Do you know how hard it is to be that girl – the girl who is always singing the same tune? “Could I have this without cheese?” or “do you have any dairy-free options?”
It can’t be helped but repeating myself has become frustrating. The world is turning vegan/dairy-free and yet I struggle to find alternatives that are perfectly suited to me. Let’s take the basic breakfast/snack bar for example. A lot of the variety that exists nowadays is vegan/dairy-free but with a catch. It may be vegan and have no milk, but it will contain almonds or peanuts which I am allergic to (almonds in particular are a big no-no 🙅🏾). Or, if it doesn’t contain those nuts, it will have dark chocolate but still include milk. Yep, if you ever catch me in any supermarket squinting annoyingly at a product’s label, you know what I’m hoping not to find.
I finally decided to do something I should have done a long time ago and start the journey towards independence by making my own! So, without further ado, here is the recipe to my vegan/dairy-free cashew nut and chocolate chip snack bars. This recipe was adapted from one I found on Pinterest. That app is amazing!
- 2 cups of oats
- 1 whole jar of Meridian Cashew Nut Butter (just over ½ a cup)
- ½ a cup of maple syrup
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 handful of unsalted cashew nuts
- 1 handful of dark chocolate chips
- 1 handful of dark chocolate
- 2 tbsps of coconut oil
Put the cashew nut butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract into a bowl and microwave it for 1 minute. Then mix it together.
Mix in the dry ingredients: the oats, the cashew nuts and the chocolate chips. The mixture will become hard and sticky. This is good.
Prepare a tray and line it with baking paper. I had to use foil because I had run out of baking paper, but it still did the job. Drop the mixture (that’s literally what it does because it isn’t runny 😂) into the lined tray and spread and flatten it out. You can use a wooden spoon but I found it easier to use my fingers. Then leave it in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
Take the mixture out of the fridge after this time and remove it from the baking paper. Use a knife to cut it into rows lengthways, then into half widthways creating rectangular bars.
Break the dark chocolate into sizeable chunks and put it into a bowl with the coconut oil. To melt it, you can microwave it until you are able to mix everything or use the regular method of holding the bowl over a pan of boiling water. I tried the microwave method at first but the chocolate wasn’t fully melting, so I then used hot water from the kettle and this worked quicker.
Drizzle the chocolate on top of the bars with a spoon. Be as reckless as you like 😏. Put the bars back into the fridge to chill for another 1-2 hours and voila!
These are perfect for me because I made them with everything that I know I can eat! It’s an amazing feeling haha. I’ve kept my bars in the fridge to stay chilled while I take my time eating them. Because of the cashew nuts, oats and cashew nut butter, they are high in protein so a great post-workout snack, or good for whenever you feel a little peckish throughout the working day.
I hope you give this recipe a try. It’s so easy to tailor it to yourself. The original method required you to dunk the bars in the chocolate first but I didn’t want to do that, thus I was left with too much leftover chocolate 😂. Next time I make these, I will use even less dark chocolate for drizzling.