Vegan S’mores Bars

Welcome to Drool City. Population: anyone who ever so much as glanced at the tiny slices of heaven that are these Vegan S’mores Bars.

Believe me. Since making these bars this morning, I’ve made many trips into the kitchen, gazing longingly at the container that they are in, and then distracting myself with other things (grocery shopping, working out) so as not to cave in to my deepest dessert desires before I’ve eaten a healthy dinner. It’s been a day filled with forlorn sighs, especially during the photoshoot. Okay, a wayward marshmallow and a few crumbs might have made their way into mah belly in the process, but I mean… I’m a human. If you can resist these bars, there’s a good chance that you’re part cyborg or something.

A couple of factors coalesced into the perfect storm that motivated me to create this recipe. The first was that I looked into my pantry the other day and realized that I had a package of marshmallows and a box of organic graham crackers nearing their best before date. The second was that my coworkers had been enjoying a non-vegan store-bought s’mores bar this past week, and while I wasn’t tempted to try it, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t start craving s’mores by the time the week was out.

S’mores were always my favourite dessert growing up, but I wanted to create something a little more portable for the purposes of this dessert (because you never know when a s’mores craving will strike, and you might also want to endow your friends/coworkers/coach/partner with a container brimming with s’mores bars sometime in the near future).

But THESE S’MORES BARS. Where do I even begin? With their lightly sweet, oat flour and coconut sugar-based crust and vegan marshmallow and dark chocolate filling, they are an absolute dream. The crust is basically a cookie crust, with the addition of some crushed graham crackers, and comes together in a flash, requiring just a few vegan pantry staples: oat flour, coconut oil, coconut sugar, almond butter, vanilla extract, baking powder, salt, and graham crackers. It’s the only part of the recipe you need to make from scratch, as the filling is simply Dandies vegan marshmallows and chopped dark chocolate. While they bake into gooey, melty deliciousness, you can turn up some tunes and have a fist-pumping kitchen dance party to work up your appetite. Or you can gaze into the oven for 25 agonizing minutes. I alternated between the two.

I would say that the hardest step in the process is waiting for these babies to cool down enough to slice. I let mine sit in the pan at room temperature for 2 hours before lifting them out and slicing. If you can’t wait that long, you could try slicing them after just 1 hour.

These bars are sweet without being over the top, and are best enjoyed with a large glass of plant milk, like almond or hemp.

With their buttery-tasting crust and gooey marshallow and melty chocolate interiors, they are proof that the universe loves us and wants us to be happy. I mean, one bite, and you just might start singing,

“Heaven, I’m in heaven, 
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek
When we’re out together dancing, cheek to cheek”
When I’m in my kitchen eating vegan s’mores”

My dinky iPhone camera doesn’t do these bars justice, but just know that you must put these on your list of things to make ASAP!

Vegan S’mores Bars

Healthy-ish s’mores bars that are easy to make and vegan, too! A coconut sugar-oat flour cookie crust enrobes layers of marshmallows and chocolate, creating a portable version of that quintessential campfire favourite. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Keyword: S’mores, S’mores Bars, Vegan Dessert
Servings: 12 bars

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 3 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 12 crushed graham crackers (organic if possible)
  • 1-100 gram dark chocolate bar, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan marshmallows

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, cream together coconut oil and almond butter with a whisk or an electric mixer. Add coconut sugar, flax, almond milk, and vanilla and mix again to incorporate. 
  • In a medium bowl, stir together oat flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the crushed graham crackers. 
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 F and line a 8 inch by 8 inch square baking dish with parchment paper, leaving some overhang around the edges to allow you to easily lift the bar out. Divide the dough in half. Press half of the dough into the parchment paper-lined baking dish and carefully lift out. This will be your top layer. Set aside until ready to use. Line the pan with another sheet of parchment paper and press in the second half of the dough, pressing outward with your fingers to create a nice even layer. Top the dough with the chopped dark chocolate and marshmallows. To add the top layer of dough, carefully lift it and flip it over on top of the marshmallow layer. Gently press it down. 
  • Bake for 25 minutes. Let it cool for at least an hour, preferably 2 hours, before slicing into 12 squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator to extend shelf life. 

Notes

Recipe inspired by Pinch of Yum

Did you make this recipe? Tag @holisticallie on Instagram and hashtag it #holisticallie.

