Hello! It’s 1st November and World Vegan Day! I love to get out in the Autumn sunshine for a brisk walk; kicking my way through the fallen leaves. On a longer walk I often take some sort of energy bar with me for a quick boost, mostly bought from a shop, but I thought there must be a better way of getting that boost without involving the refined sugar and swathes of plastic packaging in most commercial bars. So here are two vegan recipes which are full of good things and super easy if you have a food processor. I’ve chosen to shape one recipe into balls and to press the other into a tin to make square bars. Whichever you choose I hope you enjoy these little sticky delights, they are necessarily high in calories to give you that energy high, so you only need one to help you out on that hike in our glorious Autumn countryside. Wrap in baking parchment, greaseproof paper or a wax wrap to take with you.
Choc’n’Nut Energy Balls
Ingredients (makes 16)
150g almonds (or mixed nuts)
150g pitted Medjool dates
75g dried fruit (I used cranberries)
1 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder (it’s worth checking the vegan credentials of your chosen cocoa or cacao powder)
Few drops of orange essence or zest of one orange (optional)
Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times to start with, and then blitz for a couple of minutes until the mixture starts to come together. Test it is ready by pinching the mix with your finger and thumb. If it sticks together easily, turn it out on to a work surface, divide into 16 pieces and roll into balls. Place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, and chill in the fridge for an hour to firm up a bit. Best stored in a container in the fridge.
Peanut and Oat Bars
Ingredients (makes 20)
100g rolled oats
50g ground golden flaxseed
100g crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
100ml maple syprup
50g pumpkin seeds
50g dried cranberries
Pinch of sea salt (optional)
Place the oats, flaxseed, peanut butter, vanilla extract and maple syrup into the food processor and pulse a few times until just combined. Add the pumpkin seeds and cranberries and pulse again until just mixed. (The idea is to try and keep the seeds and cranberries almost whole). Line an 8” baking dish or tin with baking parchment, turn the mix into it and press down really firmly using the smooth base of a glass or tumbler. Sprinkle with a little sea salt if using. Chill for an hour in the fridge, then turn out onto a board and cut into the desired number of bars or squares. Store in a container in the fridge.
Enjoy those mellow Autumn days!