Maple Peanut Muesli Slice
Ok...I might never buy another granola bar again (Vegan Review Spoiler - oops). This incredible recipe may taste like it comes from heaven, but it is actually brought to us by "Vegan Goodness Feasts" by Jessica Prescott. This wonderful book is meant to bring ideas and recipes for "Big & Little Gatherings" and is full of delicious and creative recipes.
I decided to make this recipe to bring on a road trip with friends where we wouldn't have much refrigeration and needed a vegan and gluten-free snack. And what a find! I'm so glad I found this recipe!
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped nuts (ex. almonds, hazelnuts, pecans)
1 cup coconut
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
10 Medjool dates, pitted and mashed with a fork
1 cup puffed rice
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 oz vegan dark chocolate
sesame seeds (optional)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place some parchment paper on a baking sheet and layer on the oats, nuts and coconut. Put the baking sheet in the oven and toast for 10 minutes.
While the toasting is going on, get out a medium-large saucepan and heat the peanut butter and maple syrup together until the peanut butter has melted. Then add the fork-smashed dates. (Mashing those dates was much harder than I expected!) Stir and get it as mixed as you can (it is very thick at this point).
Add the toasted ingredients, the puffed rice and vanilla extract. Caution: the mix is thick, sticky and hard to deal with at this point, but persevere - it's worth it!
Put the whole mixture in a baking pan (about 8" X 12") lined with parchment paper.
Press into the pan and try to get the mixture as even as possible. Then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes in the fridge, remove the bars from the pan (this is where parchment paper is a must) and use a long bread knife to cut into rectangles. The final steps are to melt the vegan dark chocolate and drizzle it over the rectangles, and dust with sesame seeds if you like. (I was going to do that and discovered my sesame seeds had expired and had to leave them off - don't you hate it when that happens?).
A word about cutting the pieces: these are very dense and rich bars, so don't make the rectangles too big. I cut mine into 27 rectangles, and that is about as large as I would go!
Simplicity: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This is quite an easy recipe, considering the delicious product, but I had to take away one star for mashing those dates!
Vegan Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This is simply delicious! Incredible snack to have in the pantry for those moments when you might otherwise grab the processed granola bar!
Carnivore Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ "Good. Maybe a little too sweet."
Kid Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ "How is there no sugar in these???"