The ingredient list might appear long for this recipe… ok, maybe it is. BUT I assure you, it goes together fairly quickly after you do the prep work of soaking and dehydrating.
When the time comes to create the bar shapes, the batter will seem lose. Even I was a little concerned at first that I was going to end up with a granola rather than bars (not that there is anything really wrong with that). I used my sushi press, which is my go-to-bar-press these days. I love it! Small investment for a big payoff. What’s the payoff you might ask… it makes my life easier and I find it fun, so it is well worth the price of admission. :)
Once dehydrated, the bar is firm and chewy with bits of crunch. The top layer is date paste that I piped out on top. It dehydrated nice and firm, not tacky to the touch. For storing purposes, I recommend wrapping each one individually with plastic wrap or wax paper. You could lay them side by side in a large container and even stack them, but only if you slide a piece of wax paper in between the layers. Over time, the date paste might stick to the one stacked on top if you don’t, take this step
Need a little extra giddy-up in your step throughout the day? These bars just might help you. Let’s start with the seeds… All of the varieties used here are going to pack a powerhouse of energy. They will provide your body with a healthy source of fat, protein, and fiber. Each seed also contains a healthy set of phytonutrients and antioxidants.
Next come the oats! Oats are always a great filler for a granola bar. They are a great source of carbohydrates and fiber.
To add a little sweetness and chew, I used dried fruit. This is an excellent way to add some natural, whole food, sugars into the mix without going overboard.
Lastly, every bit of goodness needs a side-kick of Superfoods! Chia and hemp seeds will give you a super boost of antioxidants and vitamins, helping to ensure a long-lasting energy supply to get you through the day.
yields 20 bars (1/4 cup each)
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked & dehydrated
- 1 cup rolled, gluten-free oats, soaked & dehydrated
- 1 1/2 cups raw pumpkin seeds, soaked & dehydrated
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup raw coconut crystals
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup cold-pressed coconut oil
- 1/4 cup raw honey or raw coconut nectar for vegan
- 1/2 cup diced medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup diced, dried apricots
- I recommend not to skip soaking & dehydrating the pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and oats. This will ensure that the batter doesn’t get to wet.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the sunflower seeds, oats, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, coconut, raw coconut crystals, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Mix together well so the spices are evenly dispersed.
- Add the water, coconut oil, raw honey, dates and apricots. With your hands, work everything together, getting everything well coated.
- To create the bars; I used a press which worked beautifully. If you don’t have a press, line a baking sheet with plastic wrap, making sure to bring it up over the edges. Press the batter into the pan with the palm of your hands or better yet, cover with another piece of plastic wrap and place another baking pan on top. Press down as firm and evenly as you can. Place in the freezer for a few hours. Remove, lift out onto a cutting board and slice into bar-sized shapes.
- Place the bars on the mesh sheet that comes with the dehydrator. I used a knife to slide under each bar to transport it to the mesh sheet.
- Pipe the date paste onto each bar. I used a Wilton piping tip #789 and a large piping bag to accommodate it. This pipe tip size matched perfectly with the width of the bar press that I used. You can use a butter knife if you don’t have these tools. Just do your best and have fun with it.
- Dehydrate at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, then reduce to 115 degrees (F) and dry for about 24 hours or until dry to the touch on the outside but a bit moist on the inside.
- Allow the bars to cool to room temp before storing. Wrap individually. On the counter top they should last 1-2 weeks, in the fridge 2-4 weeks and in the freezer, up to 3 months, possibly longer!
The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™
- Raw honey isn’t vegan but I still use now and again. Read (here) why I like to.
- Learn about the wonderful characteristics of Raw Coconut Nectar (here).
- Dates are an amazing ingredient for raw food recipes, click (here) to read why.
- What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter? Click (here) to read more about it.
- Is coconut butter the same as coconut oil? Click (here) to find out.
- Are oats gluten-free? Yes, read more about that (here).
- Are oats raw? Yes, they can be found. Click (here) to learn more.
- Do I need to soak and dehydrate oats? Not required but recommended. Click (here) to see why.
- Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F). Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
- When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe. Learn why (here).
One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage. Daily I get questions regarding substitutions. Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe. I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family. I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item. Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient. Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself. So have fun, don’t be afraid, and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.