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Superfood Hot Chocolate (Vegan)

This superfood hot chocolate is my favourite afternoon pick-me-up or healthy dessert when I’m craving something warm and sweet and the end of the day. It’s packed with good for you ingredients like cocoa, reishi mushroom, cashew butter, coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla, and is sweetened with a Medjool date. Reishi mushroom helps with relaxation and a healthy stress response, and I find that it helps me wind down in the evening. It’s also believed to benefit heart health.

Warm drinks like this one are a crucial part of my self care rituals. There’s something really meditative about sipping a warm drink, made with intention, in the peace of your own home. I enjoy going out to cafes, but I would take a homemade drink like this one any day.

I don’t have grand plans for the weekend- brunch with a good friend today, then working on a paper for the rest of the day and work tomorrow. I’m trying to find ways to incorporate little things that bring me joy into every day, and that seems to be helping to get out of the slump that I seem to have fallen into. In other news, I impulsively registered for the Ottawa Marathon earlier in the week, so I’ll be in training mode for that for the next seven weeks or so. I ran 25 km on Thursday, and it was a real wake-up call that I’m not where I want to be as far as stamina goes. I’m tempted to set a lofty time goal, but then again, I don’t feel that my fitness is where it was in October when I ran 3:25:54 at the Toronto Marathon. I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself, but I’m a competitive person and I REALLY want to run under 3:25 to get a guaranteed entry at Boston 2020. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a bit disappointed with myself for not pushing harder in October- I mean, what’s 54 seconds? Had I known how close I was going to be, I definitely would have gutted out a stronger finish. Run and learn, though!

Well, that’s all for today. I hope you love this healthy hot chocolate!

Superfood Hot Chocolate (VEGAN)

A healthy hot chocolate made with cashew butter, coconut oil, cocoa, cinnamon, reishi mushroom, and sweetened with Medjool date. The perfect cozy tonic for your body and soul. 
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time7 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Vegan
Servings: 1 mug of hot chocolate

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Botanica Reishi Hot Cocoa (see note)
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter or other nut/seed butter
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 pitted Medjool date
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp virgin coconut oil (makes it ultra frothy)

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 
  • Pour into a small saucepan and heat over medium, whisking occasionally, until hot. Pour into a mug and enjoy. 

Notes

I used Botanica Reishi Hot Cocoa in this recipe (not sponsored, just a product I really enjoy). If you are unable to find this product, simply use an additional 1/2 tbsp of cocoa powder instead! 

Did you make this recipe? Take a photo and post it to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook with #holisticallie and @holisticallie!

Vegan Chocolate Chip, Pecan, and Cranberry Cookies

Rich chocolate. Buttery pecans. Chewy cranberries. The perfect trifecta, yes?

When life hands you these three ingredients, there is only one thing to do: You make cookies.

And not just any cookies. Rich, chewy, buttery-tasting vegan cookies that are actually good for you.

Yes, my friends. The universe loves us and wants us to be happy.

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I have a gigantic sweet tooth that requires nourishment every day. While I do my best to enjoy desserts that are made with whole foods, I also think that treats are one of life’s simple pleasures. Why should we deny ourselves the joy that comes along with savouring something sweet with people we love?

I think that there is a lot of unnecessary guilt and shame wrapped up in people’s dietary choices, and it doesn’t have to be so. My food philosophy continues to evolve as I move away from years of restriction and obsession with a particular way of eating, but for now, Michael Pollan’s adage, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants,” continues to resonate quite strongly with me.

I enjoy a wide variety of foods. I eat vegan 95% of the time, with the odd organic egg or goat/sheep dairy thrown in when I’m craving it. I believe that ethics, the environment, and macronutrient balance are important considerations to make in our food choices, but I believe just as strongly that eating socially and for pleasure are important variables of the equation– variables that are often left out of the discussion about nutrition. You can eat what on paper appears to be the healthiest food in the world, but if you’re not enjoying it–if your soul isn’t being nourished by your food and the people you are eating with–you probably won’t enjoy radiant health.

If you are already eating a diet based on plants and whole foods to begin with, you definitely have plenty of wiggle room to enjoy something sweet at the end of the day, if that is what makes you feel good- no guilt required!

And on that note, let’s bake cookies!

