instantaneously obsessed, and bought two bags of it. Before ever having tried it.

That recipe was for a TVP risotto, which I used as inspiration to make butternut squash and sage TVP risotto, or “soysotto” as I cleverly named it (humor me here, please?) Most people use TVP a substitute for ground meat in dishes like tacos, chili, or bolognese, but I quite like it as risotto. I also quite liked it’s nutty crunchiness dry, raw, and straight out of the bag. Nowhere on the internet does it say you can or should eat TVP raw (I checked), but as a rule of thumb, I like to go big or go home. Upon tasting that satisfyingly crispy bite, I was almost positive I recognized it
as an ingredient in my beloved ZonePerfect protein bars. I say that with about 99.9% confidence. Zone bars list “soy protein nuggets” as an ingredient which I can only deduce is another term for TVP granules.

If “soy protein nuggets” contain “soy protein isolate” (according to the lable) and “TVP” lists “defatted soy flour” as the ingredient, wouldn’t it seem they are one in the same? I tend to think that if you wanted to isolate soy protein, you’d need to remove the fat.

Anyway, as I was crunching on raw TVP while getting ready to make my risotto, my mind was already racing to the next big thing. It seemed obvious to me that TVP would be great in a healthy cookie or energy balls. So obvious that I couldn’t imagine I was the first to think of it.

But maybe I was. Because Google didn’t turn up much of anything like what I was looking for.

So I plowed ahead and did what felt right: classic no-bake chocolate peanut butter cookies. There’s really no better words for these than “ridiculously, uncontrollably addicting.” This time, I changed things up. I bulked them up with protein by swapping some of the oats for TVP, and slimmed them down with stevia and almond milk. Naturally, these changes resulted in a cookie I could feel good about eating. Practically sugar-free, high in good fat and protein, yet sinfully delicious, one or two of these babies make a perfect nighttime treat. But that’s really the only difference between these healthy no-bake cookies and the ones I remember fondly from my childhood. As usual, I struggled licking the sweet, fudge-like batter from the spoon even though it burned my tongue. As usual, I couldn’t wait for them to cool completely before diving into one. And as usual, I was beyond disappointed when they disappeared much too quickly.

No Bake Cookies (Vegan, High Protein, Sugar-Free)
Printable Recipe 

1/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup NuNaturals Stevia MoreFiber Blend + 1/8 teaspoon NuNaturals pure powdered stevia extract*
3 tablespoons all-natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain oats
1/2 cup crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)

*or other sweetener of choice to equal the sweetness of 1 cup of sugar

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl, toss together the oats, crisp rice cereal, and TVP.

In a small saucepan, combine the peanut butter, coconut oil, almond milk, and stevia. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring, until smooth, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa powder and vanilla extract.

Pour the peanut butter mixture over the oat mixture and stir to combine. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls onto the parchment-lined sheet, and slightly flatten them. Let cool until firm, about 1-2 hours.

Store cookies in an air-tight container.

Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe: 12
Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving
Calories 89.3
Total Fat 5.2 g
Saturated Fat 2.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 60.1 mg
Potassium 18.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 6.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
Sugars 0.9 g
Protein 4.0 g

I’ve shared this recipe with Amy for her Slightly Indulgent Tuesday feature on 5/31.

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29 Responses to “No Bake Cookies (Vegan, High Protein, Sugar-Free)”

  1. 1

    Boston Sweetie — May 31, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

    Those sound like a perfect beach seasonindulgence! Where do you find TVP?

  2. 2

    Kelly — May 31, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

    Cara these look great – have not tried the Stevia Fibre blend – will have to check it out.

  3. 3

    Laurie Mitchell — May 31, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

    I am interested in trying these. They seem delicious and very healthy! Two of my favorite things. 🙂

  4. 4

    Dawn Hutchins — May 31, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

    I have seen the TVP but haven't bought any yet.  I will just have to get some next time I'm at Native Sun.  For some reason the name stopped me from buying it.

  5. 5

    Cara — May 31, 2011 @ 5:51 pm

    Yeah, it does sound a little weird! But really it's just soy flour – so nostranger than eating tofu, in my opinion 🙂

  6. 6

    Chrysta — May 31, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

    Hey Cara! How are you? I hope you had an awesome holiday weekend! I think this is the first time that Ive seen TVP in a sweet dish esp. as a cookie and I LOVE the idea…how cool and creative. I have the smallish pieces, think that would work?

  7. 7

    Joanne — May 31, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

    Yes, I do believe that TVP and soy protein nuggets are one and the same!  I've always wanted to try it but never have…I think it's time. I need some cookies in my life!

  8. 8

    Amy Green — May 31, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

    I should have known that this was your recipe! 🙂 I can usually pick yours out of the crowd. Looks absolutely yummy!!Still am pondering the calorie counts for my blog. You have me 75% convinced. Thanks for linking up to SIT!Hugs,Amy

  9. 9

    Cara Craves... — May 31, 2011 @ 7:49 pm

    Yummers!  These are the perfect treat indeed!

