These!! A simple treat that are reminiscent of the bounty chocolate bar I used to covet. In other words, they are delightful! I'm honestly not sure if the store bought version is vegan friendly or not...but at this stage of my life I prefer to make things myself with simple ingredients so I know exactly what I'm putting in my body. This recipe requires just a handful of ingredients, and it's things I always have in my cupboard so I can whip up a batch when I'm craving something sweet or when I'm wanting to make something to share. I love them as a sweet nibble with a cup of coffee or tea.
Yield : Approximately 20 depending what size you roll them
This might look like a decadent dessert, but it's an easy, delicious healthy baked oatmeal that is naturally sweetened with dates! I will make this at the beginning of a busy work week, then just microwave a portion for breakfast. It saves time when I'm rushing to get out the door. I like to garnish it with chopped nuts (almonds or pecans are especially tasty), lots of fresh berries (blueberries & raspberries) and a drizzle of maple syrup. The oatmeal itself isn't overly sweet, which is how I like it. That way I can add just a bit more sweetness to garnish, and maple looks nice drizzled on the plate too. You can also serve with a dollop of vegan coconut whip or even vegan ice cream if you wanted to be a bit indulgent. Totally delicious with the warm oatmeal, and it would still be on the healthier side compared to lots of things you could be preparing for breakfast!
Tabbouleh is a middle eastern salad consisting of lots of fresh herbs, (parsley and mint) bulgur, tomato, cucumber and is dressed with olive oil and lemon. You will often see tabbouleh having a higher ratio of bulgur to herbs, but traditionally the herbs are the star. This is just my little spin on it, more inspired by tabbouleh than being tabbouleh perhaps. I decided to just slice the tomatoes and plate them up first, and spoon the herb, cucumber and rice mixture on top. Just looks pretty but the tomatoes can always be mixed in. I garnish this with Vegan Feta (I used VioLife brand, it works really well in this recipe) and toasted walnuts. Serve this as a side dish. I like to have other fresh salad offerings and maybe some grilled tofu or veggies along side too. You could always add chickpeas to this recipe black rice tabbouleh too. I was kind of planning on it, then forgot. But it would be good.
I am going to start this post by saying you're welcome! Ha! For real though, this is one of my new favourite treats, and it's going to be something I keep coming back to. I LOVE them. A nut & oat base with a date caramel filling & topped with chocolate. These are a raw, vegan & whole food treat that will satisfy your next chocolate bar craving. I love making treats a bit healthier. I'm a believer in treating yourself, we can be healthy without being rigid and restrictive. Plus, this caramel slice bar is even tastier than low quality store bought treats and has whole grain from oats, healthy fats from the nuts and other than the chocolate topping these are sweetened naturally with whole pitted dates. I eat these straight out of the freezer. They are best like this or kept in the fridge. They become a bit too soft at room temp. When eaten from fridge or freezer the base and filling remain soft, and the chocolate hardens giving a desirable contrast of textures.
For the base of these I have added different ratios of walnut/almond. I think any nut could be used. I would love to try pecans!
For the filling I have made it with peanut butter and almond butter. I really like both versions, they taste a bit different. The peanut butter flavour does come through in the final bar. I love it. I love peanut butter. Delicious. Almond butter is a bit sweeter than peanut butter. I find it makes the filling taste even more "caramel-y". I don't think one version is better than the other necessarily, just a bit different.
For the topping: Because it's just straight up melted chocolate it will crack a bit in random places when you cut these bars. I think it's rustic and fun. It would be possible to create a soft chocolate topping layer, but the hard chocolate is an important textural contrast to the soft base and filling.
Date Caramel Filling:
Line an 8x8 square/brownie pan with parchment paper. It's best if there is some overhang so the bars are easier to remove.
Date Caramel Filling:
Power Bowls, Buddah Bowls, Rainbow Bowls....whatever you want to call them...they are one of my favourite ways to eat. Pick basically any cuisine and build in roasted and fresh veggies, pulses and grains, whatever your heart desires basically...and add appropriate dressings/condiments. I can't think of an easier entry level way to eat for someone looking to adopt a whole food plant based diet.
This bowl has greens, roasted broccoli, sweet potato, Portobello mushrooms, steamed edamame, avocado, sprouts and a mixture of green lentils and brown rice. I drizzle everything with a simple Ginger Miso Dressing that has sesame oil, garlic, lime & dates. Garnish with toasted walnuts if desired.
For the veg prep:
Brown Rice and Green Lentils.
I didn't measure anything.
Sweet Potato, Broccoli & Mushrooms.
Ginger Miso Dressing
I have been experimenting with spelt flour, and am loving the results. (See my spelt flour pancakes that I'm obsessed with) I definitely recommend giving this recipe a try the next time a pizza night is happening. I used 100% spelt flour for my crust and quick rise yeast (I have a big container of this yeast as it was all I could get mid pandemic so that's going to be what I'm using for the forseeable future.)
