Fudgy Vegan Beetroot Bars

Most of my recipes fall on the healthier end of the baked goods spectrum, but these beetroot bad boys are way, waaay farther down the healthy side than I usually dare wander. 

I call these my ‘beetroot bad boys’ because they are anything but that. My sense of humor can’t be rationalized. Let’s move on. Despite their striking appearance, these guys are very tamed, consisting of coconut oil, rice malt syrup, boiled beets, rolled oats, chia seeds, and shredded coconut. No eggs, no butter, no other truly-bad-boy sugars. You’re either loving the sound of this, nodding your head in agreement (no bad-boy-sugars, oh yeah!!!) or you’re feeling a little uneasy (so… do these just taste like dirt?). The honest answer is kinda. They kinda have an earthy taste because that’s just how beets taste, is it not? I didn’t add beets to these bars just for their color alone. And while I could’ve masquerade their flavor with a cup full of sugar of butter, I decided to stick with what I had in mind for this recipe, not create what I thought some people somewhere (I don’t even know these people) might prefer to eat.

The truth is, I love a good, void-of-nutrients cake. Bring on the processed white flour and butter and all. However, do I want to eat such cakes everyday? No. Okay, yes, I do, but my point is that I choose not to, because eating copious amounts of white cake everyday would catch up with me mentally and physically. So, on my cake-off days, when cake has gone to the movies or left town for a little while, I bake things with vegetables in them.

If you’re after a baked good that is healthy enough to constitute having for breakfast, first snack, lunch, and second snack, then these bars are for you. I understand you might be afraid of the beet flavor shining too strongly in this one, so add another tbsp of cocoa powder or syrup until you’re satisfied. But in all honesty, the only unsettling thing about these bars is how tasty and fudgy in texture they are, dirty vegetables and all.
 

Ingredients~

Bars:
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup beetroot, chopped and boiled
1/4 cup rice malt syrup
3 tbsps chia seeds, ground
2 tbsps cocoa powder
1 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsps melted/soft coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of ground rock salt
1-2 tbsps beetroot water (reserved from boiled beetroot, but replace with water if you’ve roasted your beets)
1/3 cup chopped chocolate or chips (optional, I omitted this)

Sauce:
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp rice malt syrup
Nut/dairy milk, add for desired consistency

Instructions~

1. Peel, chop, and boil beets until you can easily stick a fork into them. Once slightly cooled, add the beets and 1 tbsp beet water to the food processor and blend until beets are reduced to a fine pulp.
2. Preheat oven to 185 C/374 F. Add syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and ground chia to beet mixture. Blend until well combined and transfer to a large bowl.
4. Combine remaining dry ingredients in food processor and blend until oats and coconut more closely resemble flour (oat flakes here and there are totally okay). Add dry ingredients to bowl of wet and whisk well. Stir through the chocolate chunks/chips if using. The batter will be noticeably clumpy (gelatinous even) with the beet pulp, chia seeds, and coconut/oats stirred through it, but that’s how it should be. Unlike brownie/cake batters, this won’t be very pourable, but also know that it shouldn’t appear dry! It should be very gooey and wet to the touch.
5. Line a square pan with parchment paper and lightly oil sides before adding the mixture. You will have to use your spatula to evenly spread it around. Set in oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes. My bars were done, aka not wobbly in the middle, after 18 minutes. Allow the bars to cool a bit before pouring chocolate sauce on top and refrigerating or quick-freezing (20-30 minutes) until the chocolate hardens up a bit.
6. For the chocolate sauce, simply combine all of the ingredients, beginning with 3 tbsps of milk, in a saucepan on low heat. Stir until cocoa powder has completely dissolved and add more milk by the tbsp to achieved your desired consistency. Let cool off the stove as the bars bake.

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Vegan Raspberry Swirl Rolls (Refined Sugar Free!)

