Days spent at home studying or in the library reading make for exhausting weeks and it’s important that I don’t fall back on getting the bulk of my calories from all the lovely vegan goodies that Camden has to offer (I’m looking at you Cookies and Scream)! So I try to whip up some good ol’ fashioned muesli bars to take with me for a boost of sustenance whilst studying.
I’ve made two here, one – a nutty, sticky bar with almonds that is inspired by an article in a magazine I found about using dates and peanut butter in a muesli bar and the other – a lovely and sweet chewy bar that is based on this recipe from Angela at Oh She Glows! I have been experimenting lately with sweetening things using dates and whilst some recipes have NOT turned out, these bars are fantastic! One is baked and one is chilled – so you can easily make them at the same time and be left with two lots of awesome, chunky goodness!
Sticky Peanut Butter Bars:
- 1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter (smooth would be fine, but I love the extra peanuts!)
- 1/3 cup agave nectar (I used a mix of dark and light, but one of either would be fine)
- 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
- 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
- 1 2/3 cups porridge oats
- 1 cup chopped nuts like pecans or almonds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Extra coconut and linseeds for pressing on top
Throw most of the oats into a large mixing bowl with the nuts and coconut. Place remaining oats (like a small handful) into a food processor with the pitted dates. add a splash of water and process until combined – it will be sticky and gooey! Now add this to the oats and nuts. In a little frying pan, you are going to heat gently the peanut butter and the agave until they come together in a liquid. Turn off the heat, add in the vanilla and then pour into the bowl with everything else. Mix well until everything is combined and then press into your prepared pan, making sure the surface is nice and flat.
Wet your hands and press down on the surface a little to wet it and then sprinkle over the linseeds and coconut so they stick down. Place in fridge for half an hour or more until cool and firm. Now they are ready to slice!
Soft Baked Fruity Bar:
- 3/4 cup of rolled oats (gluten-free if you need)
- 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup seeds of choice (I mixed sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and linseed)
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries chopped (or raisins)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Pre-heat your oven to 325F/160C/gas mark 3. Line an 8×8 square pan with baking/parchment paper. In a food processor, blend the oats until fine. Now place in a large bowl. To the processor add the dates and water and blend until you have a nice smooth consistency. Drop in the vanilla extract now.
Now add the liquid to the oats followed by the rest of the ingredients. Mix well with a wooden spoon until all combined. Transfer this to your prepared pan and smooth out until you have a flat, smooth surface. Bake in the oven for around 25 minutes. It will become nice and firm when you press it. Once done, leave to sit for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before slicing.
Look how loaded these babies are!