This past weekend we have been tramping (hiking for those of you outside of NZ) up the mountain which looks down on us in our bus which requires a bit of forethought as far as food goes. Food has to be plentiful enough to keep everyone satisfied and yet light enough that the walk up to the hut isn’t too arduous for those carrying it, namely the parents. With a Vegan thrown into the mix it took even more forethought …. onto the internet I go!
It didn’t take that much searching to find a fantastic recipe for Vegan (and raw) muesli bars which was created by Isle of Flora … right here in NZ! These are especially great for us as there was not dairy, sugar or gluten in them either. As usual though, due to my nature and the fact that we are living on a bus the recipe got a few adaptations. There weren’t too many however and they didn’t alter the recipe that much. The end result was a nutritious, energy packed, tasty muesli bar which stood the test of time travelling up to 1100m in a backpack on a very warm day.
Before I share my adaptations I will just put a few comments about the method as some of you may be in the same position of not having amazing whizzing appliances ready to blend things at the flick of a switch. In the original recipe (which I followed almost to the word on my first attempt apart from using millet instead of quinoa as I thought we had run out of it) it says to pop nuts and dates into a food processor until blended smooth …. this was my first stumbling block. However after a bit of thought it was nothing that a strong plastic bag filled with said nuts and a lot of bashing with a rolling pin couldn’t solve. As for the dates I soaked them in 1/4 Cup of water and then mashed them within an inch of their sweet little selves! Obviously if you have these whizzy wonders of modern society then feel free to click onto Isle of Flora’s original recipe and go for it! Otherwise stay tuned 😉
The soaking of dates did add a bit more moisture into the recipe which is where my adaptations came in as I increased some of the amounts to take up the moisture and added some psyllium husks. The original recipe also calls for quinoa however it didn’t say if it was cooked or not so I took it upon myself to cook it. I first by put 1.5 TB of quinoa (or millet) into a pot along with 7.5 TB water (1 to 5 ratio), then boiled it until almost all the water had gone. Next I turned off the heat and covered for a while until there is no liquid left. This gave me 3 TB of cooked quinoa which, as you’ll see, is the amount I used as opposed to Isle of Flora’s 2 TB.
In my second attempt at these yummy little bars I left out the nuts altogether … there is only so much bashing a girl wants to do in her life …. and replaced the cup of nuts with a mixture of sunflower and pumpkin. Any combination would be great though which you can change to suit your taste. When it comes to taste it has to be said that themselves preferred the seed version although that may have been down to the millet in the first recipe rather than the nuts 😉 Anyway … here is the recipe and you have the original so you can decide from here on in.
Vegan Museli Bars (DF, GF, SF)
1 Cup of chopped nuts (or seeds)
1 Cup of dried dates
1/4 Cup of hot water
3 TB psyllium husks
3 TB chia seeds
1 TB pumpkin seeds
1 TB sunflower seeds
1 TB linseed
4 TB coconut oil
3 TB cooked quinoa (or millet) – see above for cooking method
6 TB desiccated coconut
- Soak the dates in the water for 10 -15 mins then add chia seeds and mash until they form a smooth paste.
- Add in all the other ingredients and mix until they are well blended.
- Tip into a baking paper lined tin (mine is 20 x 17 cm) then press down smooth and evenly with the back of a dessert spoon.
- Pop in the fridge and leave for at least 20 mins before slicing into bars.
Well that is it for this week … I hope this finds you fighting fit and climbing any obstacles in your way.