Simple Seed Bars

All I really want in life is NUTS and SEEDS. Do you feel me?

 Simple Seed Bars. Vegan && Gluten-free. Four ingredients!

There are so many puns that can be made when it comes to one of my favorite categories of foods, but for real I really am obsessed with nuts of all kinds. I always start to say my favorite and it results in me being like, “Probably cashew. And walnuts. Oh and obviously almonds. Peanuts for the peanut butter reasons. Did I mention that I love pistachios? Wait, also….” etc.

Simple Seed Bars. Vegan and Gluten-free. Four ingredients.

So when it comes to favorites, I can’t choose one. But I can almost guarantee I’m down to put nuts in my face any time of day any day of the week. They have always been and forever will be a staple snack in my diet, as well as a lovely accompaniment to chocolate, and of course, the breadth of my beloved nut butters.

Simple Seed Bars. Vegan & Gluten-free. Four ingredients.

Whenever I’m looking for a snack bar, I always look for ones with tons of nuts. This is why Kind Bars are my favorite snack bars. What makes me sad is that Kind Bars are expensive. Yes, I buy them anyway, and no I don’t think they are bad for you despite the drama going on with them right now.

Simple Seed Bars. Vegan and Gluten-free. Four ingredients!

Moving on. Last night I set out to make my own nut bars. Except then I burst open my bag of Sunflower Seeds. There was about a cup or so left in the bag that just went all over the place. This was when I decided I should just use the rest of them before they went to poop, salvaged what I could, and set out to make Simple Seed Bars.

Simple Seed Bars. Vegan and Gluten-free. Four ingredients!

The fun thing about these bars is that you can make them two ways: baked or frozen. If you like your nuts raw, simply store them in the freezer. If you like your nuts toasty and want the bars to hold together a bit better for traveling, bake them up for 10-15 minutes. I tried both methods and honestly enjoyed them both. Make a batch and try it both ways if you dare. Or don’t. Do you.

Simple Seed Bars. Vegan & Gluten-free. Four ingredients!

Baked or frozen these babies are crunchy, nutty, and full of satisfying seedy goodness. Sweetened only with dates, they have just enough glucosey goodness to keep your sweet tooth happy without horrifying it the way Quaker Chewy Bars do to mine. These are the perfect, easy, simple snack and when paired with fruit make a brilliant breakfast. And with only four ingredients and minimal prep, they couldn’t be easier. I truly hope you make them. That’s all for now folks, hope to SEE(d) you soon. #punny

Simple Seed Bars. Vegan && Gluten-free. Four ingredients!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes if using freezing method, but need at least 30 minutes if freezing; 10-12 minutes if using baking method
Level: easy makes one 9″ inch pan of Seed Bars, serving about 6 as a snack

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) dried pitted dates, soaked in 2 tablespoons water for 10 minutes
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup nuts of choice (I used a mixture of cashews and pecans, any will work)
  • 3/4 cup raisins (and/or other dried fruit – I added some dried cranberries and cherries as well)

Directions:

1. Soak dates in water until tender, about 10 minutes. If using baking method to prepare, preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a food processor, grind dates until a paste is formed.

3. In a large bowl, combine sunflower seeds, nuts, and dried fruit, Mix well. Add date puree and mix well again until a sticky dough has formed. Press dough into a parchment paper-lined 9″ inch square baking sheet.

4. Cover with an additional piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap and if using freezing method, place in the freezer to set, at least 30 minutes. If baking, place in oven for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden. Allow to cool before enjoying.

If using freezer method, keeps best if stored in freezer or refrigerator; if baking, store in an airtight bag or container.

Vegan Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

Carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts. While I tend to be a chocolate-lover, I will stray from the norm for carrot cake.  It’s all about the textures, baby.

Carrot Cake Cookies! Easy, vegan and gluten free

It is my goal to create the best carrot cake-themed desserts ever in the near future. I like applying the flavor profile to other sweet treats, including granola and these cookies. I’m just getting started and feel more inspired than ever to conquer the carrot cake world. Stay tuned. Just like I’m currently staying tuned to this new season of Real Housewives of NYC. Gosh I’m happy Bethenney is back.

Carrot Cake Cookies ! Easy, vegan and gluten free

Back to carrot cake creations: I decided I wanted a slightly healthier tasting way to get a mini carrot cake fix early in the morning without feeling too sugared up. I wanted something that felt substantial and hearty, instead of like eating fluff. So I made Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies to grab for quick mid-morning or afternoon snack attacks. They’re awesome. Much like my dog. Hey, did you know I have a dog? I do.