These cookies have a lot going for them. They’re:

Vegan
Crisp on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside
Buttery-tasting
Made with spelt flour
Perfect for dunking into a tall glass of almond milk

These are my new go-to when I’m in the mood for a quick and easy treat. I think they’ll become one of your favourites, too!

And, if you love sweet treats as much as I do, check out these recipes:

Oat Fudge Bars
Peanut Butter Cup Muffins
Cranberry Swirl Loaf
No-Churn Chocolate Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream
Chocolate Chunk Cashew Butter Blondies
Fabulous Fudge Pie

As always, if you make this recipe, tag #holisticallie and @holisticallie on Instagram!

Vegan Chocolate Chip, Pecan, and Cranberry Cookies

Chocolate chips, pecans, and cranberries combine into one drool-worthy cookie! Tender on the inside, crisp around the outside, and buttery-tasting, these are sure to become your new favourite treat. Best enjoyed with a glass of almond milk or coffee. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: Cookies, Vegan
Servings: 10 large cookies
Author: Allison

Ingredients

  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 2.5 tbsp water)
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup light/white spelt flour*
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Prepare the flax egg in a small bowl and set it aside to thicken. 
  • In a large bowl, cream together the coconut oil and almond butter with an electric mixer. Alternatively, you can whisk it by hand. 
  • Add the flax egg, brown sugar, raw cane sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to the coconut oil/almond butter mixture and mix to incorporate. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and rolled oats. 
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix, either with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon. 
  • Chop the pecan halves. Add the chocolate, chopped pecans, and dried cranberries to the cookie dough and stir to incorporate. The dough should be soft but workable. You should be able to roll it into balls without it sticking to your fingers. If the dough seems too wet, add a couple more tablespoons of flour. If it seems too dry, add almond milk or water, a tablespoon at a time, until the proper consistency is achieved. 
  • Roll dough into 10 equal balls for large cookies or 15 equal balls for smaller cookies and place on the baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. 
  • Bake for 12-18 minutes. Baking time will vary depending on the size of your cookies, whether you like your cookies soft and chewy or crispy, and the type of baking sheet that you use (I use a stone pan from Pampered Chef, so my cookies take a bit longer to bake). 

Notes

*I prefer light spelt flour to whole spelt flour in dessert recipes because it is lighter and more closely resembles all purpose flour. I purchase it in the bulk bin at my local health food store. If you are unable to find it, you can use whole spelt flour in a pinch! 

Enjoy these cookies to the fullest. Let’s meet back here on Saturday, when I’ll be starting a new weekly post series called Slow Rise Saturdays. Each post will feature a drink recipe and a roundup of interesting articles for you to savour on your weekend mornings. I can’t wait!




Fabulous Fudge Pie (VEGAN)

I love fudge pie, and I cannot lie.

This recipe takes its inspiration from a certain nostalgic childhood treat: mud pie. Growing up, it was my favourite dessert. As I recall, my family’s recipe featured an Oreo cookie crumb crust, a whipped topping filling, and gummy candy adornments. So sweet, but so good. Oh, to be a kid again!

These days, my preference is for food that’s free from animal products and a tad more redeeming from a nutritional standpoint, but no less delicious.

I set out on a mission to re-create mud pie in plant-powerful fashion, and the result is tastier than the original and (surprise!) secretly healthy. Whether or not you reveal to your dinner guests the last point is entirely up to you. What matters is that you make this now.

This vegan fudge pie features just a handful of ingredients. The base is a simple press-in crust made with rice crisp cereal, coconut nectar or brown rice syrup, cocoa, coconut oil, and a pinch of salt. The filling is made with avocado, Medjool dates, melted dark chocolate, maple syrup, cocoa, almond milk, vanilla extract, salt, and arrowroot.

After a quick freeze, you can top it with an optional almond butter “caramel” drizzle. Or, you can add coconut whipped cream and berries. The choice is yours.

I have a feeling this would be a hit at a dinner party, especially if there are kids present! It would also be a fun date night dessert. You could even forego the crust entirely and serve the chocolate/avocado filling in small bowls garnished with berries and coconut whip for a fudge pudding treat.