Ingredients~

Dough:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps yeast
1/3 cup & 1-3 tbsps soy milk
2 tbsps melted Earth Balance/butter
1 tbsp rice malt syrup
1/4 tsp salt

Filling:
2/3 cup dates
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 tbsp melted Earth Balance/butter

Glaze:
1 cup soaked raw cashews (I quick soak mine for 2 hours in warm water)
1/3 cup & 2-4 tbsps soy milk
2 tbsps rice malt syrup

Instructions~

1. Heat up 1/3 cup milk in a saucepan on low heat. Once slightly hot (be careful not to scald!!), transfer it to a large bowl to cool until you can easily stick your finger in without retracting. If the milk is too hot it will kill the yeast! Stir the yeast through the warm milk and let sit for 5-8 minutes or until very foamy and thickened. If your mixture doesn’t change it means the yeast is likely a dud, so try again with more.
2. Once yeast is activated, stir in the melted (but not burning!) butter and syrup. Add the flour and salt, stirring in a circular motion until the mixture begins to come together. If it’s too dry, add more milk by the tbsp. I gradually added two more tbsps. If it’s too wet, sprinkle flour on top and continue to combine. Once the dough more or less forms a large blob, transfer it to a clean, lightly floured counter and knead with your hands for 5-8 minutes. It should be easy to handle, aka not too sticky, and bounce back when you press your finger into it. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the ball of dough at the bottom, tightly covering it with plastic wrap and setting it in a warm space for 1 1/2-2 hours or doubled in size. I preheat my oven to 80 celsius and turn it off before putting my dough in to kick off the rising process (leave the door ajar initially if it’s way too hot).
3. While the dough rises, soften the dates (unless using medjool) by pouring just-boiled water over them until they are submerged. After about 5 minutes, transfer them to a food processor and blend until sticky, thick paste forms. Set aside.
4. Once dough is done rising, plop it on a lightly floured surface and roll it out (about 1/4-1/2 inch thickness). Lather the dough with a tbsp of melted butter, making sure to leave cm or so of space around the edges to make rolling it up easier. Spread on the date paste before adding a layer of frozen raspberries. Use your fingertips to gently roll up the dough, starting with the closest lip; be sure to tightly curl it in. Pinch the last lip of dough together and voila, you should have a great big log on your hands. Use dental floss or a sharp, serrated knife to slice off the rolls.* Give each piece about an inch of thickness and place them in a pan lined with parchment paper. Allow to rise a second time for 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours or doubled.
4. As the dough rises, make the cashew sauce. Simply blend soaked cashews in a food processor with 1/3 cup milk and 2 tbsps syrup. Continue to blend until cashew fully break up and only tiny flecks are visible. Add more tbsps of milk (I added two!) and continue to blend to achieve your desired consistency!
4. Preheat oven to 176 C/350 F and once heated, bake the rolls for 15-22 minutes or until the filling appears thickened and slightly darker and the dough is kissed with a toasty golden color. Drizzle on cashew cream and enjoy warm!

* If the dough feels ridiculously warm and gooey, you may want to refrigerate it for 10 minutes or more until cooler/firmer. You don’t want the rolls to squish and flatten upon cutting!

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A Peach Cake That Happens to Be Vegan

One of the protagonists in a book I recently read, All The Light We Cannot See, is described as eating canned peaches that taste like sunlight,

“Marie-Laure can hear a can opening, juice slopping into a bowl.  Seconds later, she’s eating wedges of wet sunlight.” (121)

Naturally, I became transfixed by the imagery created in that once sentence.

Coincidentally, my brother gifted me three cans of peaches for Christmas.

Obviously, I put the pieces together and made this cake.

The cake tastes like peaches, sweet and tart at the same time. There definitely isn’t an overwhelming tartness to it, but given the low amount of sugar in this recipe (1/3 cup rice malt syrup), the sweetness isn’t all you notice either.

Also, in an effort to make a cumbersome-free cake, the resulting recipe turned out Vegan. And soft, very soft… (meaning you’ll have trouble knowing when to stop eating).

A wedge of wet sunlight.

Ingredients~

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 can unsweetened peaches (about 1 cup chopped)
1/3 cup rice malt syrup
1/3 cup soft Earth Balance or regular butter
2 tsps lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 tsps baking powder
Pinch of ground rock salt (scant 1/4 tsp)

Instructions~

Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F
1. Drain can of peaches and roughly chop them into 1/2-1/4 inch pieces. Meanwhile, whip the butter in a large bowl until creamy. Add the syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and blend. Once well combined, stir through the peaches.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl and add to the wet ingredients. Line two round cake pans with parchment paper and Earth Balance/butter and pour half of the batter in each one. Since each layer of cake is fairly thin, you may have to spread the batter out a bit in the pan to ensure an equal width all the way around. Cook for 18-23 minutes, or until golden in color and the center does not wobble when moved.
3. Allow the cakes to cool before layering with frosting or whipped cream, both of which you can easily color at home with the juice of strained fruit purees (I used 2-3 tbsps of raspberry juice to give my coconut whip cream a lavender color).

