Healthy Tropical Bars (Raw, GF, Vegan) for #gradstudentbloggers

Your grad/undergrad student bloggers are back this week! Our mission: creating awesome recipes for the On-the-Go Student!

Grad Undergrad Student Bloggers Icon Small

Joining us this week: Bec from Daisy and the Fox, Nicole from PicNic, Shelley from Bacon Egg Cheese(cake), and Uru from Go Bake Yourself! (Zainab from Blahnik Baker is off doing crazy epic grad student things this week, but we’ve included her interview anyway.) Don’t forget to check out these lovely ladies’ blogs. (Want to learn more about these fabulous bloggers? Read Week 1’s interview here!)

But first, we asked our super multi-talented bloggers a few fun questions about how they deal with full-time school AND blogging! Here’s what they said:

Week 2 Interview Round-up

1. Describe your grad/undergrad student blogger life in three words:

Ala: You’re kidding…right?

Bec: Busy, fun, inspired

Nicole: Crazy, Chaotic, Fulfilling

Shelley: Procrastinating, fun, UGHHH

Uru: Party. Study. Sleepless.

Zainab: Need. More. Hours.

2. Tell us a fun, unique fact that not many people may know about you!

Ala: I just ran my first half-marathon at Disneyland at the end of last month in 2 hours and 9 minutes! I quite literally ate dessert every day (including a buttload of ice cream) in lieu of “training”: I would run about once every other week and did 13.1 miles cold turkey each time. Dumb luck, but I guess it worked!

Bec: I am completely and totally smitten for kittens dogs! The moment I see one on the street I literally pounce and smother them in sweet nothings and pats. I have a pinterest animal bored, and it is 100% bombarded with dog pictures, cause ya know… damn they’re so cute.

Nicole: People tell me that I should enter a cooking competition on TV – like MasterChef, but I am TERRIFED of ever being on TV for even 30 seconds!

Shelley: I’m super obsessed with Apartment Therapy, and it’s kinda unhealthy/weird because I a) cannot afford the nice stuff because I’m a broke grad student and b) I’m way too lazy for cool DIY projects, which pretty much make up like half of their content…

Uru: Aaah, I always feel affronted by this question, it catches me off guard! But ok, if I had to say I have a ‘secret’-ish talent, it would be that I actually have an awesome voice! I just never sing because I am super shy but I am a graded singer and in the shower, I feel a bit like Beyonce 😉

Zainab: Hmmm, I don’t really like sweets. I love baking- the process, taking pictures and sharing recipes with my family but most times I don’t eat what I make beyond the taste bite. I’m a savory girl.

There is something undeniably primal, rough, and RAW about grad student life…I bet you can see where this is headed, eh? #punderful!


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Last time for the #gradstudentbloggers series, I shared one of my very favorite raw recipes–and now I’m back to haunt y’all with a second round of it! Thankfully, raw desserts and snacks are pretty much my raison d’etre, which is just a sophistimacated grad student way of saying they are freakingamaziballsdelish.

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Going no-bake is also the best way to save time when it comes to making addicting, time-and-time-again snacks for this crazy lifestyle we call Grad Student Blogger Insanity.

Also, the option of going utensil-free and getting my hands right there in the pan is appealing. Probably because I can’t afford real utensils anymore.

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I love the ease and flexibility with which this recipe comes together, because you can use pretty much anything sitting in your impoverished student pantry to make these bars.

Can’t afford almond butter? Not a problem: go for peanut butter. Want to buy your applesauce in bulk at Costco so you can eat these for a month straight? Go for it, you earned it.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the star ingredients I used:Healthy No-Bake Tropical Coconut Applesauce Bars 15--090314

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These are so quick to whip together and easy to snatch up as a post-workout/pre-hell snack, I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate being an on-the-go grad student. They taste like tiny morsels of apple pie rolled into one delicious, slightly gooey snack. If you’re looking for a great time-saving vegan/raw/GF recipe, look no further!

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Note: As I’m typing this post, I’m sitting in the Dr. Seuss special collections/archives reading the original handwritten memo by Dr. Seuss himself for his first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. I almost got up and did a Seussian jig when I realized I was in the presence of his handwriting. Also, he signs his name in blue crayon. Just saying.



Healthy No-Bake Tropical Coconut Applesauce Bars (Raw, Gluten-Free, Vegan-Friendly)

Healthy No-Bake Tropical Coconut Applesauce Bars (Raw, Gluten-Free, Vegan-Friendly)

If you love coconut and the taste of the tropics with a healthy twist, you're going to love the fresh flavors in this no-bake bar! Absolutely guilt-free with a smattering of dates, coconut, and applesauce. Great for on-the-go!


