Skinny energy bars (vegan)


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One could, if one wanted, call them superfood mega nutritious healthy chocolate energy bars but that would be too long a name for something so decidedly elegant and petite and so, skinny bars it is and these are skinny in both appearance and spirit and all too easy to eat not just as a nutritious dessert, but also as a post-workout snack or during that time of the day when you feel hungry or depressed.

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I might have mistakenly erased the photograph of ingredients assemblage which is why we begin with the recipe. Starting with a clean bowl and a spatula.

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in with coconut oil, always a good start.

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followed with an all natural sweetener in the form of mushed up, pitted dates

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mix them well to form a somewhat wet base for the rest of the ingredients

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rolled oats that I pulsed a couple times to somewhat break them

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followed by rice flour and cinnamon and vanilla extract

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give it all a mix to incorporate the wet ingredients well into the dry.

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and finally the dried fruits, nuts and seeds. Here I have some raisins, goji berries, chia seeds, chopped almonds as well as some black and white sesame seeds.

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Give all the ingredients a thorough mixture to slick them somewhat with the oil and dates mixture

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and prepare a baking tin by lining it with baking paper to prevent the oatmeal bars from sticking to the tray.

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Scrape the contents into the tray and flatten the top, making sure it’s even on all sides before baking it at 180ºC for 35-40 minutes.

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It will come out bronzed at the top and I realized the raisins had swollen a bit and protruded out. This is, at this stage, a tin full of delicious granola and to make them into skinny bars you have to let it cool completely.

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The final stage involves a bit of pouring and sprinkling and here I have some melted chocolate and a couple tablespoons of slivered pistachios. You can melt some vegan chocolate for this purpose but I have here some homemade chocolate, the recipe for which I’m still perfecting and perhaps I will upload it soon but for now some melted chocolate (any you prefer) would work.

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Sprinkle over the nuts while the chocolate is still liquid and keep it to set in the fridge for a couple hours or until you’re ready to unmould and slice after it’s set.

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The surface takes over a rather matt look accentuated with the vibrant greens of the slivered pistachio’s and tastes even better.

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Find a sharp knife and get carving. The size of the pieces you cut is entirely up to you. They can be shards, chunks, blocks, slivers or you can just chew on this entire thing whole.

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Just look at this glorious cross section. There’s a bit of everything.

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and another cross-section, if you’re into cross-sections. I mean, of course, you could make thicker chunkier bars by spreading it into a smaller baking tin but they’d still be skinny bars.

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Ingredients

Rolled oats: 250g

Rice flour: 80g

Coconut oil: 50mls

mashed dates: 170g  (Alternatively use maple syrup or any other syrup)

Nuts +seeds: 80g (I used almonds, chia, black and white sesame seeds)

dried berries and raisins: 60g (I used raisins and goji berries)

Cinnamon: 1 tsp

vanilla extracts: 1 tsp

melted Vegan chocolate: 150g

Slivered Pistachios: 2 tbsps


Recipe instructions

Pulse the oats in a food processor to break them as an optional step.

In a clean bowl mix together the dates and coconut oil until well combined. Tip in the oats, rice flour, cinnamon and vanilla extract and mix. Add the nuts, seeds, berries and raisins and mix until well combined.

Spread in a baking tin lined with baking sheet and flatten the surface evening out the layer and bake at 180ºC for 35-50 minutes or until the top is browned.

Let it cool completely before glazing with melted chocolate and sprinkling over slivered pistachio’s.

Refrigerate to set and cut into large pieces or smaller chunks.

Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for best results. These keep for a couple weeks if well stored, though they are much too easily eaten before the weekend is over.