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The Healthy Alternative to Cake Pops: Pumpkin Bread ‘Truffles’

Ingredients~

Filling:
1 loaf pumpkin bread/cake*
1/3 cup & 1-4 tbsps milk of your choice

Chocolate coating:
100 g dark chocolate pieces (I used 70% cocoa)
1-4 tbsps coconut oil and/or milk to thin out the chocolate sauce
Liquid sweetener to taste

Coconut Topping: 
1/3-1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp brown sugar (I omitted this but am sure it would be lovely)

* If you aren’t going the homemade route (it takes a lot more fiddling around, I know, I know), combine one box of white cake mix with 2 tsps of pumpkin spice and, here you may have to do some fiddling of your own, around 1-2 cups of pureed pumpkin. The resulting truffles should be just as good and maybe a
tad more sweet than a loaf of pumpkin bread would have made them.

Instructions~

1. Use your fingers to break up the pumpkin bread in a large bowl. Be sure to rub the large pieces together until the result is crumbly. At this point you will be questioning your decision to reduce a perfectly delicious loaf of bread to crumbs, but bear with me… Add 1/3 cup of milk to start, adding more by the tbsp if you can’t easily roll the batter into balls. It should be wet/sticky enough to hold together without breaking, however, don’t over add the milk either or the result will be too sticky to handle. Slow and steady.
2. To make the chocolate sauce simply combine the chocolate and 1-3 tbsps of liquid in a saucepan over low heat, stirring and gradually adding more oil/milk/liquid sweetener by the tbsp until the sauce has thinned out enough for dipping. There should definitely be enough chocolate for the batter (I even had some left over!) Now, stick a chopstick/fork/skewer into a truffle and dip it into the chocolate sauce until fully submerged. I find that it helps to tip the saucepan towards you so that the sauce collects and deepens around the truffle. Place each coated truffle on a tray lined with baking paper, leaving around a 1/2-full inch of space between each one.
3. Last and arguably most importantly (Insta worthy), toss the coconut, cinnamon, and sugar (if using) together and carefully toast them in a pan on the stove or on a tray in the oven until the coconut is mostly golden. Sprinkle a large pinch on each truffle and place the the tray in the freezer for at least 1-2 hours to harden. Or dig in earlier, I’m only here to give you a subjective impression of things. I found that letting individual truffles thaw for 1-2 minutes before I had them improved the flavor slightly (aka they didn’t burn my teeth with frost).

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Healthy, Non-Traditional Key Lime Pie

It was 33 degrees (91 Fahrenheit) today, so I behaved as any sane person would and ate copious amounts of chilled pie. Not just any pie of course. This was a no-bake, zingy key lime pie with a vegan filling. Healthy fats in the form of pie, please. The filling is packed with soft cashews, coconut cream, and a generous amount of lime zest and juice. Featured on top is a layer of milky cashew cream and carrying the weight of it all is a base of tightly packed biscuit crumbs. This pie screams summer. But by no means should you base your decadent culinary experiences on the current season… I say take control of your life and make this pie regardless of the weather outside (if you’re in the mood for it at least, I’d never force pie on anyone).

No skimping on the crust with this one. Or any pie. Ever.

The cashew cream is by no means necessary for the success of this pie, but it does add a creamy, neutral layer that balances out the tangy, animated taste of the lime filling and the sweetness of the biscuit base. So yes, I recommend making it or whipping up some coconut cream (that has first chilled in the fridge overnight).