  • 1 cup dates, pitted (any variety--I used Deglet Noir)
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt (or use melted coconut oil to keep it vegan)
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut


  1. Line a 9x5-inch baking pan with foil and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, blend dates until they begin to form a pasta, scraping down sides as necessary. Add coconut milk, applesauce, nuts, peanut butter and yogurt (or coconut oil) and blend until completely smooth.
  3. Add oats and shredded coconut, and pulse processor 4-5 times, so that oats become incorporated into the mixture. Add more oats as needed if your mixture is still too wet.
  4. Spoon batter evenly into prepared pan. Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours before cutting into bars and enjoying! These will be fairly sticky/crumbly, so they are best served in small pieces.

 Show our #gradstudentbloggers and #undergradstudentbloggers your support! Check out the whole list of featured Starving Student recipes now:

Blackberry Slice via PicNic

Salted Caramel Popcorn Trail Mix Bars via Daisy and the Fox

Lemon Bars via Go Bake Yourself

Healthy Tropical Bars (Raw, Vegan) via Wallflour Girl

Omelette Sandwich via Bacon Egg Cheese(cake)

Want to join, or know a university food blogger who would? We would love to have you: email Ala at [email protected] to sign up! 

The #gradstudentblogger and #undergradstudentblogger series showcases the lives and talent of insanely busy food bloggers from across all stages of their higher education pathway. Thank you for joining us, and we hope to see you again in two weeks!



13 Replies to “Healthy Tropical Bars (Raw, GF, Vegan) for #gradstudentbloggers”

  1. LOVED your recipe Ala, omg! Absolutely need this vegan raw heaven in my life 😀
    It is so perfect to keep your energy up with how busy we can get! And I love how the majority of us all took a bar approach 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. Also, for some reason, none of the links seem to be working? For the other bloggers? So I’m resending mine, I apologise!

      Choc Chip Uru

    2. Heh true true! Yours look heeeeeavenly. I guess there’s also something attractive to us busy folks about eating in bar portion sizes–I’m always making massive bars instead of normal sized ones! C’est la (student) vie!

  2. Lol, I loved everyone’s answers to all the questions. Zainab: “Need.more.hours” <– totally! I laughed at Shelley's "uuugggghhh" because that's usually how I feel every morning getting up before work 😉 Girl, I LOVE these raw healthy delicious bars! And good news is that I have every single ingredient in my kitchen right this minute and I'm sick and tired of the granola bar recipe I've been using so that means I'm making your recipe this weekend (ummm…that's a long ass run-on sentence. Sorry!). Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blog yesterday. You're the bestest. Let's touch base over email soon, k?

    1. Omg yes aren’t these girls amazing?! I hope you got a chance to try them–I haven’t gotten around to my food processor recently and have mad cravings for a no-bake bar now. And yesss it’s been very crazy (no more than usual eh?) so I feel like I haven’t even gotten started on email but LET’S. Once one of us gets the ball rolling–I’ll try to do that since your job sounds insaaaaane–I can’t wait to catch up for real!!

  3. Oh my I have everything to make this!! Just double checked to make sure my dates were good and yup…they are ao these are so happening. Thank you for this wonderful series again girl!!

    1. Dawww yeah give it a whirl, you superstar! Hope this week hasn’t been TOO crazy (though who are we kidding right?) and you’re a gem for stopping by!

  4. Great answers and way to go on running your first half marathon last month by training with dessert every day haha – loved that way to go girl!:) Love these no bake bars – I have all the ingredients ready to make these – love the coconut milk and flaked coconut in here!

    1. Hehe I think I’ll have to adopt a different training method next time though because, er–actually, not really eh? :p and yay you’ll love these bars. Definitely give them a go!

  5. Terrific bars, Ala…especially for those students living with less than optimal kitchens! And I love these interview questions…and the answers 🙂

    1. Yes, aren’t these gals amazing?! I love reading their answers too! And I love one-bowl/food processor only recipes too! Have a lovely week, Liz!

  6. No bake, gluten free, and Raw AND vegan – you go girl! this is all a hungry uni kid could ever wish for!
    so gonna make this, eat tones and then never feel guilty about it 😛
    thanks for the recipe! and hope studying is going well 🙂

    1. Omg Bec you have nooo idea how addicting these become! Seriously–us student types need brain fuel right? 😀 my school year actually hasn’t started yet but I have been doing a bunch of research this summer. Hope your school year is going well though!

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