Real talk, being hangry (hungry + angry) is just no fun. We make an effort to always have satiating snacks on hand but watch out if we forget and go a little too long without food, just ask our significant others! If you can relate, or if you just love a satisfying snack, this post is for you. In a bite these bars will eliminate hangry from your vocabulary, if it is even a word to begin with?
Nuts and seeds can be thanked for the satiating quality of these bars. Nuts and seeds not only contain heart healthy fats but are also are a good source of protein and fiber, all of which are necessary to keep you feeling full and satisfied until your next meal. About 50% of the fat content in cashews comes from monounsaturated fat, a healthy fat that can help lower LDL (or bad cholesterol) in your blood. While we are on the topic of healthy fats, sesame seeds are known to help reduce cholesterol levels given their high content of cholesterol lowering phytosterols. All nuts and seeds contain protein, however, hemp seeds are in a class of their own. Hemp seeds are one of the very few plant proteins containing all the essential amino acids. A 3 tablespoon serving of hemp seeds contains a whopping 10 grams of plant based protein! The fiber found in seeds, specifically chia and flax seeds, is high in soluble fiber which also aids in hunger control. In the recipe listed below, if cut into 12 equal sized bars, each contains ~4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein to keep you full and satisfied. As you can probably tell, we could go on and on about the endless benefits of nuts and seeds but would rather get to the recipe now!
Seeduction Apple Bars
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 55-60 minutes (includes cooking time)
Servings: 10-12 bars
Recipe inspired by Half Baked Harvest Blog
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup dried unsweetened apple slices, diced
4 Tbsp sesame seeds (we used 2 Tbsp white and 2 Tbsp black sesame seeds)
2 Tbsp chia seeds
3 Tbsp flax seeds
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
1/4 cup cooked quinoa (could also use cooked steel cut oats)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (could also use honey)
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
White Chocolate Dip
8 oz white chocolate chips (We used Ghirardelli white chocolate chips. Look for white chocolate without any artificial flavorings)
1 vanilla bean (inside scraped out)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees then lightly oil an 8x8" pan with coconut oil and line with pre-fitted parchment paper. Make sure to let the parchment paper hang over on two of the four sides to easily remove bars from pan once cooked and cooled. Using a separate large baking sheet place cashews, coconut flakes, sesame, chia, flax, and hemp seeds in a thin layer making sure to keep them separated. Lightly toast for 10 minutes stirring once for even toasting. Remove from the oven to cool.
Cook quinoa according to package directions and set 1/4 cup aside. Set aside 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, 1 Tbsp chia seeds, 1 Tbsp flax seeds, and 1 Tbsp hemp seeds for later use. In a food processor or a blender, add toasted cashews, coconut flakes, dried apples, remainder of seeds and cooked quinoa. Process until a small pebble sand-like texture is formed. Add in the maple syrup, coconut oil, salt, and cinnamon. Process just until the mixture comes together, making sure to avoid over processing. Press dough into prepared pan, sprinkle reserved seeds over the top of the dough and lightly press down using a piece of wax paper to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands. Bake in a preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow bars to cool before removing from the pan then carefully cut into 10-12 evenly shaped bars (shape of your choice). Place bars on a wax paper lined baking sheet and set in the fridge to chill.
Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave safe glass bowl in increments of 10 seconds stirring between each to prevent the chocolate from burning. Stir the cinnamon and the inside of vanilla bean into the melted chocolate. Carefully dip the bottom of chilled bars in melted chocolate then place on prepared wax paper lined baking sheet. Repeat until all bars are dipped in chocolate. Place back in the fridge to set. Bars can be eaten at room temperature or chilled right from the fridge. Store in an air thight container for 3-5 days in the fridge.....if they last that long!
So, are we right or what? No more hangry here. These bars keep us satisfied for a good 4 hours as a quick breakfast or yummy snack. Their texture is soft and chewy and the flavor rich and sweet with hints of apple and cinnamon. And such a perfect use for white chocolate with the hearty nuts and seeds balancing white chocolate's almost extreme sweetness. Feel free to pass this recipe along to anyone else you know that may get hangry now and again, they and you will be glad you did!
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.