Ingredients~

Filling:
3/4 cup soaked raw cashews (I quick soak mine for 1-2 hours in warm water)
1/4 cup soaked raw macadamia nuts
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 smaller/250 g can coconut cream (chilled for a few hours first)
1/4 cup & 2 tbsps rice malt syrup or other liquid sweetener
1 tbsp solid/soft coconut oil
6 tbsps lime juice (about three large limes)
Zest of two large limes (reserve the third lime for decorative zest)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of ground rock salt

Crust:
1 1/3 cups crushed biscuits (I recommend original flavored Digestives if you’re in Australia and graham crackers if you’re in America)
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup & 1 tbsp melted coconut oil

Cashew Cream:
2/3 cup soaked raw cashews
1/4 cup & 2-4 tbsps rice milk or milk of your choice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Liquid sweetener to taste (I omitted this, and you may want to initially reduce the milk as this will be more liquid on top of that)

Instructions~

Preheat oven to 180 C/356 F
1. Combine the crust ingredients in a food processor and blend until crumbly. Press the crumbs into the base of a greased/lined pie pan. The mixture should stick together once pressed down, but if it appears too dry add another 1-2 tbsps of oil. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until divine smell emanates from your oven. Once baked, let it cool away from the hot oven.
2. For the filling, add the nuts, coconut flakes, syrup, oil, vanilla, and salt to the food processor. Blend until nuts/coconut break up and the resulting consistency is very smooth and thick. If your processor is large enough, add the coconut cream, lime juice and zest, and continue to blend until batter noticeably thins out/combines. If you don’t have a big food processor, simply transfer the first mixture to a large bowl and whisk in the remaining ingredients.
3. Once pie base has cooled, pour in the filling, cover with clear plastic wrap, and set in the freezer overnight to completely avoid messiness.
4. Before you think you’re finished, whip up the cashew cream. Simply combine the cashews, vanilla, sweetener if using, and 1/4 cup milk to the food processor and blend until resulting consistency is smooth, with only flecks of cashew strewn through it. You may have to blend the ingredients for a while, scraping down the sides ever so often if your food processor is like mine (cheap). I ended up gradually adding 2 more tbsps of milk to obtain the consistency I wanted, but you do you. Allow the cream to sit in the fridge and solidify further before dolloping it on the pie (or don’t!)

Note~ The coconut milk/cream foundation of this pie is based off of Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Key Lime Pie recipe!

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Triple Layer Date Caramel Slice

When I was a kid my grandma, sister, and I would have an annual Girls’ Night. My grandma would let us have free reign (within sane limits of course) to choose a few special items at the grocery store and then we would enjoy dinner, dessert, and a movie together. It was always a fun time. Because my sister and I grew up in Taiwan and only visited the U.S. during the summer, we would wander through the giant American grocery store aisles in awe. Compared to Taiwan, the rows of ice cream flavors, sugary cereals, and candy bars appeared infinite to our little dewy eyes. I can recall one summer when we (I likely did some convincing) chose both caramel ice cream and caramel sauce to be our dessert. It’s a memory I recall with a great feeling of abundance.

Though I’ve grown and changed, I think the vibrancy of that memory (or maybe just the fact that I’ve indulged in it all these years) illustrates my ever-persistent craving for caramel. However, just as age will mature a person or wine or cheese or a person’s taste for said wines and cheeses, it will also mature one’s taste for caramel. So, while the days of tooth-shocking, factory-processed caramel are behind me, the present and future are bright with rich and gooey date caramel. These caramel slices have a chewy base comprised of oats and coconut, a rich center made of mostly dates, and a top layer of dark cocoa and cashew butter to seal the the treasure in.


Above: straight from the freezer
Below: minutes after being handled in Australian summer weather

Ingredients~

Base:
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup oat flour
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tbsps sunflower seeds (or pumpkin seeds)
3 tbsps rice malt syrup or other liquid sweetener
1/4 cup coconut oil (melt first if yours is solid)

Caramel center:
2 cups dates
1/4 cup unsweetened peanut butter (or almond butter)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 tbsp hulled/unhulled tahini
3-6 tbsps date water*
Scant 1/4 tsp ground rock salt (omit if nut butter is already salted)

Chocolate fudge layer:
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2-3 tbsps unsweetened nut/soy milk (dairy milk works too)
3 tbsps cashew butter
1 tbsp rice malt syrup 

Instructions~
(These instructions may seem long and daunting, but I promise I’m only being thorough! The caramel slices are simple and straightforward to make.)