  10. 10

    Nicole, RD — May 31, 2011 @ 11:35 pm

    I need to experiment more with stevia products…these sound awesome!!

  11. 11

    Boston Sweetie — June 1, 2011 @ 2:01 am

    Those sound like a perfect beach seasonindulgence! Where do you find TVP?

  12. 12

    Cara — June 1, 2011 @ 2:17 am

    Hi! I find them right in my regular grocery store, in the natural foods section. The brand I've bought is Bob's Red Mill.

  13. 13

    Cara — June 1, 2011 @ 2:18 am

    Do try it! It's a great product since it measures cup for cup like sugar, so you don't lose any of the bulk that sugar would give to a recipe.

  14. 14

    Cara — June 1, 2011 @ 2:19 am

    My favorite things also! Hope you like them 🙂

  15. 15

    Cara — June 1, 2011 @ 2:20 am

    Hello! It was a pretty good weekend… busy but fun, and we had beautiful weather. Hope yours was great too! I have only ever seen small TVP granules, so yep, that should work. There's a picture above that shows the TVP in a bowl with oats and rice krispie cereal, so you can roughly get an idea of the size.

  16. 16

    Cara — June 1, 2011 @ 2:21 am

    Thank YOU for the opportunity to share!

  17. 17

    Cara — June 1, 2011 @ 2:21 am

    Thanks! I've been having good luck with stevia lately, I'm hooked!

  18. 18

    chuck feerick — June 1, 2011 @ 2:35 am

    Yum- these look really good.  I've been trying to come up with something I can take on long bike rides that is also delicious and I think this might work!  Thanks Cara!

  19. 19

    janet @ The Taste Space — June 1, 2011 @ 11:48 am

    You make me want to go grab my TVP and snack on it! Never tried it raw but it sounds like an interesting ingredient for energy bars!

  20. 20

    shannon — June 1, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

    wow, this is incredibly creative!!  love it 🙂  still not sure i'm into tvp, but i did finally buy some coconut flour and stevia!

  21. 21

    Jane Kaylor — June 1, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

    Love itbtw, bird nest is made up of about 58% soluable proteins…the highest amoung all food and even synetic protein powdersit greatly increase tissue regenerationsources taken from the internet

  22. 22

    FutureFitGirl (jordan) — June 1, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

    Sounds so yummy.  And I did the calculation — only 2 Weight Watchers points per cookie… I will have to try this!

  23. 23

    Kate Dwyer — June 4, 2011 @ 5:36 am

    These totally remind me of making cookies when I was really little.

  24. 24

    Bridget — June 8, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

    These sound awesome!  I've seen TVP in the store but the sounds of it freaked me out a bit haha, but I could see liking it raw 🙂  I also have yet to jump on the stevia train…does it taste any different??  I really hate the taste of any sugar substitute so I'm always hesitant!

  25. 25

    Cara — June 8, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

    Thanks! I understand how TVP sounds a little freaky, but I don't think of itany differently than eating other soy products, like tofu. As for thestevia, I honestly think different people taste things differently. For whatit's worth, I grew up on Sweet n Low so for a long time, that tastedcompletely normal to me and I couldn't understand why others didn't like it!Now I use stevia in various forms from NuNaturals, and I use packets ofTruvia (which contains both stevia, and erythritol, another all-naturalsweetener.) I'm not crazy about Truvia in my coffee, and I've heard the samefrom others. Actually, I made pitchers of mojitos last weekend using Truviaand everyone loved them – even a friend who hates Truvia in her coffee. So,it just depends on what flavors you put it with, I think. For coffee I likethe NuNaturals liquid stevia drops. I use Truvia packets in oatmeal, plainyogurt, protein shakes, etc and I like it a lot. I've been having good luckwith stevia products in baking and so far no one has noticed a funny taste.Sorry for such a long-winded response, but I guess my point is that there isnot one answer and you just have to try it and play around 🙂 hope thishelps at least a little!

  26. 26

    Victoria F — June 20, 2011 @ 5:41 pm

    The TVP I bought wasn't textured, do you think they'll still turn out the same?

  27. 27

    Cara — June 20, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

    I'm not familiar with different kinds of vegetable protein other than TVP.What is the brand? Can you share a link?

  28. 28

    Hannah — January 7, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    Awesome! Thanks for pointing me to this recipe, it will absolutely come in handy come warmer months when it’s painful to turn on the oven, but I still need quick, protein-filled snacks.

  29. 29

    Leiah — March 28, 2012 @ 11:38 pm

    This is the TVP from Bob’s Red Mill that I’ve seen at Whole Foods and Harris Teeter here on the east coast – you can also buy it online!