I find we have been buying a lot of muesli bars lately for my kids, who are addicted to the Thankyou cranberry & yoghurt bars. I am happy to buy them because I know the profits are going to projects to help people I developing nations, and I love that! But I wanted to see if I could make something that is raw vegan and tastes similar, so I headed to the kitchen with my little helpers and together we decided what should go in.
We got out the food processor and decided we definitely needed cranberries and nuts, so that was our starting point. My little girl declared that they definitely needed chocolate on top (she is so much like me that it frightens me sometimes, ha ha) so we whipped up some raw chocolate and adjusted it til it tasted just right.
The great thing about this recipe is that you can use any ingredients you love, so play around with the flavours to your heart’s content. Here is what we came up with –
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup macadamias
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup goji berries
2 medjool dates
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tsp water
1. Place nuts in the food processor and grind them until they are fine (about 15 seconds or so). I like to use activated nuts but I had only soaked my almonds, the macadamias and pecans were straight out of the packet.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and whizz it til it is combined and starts to clump together. Add a touch more water if you feel it’s not wet enough, but not too much as you don’t want it too sticky – a little bit goes a long way.
3. Transfer the mixture into a cake pan and press it down firmly and evenly to make a large slice. I left a gap at the edge so I could get my egg lifter in to nudge it out once it was set, but perhaps just line the tin if you’d prefer.
1/4 cup raw cacao
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp. of pure maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
Stir all the ingredients together in a bowl and then use a spoon to drizzle it over the top of your slice. It doesn’t matter how neat or messy it is because once it is cut up it will look beautiful and individual anyway :)
Once you are done pop the tin into the fridge and leave it to set for as long as you can. We waited about 1.5 hours and it was fine by then.
When it is nice and cold and the chocolate is set, lift your slice out onto a cutting board and cut it into bars. We made 14 bars.
For what it’s worth, these bars don’t taste anything like the gorgeous Thankyou bars, but they are a lovely alternative to a muesli bar and they will give you a great boost of energy and keep you going til the next meal.
This was such a great thing to make with the kids because there is no baking involved, no products that could contaminate, and we could all add in our own flavours to make it special. It is super quick (apart from the time it takes to set) so the kids didn’t get bored and saw the whole thing through.
Now, my daughter isn’t one to let chocolate go to waste and we had a fair bit leftover in the bowl which was calling out her name. So instead of just licking the bowl with her finger (which I was doing) she decided she would make herself a snack. She got the cashews, lined them up on the counter and then dipped each one in the chocolate bowl. It was too cute not to take a photo of her, although by the time I got my phone to take a piccie she was running out of chocolate, so here is her creation and her recommendation on what to do with the leftover chocolate –