Thursday, April 8, 2010


Best Blog Tips

I had to make a healthy "goodie" for my granddaughter's school lunch last night, and I remembered a recipe I had seen on the blog of Camilla V. Saulsbury, whose delightful book "Enlightened Chocolate", I reviewed last month. I recalled that it could be easily veganized and I had most of the ingredients.

It was easy and quick to make, and full of healthful ingredients. I made them with tahini because they don't allow peanut butter in her school. It was a big hit with my grandaughter, AND her grandfather, and me, too, as well as a vegan friend (adult) who stopped by. This is definitely a keeper!

Printable Recipe

Makes 16 bars

This is Camilla Saulsbury's recipe, with my slight adjustments. View the original recipe here:

You can make many variations, with different syrups, nut or seed butters, nuts, seeds or coconut, dried fruits, even different rolled cereals, such as rolled barley. I didn't have any commercial toasted wheat germ, so I toasted it on a plate in the microwave for 2 minutes at 1/2 power.

2 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup dried soymilk powder (This was instead of dried milk powder--I used Better Than Milk Soy Beverage Mix, and they have a rice milk powder, too.)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (instead of dried cherries)
1/2 cup lightly salted roasted slivered almonds
1 cup tahini (instead of peanut butter or nut butter)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
(I used the above combination of syrups instead of honey and I used less molasses.)
1 1/2 tablespoons dark molasses (not blackstrap)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
OPTIONAL ADDITION: 1/2 cup organic, fair trade, dairy-free chocolate chips

Line a 9x9-inch square metal baking pan with foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl mix the oatmeal, wheat germ, milk powder, dried fruit and nuts; set aside.

Place the tahini, syrups and molasses in a heavy saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly, melted and smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Mix in the cereal mixture (mix until well blended and all of the oat mixture is coated). When the mixture is partially blended, add the chocolate chips (so they don't melt too much.)

Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Using a large square of wax paper or foil, very firmly press mixture down into pan to compact. (I used baking parchment and pressed it down with the bottom of another 9" square pan.)

Cool completely. Remove bars using foil overhang and then cut into 16 bars or squares.

Tightly wrap each bar in plastic wrap. Store the wrapped bars in a plastic zip-top bag in the refrigerator.

Nutrition per Serving (1 bar):
Calories 234; Fat 9.1g (sat 1.3g, mono 4.6g, poly 2.9g); Protein 8.4g; Cholesterol 0.4mg; Carbohydrate 34.8g; Sodium 93.2mg.

Thanks for the great recipe, Camilla!


Vegan Epicurean said...

These sound wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing, I probably wouldn't have seen the recipe otherwise.


snugglebunny said...

These do sound wonderful. They will be great for (hopefully) when I run a tax office again next year, since I'm trying to bring in healthy snacks for my crew. I got one of my employees addicted to Larabars this year.

Maija Haavisto said...

Sounds lovely, I've always liked muesli bars and such things. I've never heard of toasted wheat germ, but it's nice to hear you can make it yourself.

If I can't get soy or rice milk powder, is there a substitute? Or can it be left out? I'm really looking forward to making this, I'm thinking of using half tahini and half almond butter.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Maija, I'm not sure about the soy powder-- if it's essential, that is. I'm hoping Camilla will chime in on this discussion! It probably adds to the thickening of the syrup, but I'll have to try it without and see what happens. Perhaps a little chickpea flour might work-- the mixture is cooked, after all.

Unknown said...

Hi Bryanna,
I am curious as to why you say nio blackstrap molasses in this recipe. Is there something non Vegan abiout blackstrap molasses?

I have a similar bake free cookie recipe that uses ripe bananas. I will try this one.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Dianna, that was Camilla's instruction in her original recipe (see the link). As far as I know, blackstrap molasses is vegan. I think it has more to do with the taste-- some people find the taste of blackstrap very harsh. However, since i used less molasses in my version of her recipe, if you like blackstrap, go ahead and use it!

Arm tattoos said...

Chocolate chips are not optional!:) You must use them...I love using maple syrup instead of sugar for vegan baking...and Diana, you are right: Bananas are very good to use a binder...instead of eggs.

chris said...

This is the first energy bar recipe that I have actually considered making. Great combination of flavors of flavors going on here.

Sarah Peachman said...

Wow, I thought these sounded absolutely amazing and decadent - except when I started reading a realised they were actually pretty healthy! What a beautiful combination of flavours.