1. Preheat oven to 170 C/338 F as you prepare the base layer. Simply combine dry ingredients in a food processor and blend until a slightly crumbly mixture forms. Press down mixture in pan (if it doesn’t stick together when pressed down, add another tbsp or two of oil/water) and put in middle rack of oven for roughly 11-14 minutes. The edges should turn light golden-brown by the time you take it out.
2. As the crust layer cooks prepare the caramel filling. First, pour just-boiled water over bowl of dates until they are submerged. Let sit for at least 10 minutes.
3. Add softened dates, nut butter, pecans, tahini, and 4 tbsps date water to food processor and blend. You will have to blend for several minutes, stopping after a handful of pulses to scrape down the sides/stir before continuing to blend (time will vary depending on strength of your food processor). Ideally, the final caramel filling will be smooth and a rich, toasted caramel color. I added a total of 5 tbsps of date water to my mixture to obtain a thick but spreadable filling. You may only want to add 3 tbsps, but up to 6 will not drastically alter the consistency.
4. Once the base layer has mostly cooled down, evenly spread caramel filling on top and place in freezer for at least 30 minutes or until it has significantly chilled before adding chocolate layer.
5. To make the chocolate fudge simply stir together all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir for a few minutes until the cocoa powder breaks up and the cashew butter melts, thickening the sauce. Once combined, evenly drizzle/spread it on the caramel layer and return to freezer for at least 4-5 hours or overnight. After freezing you will find that the base layer has significantly hardened (think biscotti), so before eating you may want to let it thaw for a couple of minutes. Enjoy!

* Date water is simply the warm water left over after soaking the dates. Soaking your dates for at least 10 minutes in hot water before blending helps soften them and expedite the caramel-making process.

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Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Nut & Date Crust

Confession: I have never successfully made a pie on my own… until today that is, when this easy-peasy pumpkin pie fell into my lap. Okay, you will have to get off your tush to whip this together, but it won’t require you to cash in much effort or time AND it will be so worth it. Breakfast. Lunch. Snack. Dinner. This pie is healthy enough to constitute being a main course at every meal (aka that’s how my post-pie-making day played out).

ppie2.jpg

I don’t know about you, but the idea of successfully making a pressed and flaky homemade crust is what deterred me from making pie all these years. Alas, the discovery of date and nut crust. This crust recipe is like that super chill, undemanding friend of yours. You know the one that always radiates positive vibes and makes you feel good about yourself and life? Yes, well, this pie is just as unchallenging to deal with and (bonus points) it will leave you feeling proud of yourself for having just made a pie. from. scratch. That’s a pretty noteworthy accomplishment if you ask me. Why don’t you have a slice to celebrate?? I did.

ppie3.jpgpie8.jpgpie7.jpgJust look at this hearty, homey beauty. Sit by the fire with it awhile or make a place for it at the dining room table.

Ingredients~

Filling:

1 1/2 generous cups pureed roasted pumpkin (roasted without salt/oil/seasoning)
Heaping 1/2 cup dates*
2-4 tbsps brown rice malt syrup (I added 2 tbsps but increase it to fit your sweet tooth)
1 can full fat coconut cream (only use the top thickened cream, save the liquid for another use!)
3 tsps pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp Himalayan salt

Crust:
Heaping cup of dates*
2/3 cup pecans
2/3 cup almonds
2/3 cup traditional rolled oats
2 tbsps rice malt syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Scant 1/4 cup water

Instructions~

Preheat oven to 176 celsius/350 F
1. Roast pumpkin. After it has cooled, puree it in food processor along with the dates and syrup. Once thoroughly blended transfer it to a large bowl and add the coconut cream, spices, and salt. Blend with hand-held mixer or whisk until thick, copper colored mixture forms. Set aside.
2. To make the crust begin by blending dates, nuts, syrup, and coconut oil in food processor. Once a crumbly, but moist mixture forms transfer it to a bowl.
3. Next, add the oats and spice to the processor and blend. Once blended add 1/2 the date and nut mixture back to the processor to blend and combine. Add the remaining date and nut mixture, along with 1/4 cup water. Blend. The result will still be fairly crumbly but should be wet enough to stick together when pressed down in your pie pan. If it’s still too dry add water or nut milk by the tbsp and continue to combine and check.
4. Press crust mixture into pie pan, evenly spreading it out using finger tips. Be sure to press it up against the edges of the pan, too! Now for the fun part: pour the patiently-waiting pumpkin filling into the center of the crust and spread it out with a spatula. Give it a little swirl in the center (harder than it looks; my boyfriend, Matt, did the honors) and put it in the middle rack of your oven for 35 minutes, turning it 180 degrees at the halfway point.
5. Once baked (it will still jiggle a little/seem undercooked in the middle), cool it in your fridge for at least 5-6 hours (overnight=optimal). Enjoy with coco whip or ice cream as you deliver your heartfelt farewells!

