Hello. My name is Kristi and I’m a chocoholic. I’m also vegan and learning to love myself and take care of myself. So, to combine those two things, I made chewy chocolate cranberry bars. It could be love.
First, grab these ingredients:
Old fashioned oats, raw organic almonds, organic cocao powder, sea salt, medjool dates, maple syrup, organic coconut oil, chia or flaxseeds, dairy-free chocolate chips (I used mini, but whatever you like will do) and organic dried cranberries. All of this is easily found at most grocery stores, but Whole Foods and The Fresh Market have all of them for sure.
Next, toss 1 cup of the oats and 1/2 cup of the almonds into your processor. I’ve found that these two items are a must in my vegan pantry, by the way!
Mix them until they are well processed, almost like a flour, then toss 1/2 cup of cocao and a pinch of salt in and blend.
Then add 1/2 cup of chia or flaxseed and pulse for a few seconds. Add around eleven to thirteen dates. The moisture content will determine how many you want. I used eleven in this batch, but have had to use as many as thirteen. If your dates aren’t moist enough, soak them for 30 minutes and they’ll be fine. After blending these ingredients, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. I used the coconut oil because it’s good and because of it’s well known use in keeping blood sugars level. I added the maple syrup one tablespoon at a time and pulsed between the additions.
Place this mixture in a glass bowl and add 1/2 cup of dairy-free chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of the cranberries.
Mix these ingredients together by hand until they are well incorporated and then place them in a small glass casserole dish. I used an 8 x 8 one that worked great. Press the mixture down with your fingers and try to make it as uniform as you can. I always have a few chips left over in the bowl, so I dump them on top and press them into the mixture because who wastes chocolate, right?
Place the casserole dish in the fridge for 30 minutes so the mixture can set and it cuts much easier, as well. (Or you can spoon it out now. No judgement from me, folks.)
Then, cut it into bars and eat up.
These are chewy fabulousness and so easy to take with you if you’re on the run. As a bonus, they are sweet and healthy!