Vegan Chocolate-Espresso-Raisin Delights

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).

Caution: Will shatter coffee-lovers’ willpower. You’ve been warned!

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)

1/2 c. dark chocolate chips (Sunspire Organic 65% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate or Dagoba Organic 73% Cacao Chocodrops)

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)

Directions:

Mix all until well combined. Spoon batter evenly into an 8×8 baking dish as neatly as possible:

Just before going into the oven.

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:

Cooled n cut.

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.

AKA “I-Can’t-Believe-They’re-Not-Coffee-Shop-Calorie-Bombs”!

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?

Prepare for some fancy brownie-meets-cake-meets-crumbly cookie-meets-granola bars.

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.

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9 responses to “Vegan Chocolate-Espresso-Raisin Delights

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Vegan Chocolate-Espresso-Raisin Delights « Mastering Public Health -- Topsy.com

  2. Those sound really good. Are they chewy, or do they get crunchy after a day or two?

  3. I’ve been eating low carb on the Atkins way of living for the past 5 years or so. After I started the diet, I really enjoyed the extra energy I have while eating low carb and it has increased my blood chemistry as well! I’m very thankful to Dr. Atkins. I would really recommend it to anyone looking to adopt a new healthy way of living.

  4. lisasfoods – These definitely have a soft and chewy texture. The way I made them (a bit over-baked), they were chewy but also a little crumbly, though not overly so. After being left uncovered overnight, though, they firmed up a lot, so now they’re just perfect: minimal crumbliness, denser, and chewy (like a thin brownie). If baked at 20 mins (recommended) instead of 25 (as I did), and left to cool and firm before cutting, these will probably be perfect from the start. Report back if you try it!

  5. These sound wonderful, Sara! Love the use of a ‘bucks viz packet….

  6. Hello!
    I just found your blog through KERF! Look forward to reading more! Have a great weekend.

    Amanda

  7. Hi! I just came across your blog and am definitely looking forward to reading more. I’m just starting my MPH at GW!

  8. These look great! I will be trying them :)

  9. These look AMAZING, been loving your blog! :)

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