* If using regular dates be sure to soak them in hot water for 5-10 minutes before blending them. Unlike medjool dates, regular store-bought ones can be quite firm and dry, so soaking helps soften them up a bit.

pie5.jpg

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Vegan Sweet Potato Brownies

When I was growing up my mom had a collection of binders full of recipes cut out from magazines and photocopied from cookbooks. Some were family favorites that had been enjoyed by her parents and relatives while others had been accumulated by her over the years. I remember viewing the binders as one would a trove of mysterious treasure. Such a collection couldn’t be instantly bought or made, it had to be slowly gathered over years of (often un-purposeful) searching and discussing.

As a kid I imagined my future self with a thick book full of personally found and mastered recipes. I am certain that this sweet potato brownie recipe has a special place in said book. It is a dessert that I have enjoyed three times now (in the last 1 1/2 months) and each time it has gotten better. Before tucking it away in my “to-be-compiled-into-a-cooking-bible” folder I thought I ought to share the unbelievably healthy and chocolatey magic with you. Safeguard this recipe in your own big binder… it is a beauty!

Ingredients~

1 cup whole wheat flour (about 90 grams)
1 large orange sweet potato (500-550 grams)
1 cup chopped dates (add a bit less if using medjool)
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3 tbsps brown rice malt syrup or other liquid sweetener
1/4 cup unsweetened peanut butter
2 tbsps coconut/vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Chocolate chunks/chips to stir through

Instructions~

Preheat oven to 185 celsius
1. Peel and chop sweet potato before boiling. Remove from stove once soft and tender. Blend potato chunks in food processor and add dates, mixing until they form a mostly smooth consistency.
2. Add syrup/honey, peanut butter, oil, and vanilla extract to potato mixture and combine well.
3. Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl and add sweet potato mixture. The resulting batter should be quite sticky and dense.
4. Evenly lay out batter on lined baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes. I like my brownies very fudgy in the center so I took them out just shy of 32 minutes. Let them sit or cool for a bit before diving in.

Note~ This recipe was inspired by Deliciously Ella’s sweet potato brownie recipe!

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Cookie Crumble Bars

Today is dessert-for-breakfast day (Saturday). I’m a die-hard made-from-scratch pancake fan but this morning pancakes felt like too much of an investment. Whipping up the batter isn’t all that bad (unless you’re opting for a fancy meringue kinda batter), but having to babysit each and every puddle of pancake until it bubbles can be pretty irksome (I know i’m not alone on this…you impatient foodies are out there, right?!) and I also suck at pancake flipping so…

…I (happily) settled for oat cookies in the form of a bar (yes, the photographed bars have already suffered a bite or three). Cookies carry the connotation of being unhealthy, so why not morph them into a granola-bar inspired thingy majig and confidently chow them down under the gaze of your cookie-hating critics?

You’re going to like these because A) they taste like cookies B) they’re not sickeningly sweet (if that’s your kinda thing I apologize) C) they’re super quick and cheap to make!

Ingredients~
1 cup oat flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup & 2 tbsps honey or other liquid sweetener
1 chia egg
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsps unsweetened shredded coconut (for topping)
Chocolate topping~
Scant 1/4 cup coconut oil
3 tbsps cocoa powder
1-2 tbsps honey

Directions~
Preheat oven to 180 celsius
1. Combine chia and water and set aside.
2. Mix peanut butter, vanilla extract, coconut oil, and honey. Add cinnamon and chia egg.
3. Blend rolled oats into flour. Add oat flour and regular rolled oats to batter along with cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Stir well until thick (but still moist) batter forms. If it’s too dry for your liking gradually add water/oil/nut milk by the tbsp.
4. Spread out fairly thin on baking paper or oiled tray (about 1/2 inch) and bake for 11-14 minutes (keep a watchful eye). You should smell something divine emanating from your oven.
5. Drizzle chocolate sauce on top and chill in freezer for 15 ish minutes unless you have patience for it to cool in the fridge.

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