NOTE: use date/ maple/rice syrup or coconut sugar instead of mashed dates if you prefer and any other dried fruits, nuts and seeds of your choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon bars


DSC_0472These winters when the sun is scarce and sky seems frozen, these lemon bars will inject that bit of sunshine and tang to your day. I had earlier been of the view that chocolate heals all ills, chocolate is the universal answer and that chocolate gives meaning to your life… however once I made these bars I realized It’s actually these sweet lemon bars that can actually bring about world peace. No seriously, its true!! These lemon bars aren’t just good they are dazzling with sexy oomph!

They are super chic, exquisite and the taste is like a mouthful of magnificent citrus love. It makes no sense because these bars make no sense. They are so ridiculously good, very zippy, tart, sweet and rich all at the same time. You have to MAKE THESE to believe it, and you’d say, that crazy internet girl was right about this one.

The best part about these is that they are easy to make. Not fussy like a lemon meringue pie. Easy to put together and easier still to eat. But careful, these yellow babies are rich!!

These bars are made of a shortbread base and a mouth-watering lemon filling. Here is how its done.

For the shortbread base

DSC_0402very easy. Just three ingredients. Butter, sugar and flour.

DSC_0403In a clean bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar, until it’s umm creamed. It should resemble something like this or better.

DSC_0405Add in the flour and beat again

DSC_0406until it just starts clumping together. Once it starts coming together we stop.

DSC_0407Tip this shortbread mixture into a baking vessel of choice. Mine happened to be a square silicon mould (7 x 7 inches).

DSC_0409spread it around as well as you can and bake at 180℃ for 15-18 minutes or until the sides just start turning a shade brown.

DSC_0417like so. Leave this to cool and prepare the filling.

DSC_0414The filling is fairly straightforward. Just eggs, lemon juice, sugar, lemon zest and flour.

DSC_0420we start with eggs

DSC_0421followed by sugar

DSC_0423then light mixing.

DSC_0424and some lemon zest

DSC_0427add in the lemon juice

DSC_0428finally in with the flour and a good beat up.

DSC_0431Mix it until it looks something like this, which means stir without caution for a couple of minutes and you’re there.

DSC_0433tip this batter in the now cooled shortbread base

DSC_0435making sure it’s evenly spread and bake at 175℃ for 18-20 minutes

DSC_0439My oven got a little too hot, hence the tan, but if you think the top of the bars is getting browned too quickly then just tent it with silver foil. This tan is not going to affect the final outcome because it’s just pleasantly golden not overly burnished, so don’t worry. You will know the top is done when it’s just set and there’s a slight jiggle to it.

You have to let it cool complete before you do anything to it. Mine took about 45 minutes.

DSC_0441pass some powdered sugar through a sieve.

DSC_0444blanketing completely

DSC_0446cut into squares and thank Ma nature for creating lemons.

DSC_0448I cut mine into fairly small bars, simply because these are so rich and so sweet and citrusy that it’s all too easy to eat them.

You wouldn’t believe the smugness you’d feel after making these, because they come out perfect every single time, even if you’re making these for the first time. They work great as desserts and taste unexpectedly delicious. Make these Now!!

 

Recipe

For the shortbread

butter 110 g ( a little less than 1/2 cup)

powdered sugar 30 g (about 2 tablespoons)

flour 125 g (about a cup)

– In a clean bowl cream together the butter and sugar using a hand mixer.

add in the flour and beat until it just starts to come together.

Tip into a baking dish and evenly spread to form a base.

Bake at 180℃ for 18-20 minutes or just until the sides lightly brown

allow to cool.

For the lemon filling

Eggs 2

sugar 170 g (a little less than a cup)

lemon juice 70 mls (2.5 tablespoons)

lemon zest 1 tablespoon

flour 30 g (about 2 tablespoons)

– In a clean bowl beat the sugar and eggs until smooth.

add in the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pour over the now cooled shortbread base making sure it’s evenly spread out.

Bake at 175℃ for 18-20 until just set with a bit of jiggle. If the top starts getting too brown, tint with a foil.

Allow to cool completely and sift some powdered sugar on top before cutting into bars.

DSC_0454You do not want to miss this.

Enjoy!!