It’s not often that I create my own recipes, but this winner had to be shared.
According to testers, this coffee treat tastes “just like something they’d sell at Starbucks” … for a pretty penny, no doubt. Alas, their hypothetical version would neither be vegan nor organic. Plus, these pack fruits and veggies (?!) — (see second-to-last ingredient).
These squares are flourless, wheat-free, and peanut-free; have very little added sugar (depending on chocolate/applesauce); are low sodium; and can be made gluten-free (GF) with GF oats and an easy barley malt swap or soy-free depending on the chocolate. They pack healthy monounsaturated fats + protein (nut butter), complex carbs + fiber (oats), antioxidants (raisins, dark chocolate), and more.
Vegan Chocolate-Espresso-Raisin Delights
Ingredients (+ recommendations):
1 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (Country Choice Organic)
1 c. puffed brown rice crisps (Nature’s Path Whole Grain Brown Crispy Rice cereal)
1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. raisins (Newman’s Own Organics)
1/4 tsp. salt (Hain Sea Salt)
1/2 c. (4 oz. or 1 mini-peel-top cup) applesauce (Vermont Organic Cinnamon)
2 tbsp. barley malt syrup (Eden Foods) (or brown rice syrup or agave nectar)
1 packet (8g) Amazing Grass Chocolate Green SuperFood Powder (or 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder)
1 packet Starbucks® Via® Extra-Bold Italian Roast (or 1 tsp. powderlike coffee grounds)
Makes 12 bars (or 24 two-bites, see below)
Mix all until well combined. Spoon batter evenly into an 8×8 baking dish as neatly as possible:
Bake at 350* for about 20 minutes. You will be tempted to bake them longer — like I was: went for 25 minutes — but resist because the texture will be a tad too crumbly if over-baked. For less mess, use a piece of parchment paper (with sides extending out the pan) in the bottom of your dish before adding batter and, once baked, lift the entire square out onto a cooling rack. After cooling, cut into 12 even bars. I sliced one row of cut bars in half for quick two-bite minis (see below picture) because these are pretty rich-tasting:
These bars were serendipity: in the midst of collecting ingredients for another recipe and cabinet-combing for my missing vanilla extract, I came upon a packet of Starbucks® Via® (the not-so-secret secret ingredient) that was sent as a sample long ago and knew it must be used. Vegan Chocolate-Espresso-Raisin Delights were born.
Nutrition Facts, per serving (1 bar/12): 163 kcal, 7.5g fat (.4g sat.), 77g sodium, 21.5g carb, 3.4g fiber, 9.8g sugar, 4.2g protein. (Halve for two-bites.)
Oats, raisins, cocoa, brown rice, dark chocolate — can it get more wholesome?
Enjoy with a morning cup ‘o joe or with non-dairy milk as dessert and revel in the nutrition… and savings.
Rich, bold, and decadent-tasting. These won’t last long! Report how it goes.