Vegan Chocolate and Fruit Power Bars

This recipe comes from experimenting to make my own home-made power bars.  I love the sweet, chewy-crispy texture of the store bought ones, but I find the ingredient lists and prices of those unbearable.  I decided to make my own, based on a bar I used to love called Bodhi.

The Bodhi bar was fruit-based, organic, boldly expensive, and severely lacking in chocolate.  I have not seen one in a store for several years, and although I have tried various other bars, most of them list sugar within the first three ingredients.  The manufacturers’ lame attempts to disguise sugar by calling it organic cane syrup, brown rice syrup, honey, and evaporated cane juice don’t fool me at all.  I eat enough sugar.  If I’m going to consume it, let it be by way of fiber and nutrient- rich dried fruit.

Most of the ingredients in my vegan power bars are there because they not only taste good, but have strong nutritional value.  There’s peanut butter for protein, chia seeds for healthy omega 3 oils, rolled oats for cholesterol-lowering whole grain, cocoa nibs and cocoa powder for their high antioxidant values, and a mixture of dried fruits and nuts for vitamins, minerals, fiber, and more antioxidants.  And, of course chocolate chips because what good is a healthful snack without chocolate?

I try to use organic ingredients whenever I can.  I rely strongly on my local health food store, The Common Crow in Gloucester, for bulk organic items, and otherwise do the best I can in my regular grocery store.  Anything in these bars can be replaced with a similar substitute.  Chocolate can be omitted (although I can’t imagine wanting to do that).  Try different nuts, cereals, dried fruit, seeds, etc to customize these bars.  Make sure the ratio of wet to dry stays the same so the bars maintain their form when cut.

My vegan power bars are easy to make and keep very well in the refrigerator for a month or so, as long as they are wrapped well.  I use wax paper and wrap the bars in groups of four, securing each little treasure packet with an elastic band.  You could use foil or plastic if you prefer.  It’s not likely they will last long anyway— they taste great and are perfect for a quick breakfast, after-work out boost, or beach picnic dessert after a yummy, veggie-packed salad.  Even picky eaters like them, and it’s a great way to show off  a bit of deliciously decadent vegan cooking.

Thanks to Savannah, my mathematically-minded daughter who was kind enough to type the recipe for me and make it easy to follow!   Thanks also to my hubby for photographing these power bars and helping me post them.

Vegan Chocolate and Fruit Power Bars

Yield: 24 bars

15 figs, stems removed
15 pitted whole dates

15 dried apple rings

1. Cover with water in a large pot

2. Bring the water to a boil; turn it off, and let the fruits sit in the hot water for 10 minutes.

3. Drain the pot and process the fruits until they are a paste

1 cup peanut butter 4. Add peanut butter to the mixture and process until it is well-incorporated.
4 tbs cocoa powder

½ cup almonds, chopped (dry roasted, no salt)

½ cup dried tart cherries

3 tbs toasted sesame seeds

¼ cup unsweetened coconut, shredded or flaked

½ cup cocoa nibs

1-1/2 cups rolled oats*

1-1/2 cups crispy high fiber cereal*

3 tbs chia seeds

5. Add all ingredients listed in the adjacent box in a large mixing bowl.

6. Mix well with a large spoon.

7. With clean hands, add the wet to the dry, kneading in the bowl until completed merged.

8. Add the mixture to a greased 9 x 13 pan and spread evenly.

1 c Vegan chocolate chips 9. Press chocolate chips into the top of the bar block.

10. Chill for 2 hours, and cut into 24 bars (4 x 6)

*Oats and crispy high fiber cereal: together, the amount of these grains should be 3 cups total. Even amounts are fine, but they may also be varying quantities

(think x + y = 3 cups; x > 0; y > 0)

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One Comment on “Vegan Chocolate and Fruit Power Bars”

  1. Debbie Says:

    sounds yummy Elizabeth….can’t wait to make some!!!

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