This post was supposed to be a recipe for some lovely little carrot and coconut cupcakes. You see, it was my birthday last week and I wanted to make you (me) something special. They were going to light and fluffly, totally healthy, slightly sweet and topped off with a orange and maple coconut cream frosting. Something that says, I'm 28 now, and I want a sophisticated cupcake.
Except they weren't. They weren't any that. They were wet and gooey and gummy, better used as door stops and paper weights than any treat for a celebration. Three times over. Three different trials, three different recipe tweaks, but none worthy of the dream-like cupcakes I was hoping to share with you all. So, there are about 3 dozen sticky carrot cakes in my freezer if anyone's interested. We are slowly making our way through them, and as I absolutely hate throwing food away, I have been trying to salvage them by slicing them in half, toasting them and spreading with almond butter - turns out, not so bad. not too bad at all. And thus, a new recipe was born - meet the Bad Ass Breakfast Bar.
I took all the flavors and ingredients I used for the muffins, altered it slightly and set out to make a soft yet crunchy morning bar. Sucessfully, if I do say so myself. I was going to call these carrot cake breakfast bars, because, well they are that too, but I thought my failure turned triumph deserved something a little more solid. you know. dude. bad. ass.
Bad Ass Breakfast Bars
Fully loaded to keep you going and sneaking a little veg into your morning meal always makes you feel like a nutrition super hero. Please note, these bars are not heavy on the sweet side. They are purely sweetened with fruit; which is what I look for in the morning, however, if you tend to like things with a spoonful of sugar, a tablespoon of maple or brown rice syrup should do the trick. I'll let you be the judge of that. Vegan, gluten and sugar free. Makes 10 bars.
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup natural unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup dates, pitted
- 3 tablespoon all natural almond butter
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil + a little extra, melted
- 1-2 tablespoons maple or brown rice syrup (optional, depending on desired sweetness)
- 2 tablespoons ground flax
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats, choose certified gluten free if necessary
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup nuts and/or seeds (I used 3/4 chopped walnuts and 1/4 pumpkin seeds)
- 1/2 sultana raisins
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of fine sea salt
What to do
- Preheat the oven to 350 F / 175 C
- Toast oats, nuts, seeds and coconut in a dry skillet over medium heat until slightly brown and fragrant (optional step but adds a bit more flavor and crunch). Transfer to a large bowl and stir in cinnamon, salt and raisins
- Combine all the wet ingredients in the food processor. Shred the carrots first, about 2 small carrots should yield one cup, change out the blade and blend in banana, dates, applesauce, almond butter, coconut oil, and ground flax until the mitxture comes together but is still a little bit chunky. If your dates seem dry soak them in water before hand and strain.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well
- Press the mixture into a 8 x 11 baking dish, lined with parchment sligthly overhanging the sides. Using a flat bottom surface, (measuring cup, metal spatula, ect.) smooth out the top and press down evenly so that the bars and nice and compact.
- Drizzle over with the extra melted coconut oil and spread across the top of the bars, this will make them nice on brown.
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until top and sides are golden
- Let cool completely, then using the sides of the parchment paper remove from the pan (I let mine cool off overnight) Slice into bars, I got 10 bars out of my batch, but depending on the size you want you could get 8-12 I'd say. Keep the bars in a sealed container for about a week, or store in the freezer.