These spelt flour pancakes are my new favourite pancake!!!! They are so delicious, and no more difficult to prepare than any other pancake. Spelt flour is a species of wheat that has been cultivated since 5000 BC. Compared to regular wheat it has a lower amount of gluten and a higher level of protein. It is also water soluble which makes it easier for the body to digest and absorb it's nutrients. It is a wholegrain flour that is most able to mimic all purpose white flour in cooking. I honestly was so impressed with the flavour and texture of these pancakes, so this fact is not surprising to me. A bit of nuttiness as it's a whole grain flour, but it wasn't as dense as regular whole wheat flour. Try swapping 25% of your all purpose flour with spelt in baked goods. I definitely would use it in muffins or fruit crisps.
Nutritional Breakdown of Spelt flour
In 1 cup of spelt flour (amount used in this recipe)
Carlories : 480 cal
Fat : 4 grams
Carbs 88 grams
Protein : 16 grams
Fiber : 16 grams
Vitamins and minerals
Spelt flour contains vitamins B, E and is a source of magnesium, calcium, potassium & Iron.
Iron is often thought of to be something we need meat in order to have sufficient levels but it is also found in beans, lentils, and vegetables. Iron aids blood circulation in the body, helps to metabolize proteins and is involved in the production of hemoglobin and red blood cells in the body. Hemoglobin is a part of red blood cells that carry oxygen and remove carbon dioxide (a waste product) from the body. Low iron levels can cause anemia. Consuming iron rich plant based foods (and apparently pairing it with vitamin C) can help prevent and treat anemia, though supplementation may be necessary for some people.
Quick chat about Date Caramel.
If you haven't made date caramel before, let me tell you, it's easy AF and is life changing. Blend up dates with water or plant milk.....yup, that simple. I added vanilla, salt & fresh ginger to make this lovely caramel that you could use in a variety of contexts. I loved it with these pancakes. Eat it with yogurt, spoon onto vegan ice cream, use in tarts or in any which way. You can make DELICIOUS things using whole foods, and avoid all the processed crap.
OK moving on to what you really want, the recipe!
Spelt Flour Pancakes
Date Ginger Caramel
Who doesn't love granola. This is my go to recipe. Use any combination of nuts, seeds & dried fruit. Chocolate chips are a worthy addition if that is your thing. I don't always mix my dried fruit into the entire batch. Instead I just add it whenever I'm using a portion so that I can switch it up if I want to. I just don't want that commitment haha! If I'm in the mood for raisins one day, dried cranberries the next, or some chocolate here and there I can make it happen. I love granola with vegan yogurt or oat milk, as a garnish on smoothie bowls or even sprinkled into a green salad with fresh berries. Delicious!
Take yourself to the tropics with this tasty smoothie bowl. The flavours of a Piña Colada blended together for a healthy breakfast treat! Frozen Pineapple and Banana are blended together with the cream from a can of coconut milk. It's rich and delicious, but if you wanted to use coconut yogurt you could definitely do that with delicious results. I always add 1/2 - 1 scoop of my vegan vanilla protein powder to my smoothie bowls. It's a no brainer, adds a lot of good for you things and imparts a flavour that I find enhances the sweetness of the fruit. Even though I gave up alcohol 4 months ago, my brain can't help but think RUM, probably not a smart breakfast idea....but if I was drinking, I would probably want to make a boozy version of this some hot summer evening and have it in a nice glass, garnished with the same things.
For the garnishes, a couple of fresh cherries, coconut chips (Found in many organic sections at grocery stores or bulk barn/bulk food stores), fresh banana, mint, and a scoop of frozen Coco Whip. I buy the So Delicious Brand of Coco Whip in the organic freezer section at Super Store. It's a product I love because you can scoop it out frozen to garnish whatever you'd like, or thaw and use a substitute for whipped cream. It's delicious, versatile and you can thaw and refreeze with no trouble.
Just a quick post to share my smoothie bowl. Blueberry, Kiwi & Almond is a flavour combination that I revisit now and again, often stirred into a bowl of oatmeal. So, I decided to whip up a smoothie bowl with those ingredients as it is the first thing I eat to fuel my day (most of the time). I also added on some Goji Berries, Chia Seeds and an edible flower. (Violas that I planted outside last week.) Hoping to do a few more varieties of edible flowers to enjoy over the next few months as we move into summer. Also, If you haven't tried Goji Berries they are a really fun and delicious add on to any smoothie bowl. They are chewy until they sit in the frozen smoothie bowl for a couple of minutes, then they turn delightfully crunchy! They are a bit pricey but I do like them a lot, and a bag seems to go a long way so I'm ok with the splurge.
I blended together
Hey! I'm Trisha