Carrot Cake Cookies Vegan

These babies are slightly sweet, but full of nuts, carrots, raisins and whole grain goodness (go oats!) so they satisfy what I love about the taste and texture of carrot cake but give me a lil energy boost for the day. They’re the perfect breakfast or snack cookie and pretty darn good for ya as far as cookies go.

Carrot Cake Cookies Vegan Gluten Free

Plus, they’re healthy enough to be a respectable breakfast option. And I like excuses to eat cookies for breakfast. Hope you do too; enjoy these cookies and have a happy day. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1 tablespoon flax
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconuts
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, mix flour, flax, baking soda, and salt.

2. Melt coconut oil in microwave for 30-45 seconds. Add brown sugar or maple syrup and mix. Add wet mixture to dry. Mix gently.

3.Grate in carrots, add applesauce and almond milk and mix fold wet and dry ingredients together.

4. Add raisins, coconut shreds and walnuts and stir. Shape dough into 1″ inch balls and space about 1-inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden brown and fragrant.

Oatmeal Raisin Cinnamon Roll Cookies

[Disclosure]: “By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Truth time: the first time I attempted to make these cookies, I totally forgot I had them in the oven until I smelled a lovely wafting burning scent making its way into my shower, approximately 45 minutes later. As I was shampooing my dreadlocks, I wondered what smelled like burning. Couldn’t figure it out. Continued to take my leisurely shower.

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Then, halfway through my conditioning routine, I remembered: THE COOKIES! THE RAISIN CINNAMON ROLL COOKIES! That was what was burning. Oops.

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So yes, my first batch was totally, shall we say crispy, but burning the first batch gave me an opportunity to bake again and eat more cookie dough. So I guess I can’t even be that mad about the whole situation. Because who doesn’t love more cookie dough to eat? No one, that’s who.

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 These cookies are a play on oatmeal raisin cookies. Which I love dearly and think are terribly neglected and underrated. Yes, I love chocolate and chocolate chips. But there is also something about an oatmeal raisin cookie that I simply adore. Squishy sweet raisins and soft and chewy oats. It pleases every square centimeter of my textural-contrast-loving-mouth.

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So when presented with a Recipe Redux challenge to make something naturally sweet using California Raisins, I instantly thought of oatmeal raisin cookies. Being me, I wanted to give them a twist and had happened to see many drool-worthy pictures of cinnamon rolls on Instagram that morning, sparking an idea to make a rolled-up-log of cinnamon roll cookies, slice them, and make cookies that are sort-of look like cinnamon rolls.

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The California Raisins add such a wonderful juiciness and natural sweetness that the cookie dough truly doesn’t need much sugar.  The dough itself is quite good with almond butter or coconut oil (I made them both ways, and loved them both) and full of oaty goodness to fuel you up and provide plenty of mouthfeel. These cookies feel satisfying, not junky, and are the perfect little treat as an afternoon pick-me-up, dessert, or even breakfast. Also, they’re pretty fun to make, and a unique little twist if you feel like mixin’ up your routine of traditional oatmeal raisin cookies. They are also vegan, gluten-free, far less sugary and more nutritious than your average cookie, full of fiber, potassium, and iron courtesy of the California Raisins. Extra bonus: raisins are cheap, and you know how I love a deal. These cookies also have some quality healthy fats, and a substantial dose of one of the most important nutrients: Vitamin Y (yum).

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That may have been my worst joke yet, so I’m going to sign off now. Have a lovely day and make some cookies, and may you remember their presence in the oven before filling the house with the scent of burning carbs.  Peace, love, and raisins, from your friend at kbaked.com.

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Prep Time: 2 hours (includes chilling dough)

Cook Time: 12-15 minutes

Level: Easy

Yields 16-20 cookies

Ingredients – Cookies:

  • 1 1/4 cups oat flour (can make using 1 1/4 cup rolled oats processed into a flour in food processor or blender)
  • 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup almond butter, peanut butter, coconut oil, or nondairy butter spread or butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (or one single-serve) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk

Ingredients – Filling:

  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup California raisins

Directions:

1.In a large bowl, combine oat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Mix well. Add almond butter or coconut oil, brown sugar, and applesauce, almond milk and mix again. Add rolled oats and mix until a soft dough forms.