Fabulous Fudge Pie (VEGAN)

This decadent-tasting dessert comes together quickly. A press-in crust is topped with a rich and creamy chocolate avocado filling and drizzled with a maple-almond butter ‘caramel.’ 
Prep Time20 mins
Freeze time2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Keyword: Dessert, Fudge Pie, Kid-friendly, No-Bake, Vegan
Servings: 8
Author: Allison

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 cups brown rice crisp cereal
  • 3 tbsp coconut nectar or brown rice syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Filling:

  • 2 avocados, pitted
  • 3/4 cup pitted Medjool dates (about 10)*
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot starch**
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips, melted

Maple Almond Butter Topping:

  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of fine sea salt

Instructions

  • Combine the coconut nectar or brown rice syrup, coconut oil, cocoa, and salt in a small saucepan over low heat, whisking occasionally, until melted. 
  • Place the rice crisp cereal in a mixing bowl and pour the melted coconut nectar mixture on top. Stir to coat the cereal. 
  • Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate with coconut oil and line it with parchment paper. Make sure that there is sufficient parchment paper to allow you to lift the pie out of the pan later. 
  • Pour the prepared rice crisp cereal crust into the prepared pie plate. Place another piece of parchment paper on top and flatten the crust with your hands. Place the crust in the freezer to chill while you prepare the filling. 
  • Prepare the filling: Place all ingredients EXCEPT the melted dark chocolate into a food processor. Process until very smooth. It may take up to five minutes for the dates to blend, so be patient. 
  • Add the melted dark chocolate and process again until smooth. By this point, you should have a luscious mixture similar in consistency to a thick chocolate pudding. 
  • Remove the crust from the freezer and scoop the filling on top. Smooth with a spoon and place in the freezer for 1.5 hours. 
  • Prepare the maple-almond butter topping: In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil over low heat. Whisk in the almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt. Remove the pie from the freezer and drizzle the topping all over. 
  • Freeze for an additional 30 minutes, or until ready to serve. 
  • Remove the pie from the freezer 5-10 minutes before serving. Carefully remove it from the pan and place on an even surface for slicing. Cut into 8 even slices and serve. 

Notes

-This pie freezes beautifully. Keep it in a covered container for up to two weeks. 
-Crust adapted from Oh She Glows
*I soaked the pitted Medjool dates in hot water for about 15 minutes before proceeding with the recipe. If your dates are on the hard side, I recommend soaking them in hot water for at least 15 minutes and draining them before you make this recipe. This helps the dates blend easily!
**Arrowroot starch seems to help this filling maintain its mousse-like texture, even when frozen. I wouldn’t recommend skipping it unless you are unable to find it! 

If you make this, tag it #holisticallie and @holisticallie on Instagram!

Chocolate Milkshake Smoothie Bowls

Do you ever wake up craving a milkshake for breakfast? I do. ALL. THE. TIME.

You know what’s amazing about plant-based cuisine? You can blend up a healthy chocolate milkshake using fruits, seeds, and cocoa powder. It all comes together in five minutes. From there, you can choose to sip it with a straw or gussy it up with fancy garnishes and enjoy it as a smoothie- errr, milkshake- bowl.

This chocolate milkshake is packed with good-for-you ingredients like banana, avocado, raw cacao powder, dates, a drizzle of raw honey for immunity-boosting superpowers, and three different seeds: flax, hemp, and tahini. Flax is an excellent plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, while hemp contains the ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. Hemp is also an excellent source of protein, coming in at 9-10 grams of protein in a 3 tbsp serving, as well as being high in magnesium- an essential mineral for normal muscle and nervous system function! And sesame seeds are very rich in iron and calcium. Bananas provide a healthy dose of potassium and vitamin B6, a B vitamin that helps to reduce symptoms of stress, and avocado is packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and vitamin E.

Needless to say, this isn’t any chocolate milkshake. This is a true supercharged meal that’ll power you through a morning workout, meeting, or study session.

