I dare you to tell me this is “just another healthy oat bar” recipe. I triple dog dare you, and if you lose, I will bite the head off a hapless gingerbread man (is it almost that time of the year already? Sigh).
Apart from the mumbled ooh’s and aah’s these bars received when I brought them to my friends’ houses, this healthy snack alternative just knocked my socks off. I was messing around with the food processor last week because it’s been a solid 98 degrees all week here. Living in perpetual beautiful summertime may not sound like a problem, but it is indeed a problem.
A big, fat Californian first-world problem. Try hashtagging that.
I expected “good,” I expected “delicious”–but I did not expect these.
I anticipated “love ’em!”, I anticipated “yum!”–but I did not anticipate this.
I did not know there would be violent voices in my head screaming at me after I tasted these, “EAT THEM ALL BEFORE THE REDCOATS COME OR WE WILL KEEL YOU.”
And really, who am I to disobey?
The most gorgeous thing about these bars (if one could pick) is that they taste like honest-to-goodness no other oat cookie/granola bar I’ve ever made before. The oat base is slightly salty and leaves this unexpected coconutty taste (from the coconut oil) in your mouth that makes you suspect they’ve started flavoring crack with essence of coconut these days. The bars are studded with chunks of dark chocolate (always a good move) and a great salty balance of pretzel chunks, which add awesome texture to the bars. And they’re vegan, GF, raw, and completely date-sweetened, which means
the fact that I gobbled up an entire pan in one sitting
is also like a merit or something.
I’m thinking granola bowl, served with vanilla soy milk or–better yet–sweetened coconut milk. Or crumbled and sprinkled over a cup of Greek yogurt, because they’re pretty crumbly already to begin with. What do you think?
Do the world a favor. Bookmark these, save ’em for that godforsaken day when you’re staring at your online calendar and realize with a pang of horror that you haven’t made anything for that oh-so-fancy-shmancy 10-year high school reunion/potluck yet. Save this for that day when the gallon tub of ice cream sitting in your freezer is screaming your name and you still have two weeks to fit into your bridesmaid dress. Trust me on this one: you can thank me later.
Did anybody else imagine John Cusack (voice of Dmitri from Anastasia) saying that last line? No? Just me? I love dreamboat Dmitri…almost as much as I love these bars. (Sorry, Deets, babe.)
I’m sharing this recipe with all the #SundaySupper crew today as part of our “Unprocessed” series, which means you get a sneak peek at oodles of other awesome unprocessed recipes from our talented bloggers. Lucky you!
- 3/4 cup almonds or nut of your choice
- 3/4 cup dates (I used Deglet Noir)
- 1 tablespoon nut butter (optional)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon soy or other non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free oats
- 1/4 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate cihps
- 1/3 cup crushed pretzels
- In your food processor, grind together nuts and dates until they begin to form a thick paste, about 3 minutes. Add coconut oil and process for an additional 2-3 minutes, combining the oil into the paste as much as possible. Add soy milk, vanilla, and salt. Continue processing until all ingredients are combined into one goopy pasty lump. Allow to cool completely.
- Pour oats, chocolate chips, and pretzels chunks into a large bowl. Fold the date paste into the oat mixture as best as you can--you may need to dive in with your bare hands, which is great! Knead the mixture together until the oats and mix-ins are completely incorporate.
- Line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with lightly greased foil. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Cut and eat immediately if desired, or store in fridge (covered) for up to 5 days. These bars will be crumbly, coconutty, and heavenly either way!
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