2.Roll dough into a large bowl and chill until firm in the refrigerator, about an hour. You can speed this up by putting the dough in the freezer if you’d like.

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3.On a clean surface, roll dough into a large rectangle using a rolling pin.

4. Melt coconut oil or butter in a small microwave safe dish. In another small bowl, combine cinnamon and granulated sugar. Brush the dough rectangle with melted coconut oil.

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5.Cover dough with cinnamon and sugar mix.

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6.Cover the cinnamon and sugar layer with raisins.

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7.Roll the dough from one end of the rectangle to the other into a large log.

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8.Chill the log until firm, another 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

9.Slice dough into 1/3 inch thick slices and place on a baking sheet. Place cookies in the oven for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown and puffy.

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10.EAT.

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For more recipes made with California Raisins, click around below !

Soft Baked Breakfast Bars with Date-Raisin Filling

The other day I did something I haven’t done in quite a while: in a moment of desperation and due to lack of other snacks, I purchased an overpriced Nutrigrain Bar to hold off my hunger pangs until my next meal. My options were few, and for some reason something soft with sweet chewiness in it sounded perfect.

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Next thing that happened: me inhaling and being like “omg yum why did I forget about these for like 8 years?” followed by obsessive craving for something so sweet and soft for days. 

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Fast forward a week, post-crazy travels, and I am in my kitchen, bored, craving these again, and without much in my pantry. Determined,  I bake a soft, oatmeal filled breakfast bake of sorts. To satisfy my desire for the something sweet’n’gooey, I puréed some dates’n’raisins together to make a paste. Jam would also work for these, I simply had none and had roughly a cup of dates and a fresh bag of raisins in the pantry.

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Speaking of raisins, I’m into them lately. When I was in New York this week, they popped up in a lot of unexpected meals, like the protein-packed kale salad from Peacefood, on tartines from LPQ, and in savory pasta dishes. I really enjoyed them. Raisins deserve more street cred. plan to give them some soon in future posts. 

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Back to the bars, I decided that the date-raisin layer was sort of ugly and should be covered. I made the bottom layer of these a bit too thick to add a top layer, so I quickly made a crumb topping, which ended up adding a nice textural contrast to the muffin-like bottom layer and ooey gooey date layer. If you know me, you know I’m really into textural contrasts (which is why if I ever get regular ice cream or froyo I simply must add chocolate and/or nuts as toppings #princessproblems), so this ended up delighting my mouth with an assortment of mouthfeels.

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Besides delicious and soft, these are cinnamony, slightly sweet, and perfect for breakfast or snacks. I dig them. I hope you do too. 

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Prep Time: 20 minutes

Bake Time: 20-25 minutes.

Level: Easy

Ingredients – Soft Baked Layer:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup applesauce (or 2 mashed ripe bananas)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dates (soaked for 10 minutes in water, then drained)
  • 1 cup raisins

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond butter, coconut oil, or non-dairy butter at room temperature

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place dates in a small bowl of water and allow to soften, about 10 minutes.

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2.Meanwhile, place rolled oats into a food processor or blender and grind into a powder. This is your oat flour. I like mine less-fine than flour, because I enjoy the oaty texture. Makes it muffin-y. Return to your soaking dates and drain them. Place these aside.

3. Place the oat flour in a bowl with whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Whisk until combined. Then add applesauce, almond milk, and vanilla and stir until combined.

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4. In a food processor, grind softened dates and raisins until a thick paste. It will be a bit thicker than jelly. 

5. In a small bowl, combine rolled oats, sugar, and almond butter/coconut oil/non-dairy butter. Using your handles or the back of a fork, mix well and try to evenly disperse fat and sugar throughout the oats. Honestly this works best with your hands. Form crumbs between your thumb and index and middle fingers.  

6. Using a spatula, spread the soft baked layer batter into a well-oiled 9×9 or 8×10 baking pan. Spoon the date-raisin spread in small, tablespoon sized globes all over soft baked layer. Then use a spatula or the back of a knife to spread the date-raisin layer evenly over the soft baked layer. Finally, sprinkle crumb layer all over the date-raisin layer.

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7. Place pan in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until fragrant and a toothpick or fork stuck into the middle of the bar comes out cleanly upon removal. 

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8. Take the bars out of the oven, allow to cool, and enjoy for breakfast every day this week. To preserve freshness, cut into individual bars and store in an airtight container. 

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