Goodbye, winter blahs, and hello, dewy glow! Now if anyone asks how you have such healthy skin, you can give them the best answer ever: “I had a milkshake for breakfast.” Elaborate further as you see fit. 😉

Chocolate Milkshake Smoothie Bowl

This vegan chocolate milkshake smoothie bowl comes together in 5 minutes, making it the perfect weekday breakfast! Packed with three healthy seeds, banana, avocado, and naturally sweetened with a Medjool date and honey, it’ll energize you for hours! 
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: Breakfast, Vegan
Servings: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 large frozen banana
  • 1/2 an avocado, pitted
  • 1 pitted Medjool date (if it is dry, soak in warm water for 10 minutes)
  • 1 tsp raw honey or pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp tahini or nut or seed butter of choice
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 ice cubes

Topping Ideas:

  • 2 tbsp yogurt of choice (coconut, soy, sheep, goat)
  • 1/4 cup granola of choice
  • 1/4 cup berries or cherries

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until very smooth. Remember that you are aiming for a thick, milkshake-like consistency. 
  • Pour into a bowl (or a large glass if you prefer to enjoy as a more traditional milkshake. Garnish with desired toppings and serve immediately. For a fancy effect (as pictured), carefully 1 tbsp yogurt in a horizontal line. Use a butter knife and strike it through the yogurt in the opposite direction. Repeat with the remaining yogurt, adding more as needed). 

Chocolate Chunk Cashew Butter Blondies (Vegan, GF)

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Oh hi, friends! I’m so excited to share my favourite blondie recipe with you just in time for the holidays! This dessert only takes 20 minutes to whip up and is so intensely craveable, you’ll be making it all year round!

What the heck is a blondie, you may ask? Think brownie, minus the chocolate batter. I like to think of them as blonde brownies. What the batter lacks in cocoa, it makes up for in the chocolate chunks that adorn every square inch of this dessert!

They’re sweet (but not tooth-achingly so), rich (but not over the top), and satisfying. Sweetened with coconut sugarand made with wholesome ingredients like flax, oat flour, cashew butter, and fair trade organic dark chocolate, they’re even rather redeeming from a nutritional standpoint—at least more so than the average dessert on offer at this time of the year.

So flatter your family and impress your friends with your vegan baking prowess. Only you and I have to know how easy and fuss-free it truly is to make a blondie.

What are we waiting for? Let’s bake!

First of all, you’ll whip together a flax egg. To the flax egg, you’ll add cashew butter, coconut sugar, and melted coconut oil (or butter if not vegan), and almond milk. Add some vanilla extract to enhance the flavour.

Next, you’ll whisk together oat flour, baking soda, and sea salt.

Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and stir.

Lastly, you’ll sprinkle on the most important ingredient of all: chopped dark chocolate!

The hardest step is waiting for it to bake and set before slicing and biting into pure blondie nirvana.

You know you want it. Go get it.

Chocolate Chunk Cashew Butter Blondies

These chocolate chunk cashew butter blondies are rich, fudgey, and decadent, while also being gluten-free and vegan! There’s nothing better on a cold winter day than one of these blondies and a steaming cup of Earl Grey tea. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Keyword: Dessert, Gluten-Free, Healthy Dessert, Oil-Free, Vegan
Author: Allison

Ingredients

  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax plus 3 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 cup cashew butter (other nut and seed butters probably work)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups oat flour (use certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate (I used 70%)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C) and line a 8×8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Note that I have not attempted to make this recipe in a 9×9-inch dish, so do so at your own risk! 
  • Whisk together ground flax and water in a large mixing bowl. Let stand for five minutes to thicken. 
  • Add cashew butter, coconut sugar, melted oil or butter, milk, and vanilla and cream together using electric mixer or a large spoon and a strong arm. 🙂 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Pour dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and stir vigorously to combine. 
  • Spoon the prepared dough into your pan. Wet your hands and press the dough into the corners of the pan. You want a flat, even layer. 
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until firm to the touch and golden. 
  • Cool in the pan for 20 minutes before lifting out. Cool on a rack for an additional 10 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator and allowing it to cool fully before slicing into 9-12 squares. 
  • Blondies will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for at least one week. 

Things will likely be pretty quiet around here for the next week, but you can stay in touch with me via Instagram! And if you make this recipe, don’t forget to tag #holisticallie on social media so that we can see your delicious creations!

Double Chocolate Protein Bars

Why buy protein bars when it takes ten minutes to whip up a batch in your own kitchen? These protein bars are packed with protein (obviously), healthy fat, complex carbs, and are lightly sweetened with pure maple syrup! The icing on the cake, so to speak, is the raw chocolate glaze. Made with just four ingredients (cacao butter, raw cacao, maple syrup, and almond milk), it propels these protein bars into “I can’t ever go back to store-bought” territory. 

