The idea for these bars came from another recipe for oatmeal cookies that a friend gave me a few years ago. Although the cookies were very tasty, they called for margarine and white sugar and thus, I wanted to create something simple that we could consume as a snack at work or even as a sweet, without worrying about our health. So I replaced the white sugar with brown and instead of margarine I used olive oil. The result was even better than the classic oat biscuits, and these cookie-bars became our favorite snack!
Usually when I make the bars, I use rolled oats because they are not expensive (even if we choose the biological brands), but they are also delicious with rolled buckwheat flakes -if we want to avoid gluten, or rolled zea (Triticum dicoccum).
The recipe is very easy to make and due to its high nutrient content, the bars can be prepared as a snack for children. Even a small bar is enough to satisfy our hunger when we need to eat something between our meals and thus I usually have a small cereal bar in my bag when I’m out.
If we decide to make them at home, we can become a little bit creative by adding half cup of dried fruits of our choice.
- 2 cups oat flakes
- ½ cup sunflower seeds or chopped nuts
- ½ cup dry coconut, shredded or almond powder
- 1/3 cup apple puree
- ½ cup raw brown sugar
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- To make the apple puree, wash and peel 1 medium apple. Cut into large pieces and place in a small pan along with 1-2 tbsp of water. Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Mash with a fork and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes more until all the liquid has been evaporated from the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat and let the puree aside to cool.
- To make the bars, combine into a bowl 1/3 cup of the apple puree with the sugar and the olive oil until well mixed.
- Add all the other ingredients and mix well with a spoon. Let the mixture rest for half an hour.
- Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and spread the mixture evenly with hands, shaping a square or rectangular. The thickness of the dough should be about 1 centimeter.
- Bake in preheated oven at 170 oC for 15 minutes. Then remove the tray from the oven and with a sharp knife cut square or rectangular bars. Lower the temperature of the oven at 130-140 oC and continue baking for 15-20 minutes until crisp.
- Let the bars to cool and keep in a box.
Note: These cookie-bars are delicious and I am sure that you will make the recipe again and again. To make sure that the recipe will work each time, use the same measuring cup for all of the ingredients.
When we crave for something sweet, some raw vegan desserts I make are our favorite choice, as they have both fantastic taste –if you’ve ever eaten a raw chocolate cheesecake you probably know what I mean- and great nutritional value.
Lately I was looking for an easy and 100% raw vegan, super-tasty chocolate brownie recipe and after experimenting a little bit I came up with this! It is exactly what I was looking for since they are moist, fudgy and really satisfying with some crunchy nut bites. Besides, each portion provides valuable nutrients and beneficial fats, without added sugar, processed starches or gluten. Their only disadvantage is that it’s hard to resist eating more than one serving!
Just remember to keep them in the fridge, especially during summer, as coconut oil in temperatures above 24 °C tends to melt and thereby your brownies may soften too much.
For the brownies
- 2 cups Medjool dates (400 g)
- ½ cup raw cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup ground flaxseed (60 g)
- 2 cups finely shredded coconut * (150 g)
- ¾ cup avocado flesh cut into small cubes (150 g)
- 3-4 tablespoons maca powder (optional)
- 4 tablespoons (60 ml) coconut oil melted
- ½ cup Brazil nuts or coarsely chopped hazelnuts
For the topping
- 5 tbsp agave syrup or other raw liquid sweetener
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil melted
- 1 tbsp water
- Line a small square or rectangular baking pan with greaseproof paper (mine was 25×16).
- Wash the dates and carefully remove their seeds. Put them in the food processor together with the coconut oil and the avocado and process for 2 minutes or until a smooth cream has been formed.
- Add the remaining ingredients (except Brazil nuts) and process on medium speed until incorporated.
- Put the mixture on the kitchen counter and press slightly with your hands. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts and knead until incorporated.
- Transfer into the pan and press the mixture with your hands to spread it evenly and make sure it has a uniform thickness. Flatten the surface with a spatula.
- Prepare the topping: In a bowl mix the agave syrup with the water and cocoa very well. Melt the coconut oil in a double boiler (in summer in Greece coconut oil is permanently liquid!) and add in the mixture while stirring.
- Pour over the brownie and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.
If you are one of those who go mad about coconut, you are going to love this recipe.
First of all, it is very easy, in the sense that the only things we need is a blender and dried, shredded coconut. Secondly, it is low budget since dried coconut is quite cheap (you can buy 1 kilo -which is a lot of coconut -in Athens’s central market for 4 Euros!).
Moreover, coconut milk is suitable for people who avoid soy, it’s a good source of healthy fats and it has an amazing taste and a thick consistency which makes it work great in recipes that call for cream.
With this recipe, you can have 4 cups of rich coconut milk. If you want it more waterish, you can simply add 1 cup of water in the initial recipe.
- 2 cups dried, shredded coconut
- 4 cups of hot filtered water
- Add all of the ingredients into the blender and blend on the highest level setting for 2-3 minutes.
- Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve or a nut milk bag or a cheesecloth over a strainer , and using a spatula, press the pulp to extract as much coconut milk as possible. Once most of the milk has passed through the strainer, gather up the cheesecloth and gently squeeze it to remove excess liquid.
- You can keep it in a glass bottle or jar in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Once you have extracted all of the milk, you will be left with about 1 ½ cup of finely shredded coconut meal. I usually use it to make raw nut truffles or raw cheesecakes or I put in the fridge to use it in other recipes, but we can also dry it and have our own coconut flour.
Since the milk is creamy and contains no additives, emulsifiers etc, we may notice that as it sits in the fridge it separates, but with a quick shake it is ready to drink.