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Well, we made it to Friday. If you have a Monday to Friday job, happy weekend! If, like me, you still find yourself working retail on weekends, I feel ya! Hopefully you can make the most of whatever time you have off over the next couple of days.

I don’t know anyone who actually craves store-bought protein bars. Sure, I will eat one in a pinch (and given that I work in a health food store, there is never any shortage of options for when one is feeling rather peckish). However, I have never been able to find one that suits my taste and quality preferences. Most of them contain at least a handful of ingredients that I am not keen on putting into my body, and I would rather keep things as healthy and natural as possible. Add to that the fact that I am trying to reduce my plastic footprint, and it’s easy to see why homemade is the way to go.

This protein bar recipe is the product of a desperate attempt to use up some protein powder that had almost reached its best before date. It’s entirely a first world problem, true, but I hate to waste food, and I couldn’t possibly stomach more protein smoothie bowls.

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These bars make the PERFECT afternoon snack when you’re low on energy and need a pick-me-up to get you through the afternoon. They are also phenomenal as a post-workout snack to kickstart muscle recovery. However and whenever you choose to enjoy them, I hope that they become your new favourite snack!

If you make this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment below, and tag me on Instagram with @holisticallie and #holisticallie!

Double Chocolate Protein Bars 

Servings: 10
Cuisine: Vegan
Time: 15 minutes + 30 minutes chill time

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chocolate protein powder of choice (I used Botanica brand)
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 cup nut or seed butter of choice (peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower, tahini all work)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk

Raw Chocolate Topping

  • 1/4 cup cacao butter
  • 2.5 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp non-dairy milk

Instructions:

  1. Combine protein powder, oat flour, salt, maple syrup, and nut butter in a large mixing bowl. Stir until dough begins to form. Gradually add non-dairy milk until mixture reaches a cookie dough consistency.
  2. Line a 8×8 square baking pan with parchment paper. Press dough evenly into pan and flatten as much as possible. You want the dough to be packed as tightly as possible so that the bars do not fall apart.
  3. Prepare the raw chocolate. Place cacao butter in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of almost boiling water. Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in remaining raw chocolate ingredients. Pour over protein bar dough.
  4. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes or until chocolate has hardened.
  5. Slice into 10 even rectangles and store in the refrigerator until ready to consume.

 

 

Peanut Butter Cup Muffins

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Hi, friends! I feel as though it’s been a minute since I’ve posted here. When I started this blog, I thought that I would have time to post every. single. day. I have since been humbled by the amount of time and energy that goes into creating, testing, and photographing recipes while also working a full time job and marathon training! I’m not complaining or making excuses, just saying that I have a newfound appreciation for all those who juggle many life things at once!

Continue reading “Peanut Butter Cup Muffins”

Fresh Town Smoothie with Hidden Greens + Plastic-Free July

This smoothie will knock your socks off and wake you right up on a hot summer morning! Fresh mint and kale are hidden beneath a layer of chocolate, banana, and Medjool dates, creating a refreshing and sweet smoothie packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants!

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Some things were made for each other. Peanut butter and jam. Cam and Mitch. (Veggie) Burgers and (sweet potato) fries. Apple and cheese. A kiss and a squeeze. To that list, I will happily add chocolate and mint. Ever since I was a young one and discovered the magic that is the Girl Guides chocolate mint cookies, I have been hooked. However, my preference now is fresh mint over mint flavouring and raw cacao powder over processed chocolate. Cheers to maturing taste buds, lol!

Continue reading “Fresh Town Smoothie with Hidden Greens + Plastic-Free July”

Chocolate Banana Protein Pancakes

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Hello and welcome to my blog!! I have been reading different food/health/wellness blogs for years now and figured that I’d give it a try myself. It’s going to be a work in progress for the next several months but I don’t think there is ever a moment where one is 100 percent ready to try something new. I’m jumping in and learning as I go. Any feedback is welcome!

Today’s recipe is one that, if you are anything like me, you will find yourself making over and over again! I wanted my first recipe to be a memorable one, and I think that these fit the bill quite well. Chocolate banana protein pancakes for the win, guys.  Continue reading “Chocolate Banana Protein Pancakes”