Tag Archives: fauxrabar

Vegan Baking Experiments

24 Oct

I made a lot of goodies today!

And guess what?  They’re all vegan!  I have a vegan friend and have kind of challenged myself to make some delicious baked goods for him.  And then I made more fauxrabars for myself.

Vegan baking is not nearly as hard as you might think.  It’s mostly about replacing:

1)      butter—with oil, or coconut oil (or shortening) if you need a solid fat

2)      milk—almond or soy milk works in almost any recipe

3)      eggs—I’ve seen vegan egg replacers, but it seems like applesauce, pumpkin puree, and bananas can generally be substituted…though I’m no expert on that.

I accidentally made vegan pumpkin cookies when I left the eggs out of my whoopie pies.  So I made another batch of those (knowing how great they were).

Then I made Sunbutter cookies!  The boyfriend doesn’t like peanut butter desserts, but he does like chocolate covered sunflower seeds, so I figured I’d tackle sunflower seed butter cookies, but vegan, just because.

They taste pretty good, and I like the texture too (soft and cakey)…one of the great things about vegan cookie dough is that there’s no raw eggs, so you can taste the batter as you go.

They need some tweaking though because…these cookies are not pretty.  I figured the ugly color was from the drab color of the sunbutter.  Then I cracked one open…

It’s green.  Like…really green.  Spinach green.  ‘Omg is this going to kill me if I eat it? Green’ (that’d be a great crayon name, right?).

A brief search on the interwebs told me that no, it won’t kill you.  The green is from chlorogenic acid…which all plants have in the stems and leaves, and is also in the seeds of sunflowers. They’re totally safe, and taste normal.  The color is still off-putting though.  Could be fun for St. Patrick’s Day…

Anyway, here’s the recipe I used (substituting pumpkin for applesauce, and obviously sunbutter for peanut butter)…I’m pretty sure it would be great (and less strangely colored) with peanut butter.

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Moving on…fauxrabars!  I’ve devoted two posts to my other fauxrabar flavors, so I’ll keep this quick (the method is the same as before).

Another use for your leftover sunbutter and sunflower seeds…one that does not require baking…Sunbutter Cookie Dough Fauxrabars! (Adapted from ChocolateCoveredKatie).  If you dig sunflower seeds and/or sunflower seed butter, this one is great!

1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp raisins
1/8-1/4 tsp salt (to taste)
2 tbsp sunflower seeds (mine were raw, but roasted and salted would be good too)
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients well in a food processor until well combined and uniform in texture.  This dough should stick together very well.  Pour dough out onto saran wrap, and form into three bars.  Wrap tightly with saran wrap, and store in the fridge or at room temperature.  Will keep for at least a week (probably more).

I also made some Cashew Cookie Dough Fauxrabars…they kind of do taste like cookie dough.  I think everyone that makes ‘fauxrabars’ has a version of this recipe, but here’s mine:

½ cup cashews (mine were roasted and salted)
1/3 cup raisins
1/8 – ¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 T chocolate chips (optional, I used white chocolate)

Blend all ingredients well in a food processor until well combined and uniform in texture.  If your mixture is dry and does not stick together well, add a few drops of water, pulse and repeat until sticky.  Pour dough out onto saran wrap, and form into three bars.  Wrap tightly with saran wrap, and store in the fridge or at room temperature.  Will keep for at least a week (probably more).

Whew.  After that marathon post you might think I was heading to the dark side…and turning to veganism.  You’d be mistaken.  I ate some bacon for breakfast.  And then I made apple pie.  With extra butter.

P.S. If you clicked on any of the links on this post, they take you to Chocolate Covered Katie’s healthy dessert blog.  Who doesn’t love healthy desserts?  But I really love her site because she makes special diet baking seem not so scary.  Overall, there’s no weird ingredients you’ve never heard of, and lots of suggestions for substitutions =]

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Going Fauxrabar Crazy!…and some quad rugby

30 Sep

Thursday was another quad rugby practice and this morning we headed off early for a  clinic in Richmond!  The boyfriend talked to some prospective players about the game all authoritative like, and then they scrimmaged for a bit.

He’s on the left and closest to the camera with the white shirt, if you were wondering.

I usually get into a chair and play with the boys at practices.  I’ve been doing that for a while now, so they’ve started hitting me a lot harder thinking that I’m no longer a wimp.  Unfortunately I am a wimp.  Plus, they use this stuff on the ball—klister, stickum…it’s this elasticy goo that is the stickiest stuff you’ve ever felt.  The only thing that will get it off is a metric ton of rubbing alcohol.

You carry the ball between your thighs in this sport.  Here’s what happens when a sticky ball gets ripped out of your sweaty legs multiple times:

My fault for not wearing longer shorts or pants, but this was so painful!

The point is that I’ve now started reffing practices instead.  Reffing is awesome.  I feel so powerful with a whistle and the ability to eject players from the game…I love it…mwahaha.

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As far as food, I didn’t have a chance to cook much, but I did whip up some delicious snacks for the trip:

Alright, so the term fauxrabar definitely sounded better in my head than when I tried to say it out loud.  Regardless, I still think it’s clever!  So it stays…especially because I’ve gone fauxrabar crazy the past week or so (after trying the oatmeal raisin cookie variety…I’m hooked).  They’re just SO EASY to make, and I’m thinking that with so many dried fruits, nuts, spices and extracts out there, I can make any flavor combination my heart desires!  Oh the power!

The crazy started with an Almond Joy variety.  The first batch was alright, but I knew there was room for improvement.  So I whipped up a batch this morning and was much happier with the results:

Makes 2 large or 3 small bars
1/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup shredded dried coconut (I used sweetened but only because I couldn’t find unsweetened)
1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 tsp almond extract

Just throw everything but the almond extract into a food processor and let it run for 30 seconds or so until everything comes together and the the raisins are chopped up finely.  Then drizzle in the almond extract and buzz it again.  If the mixture doesn’t seem sticky, pour in up to 1 tsp of water and blend it again.  It will look like this:

Then just pack it into a block and divide into two or three bars! (Do this on saran wrap or in a plastic bag if you don’t want your hands to get sticky).

You might be tempted to add almonds into this, since it’s an almond joy…feel free to replace ¼ cup of the coconut.  I used walnuts in the first batch and just didn’t like the texture of the little bits of nuts.  Plus, everyone knows almond joy bars are all about the chocolate and coconut anyway…and the almond extract adds some warm, sweet, almond flavor.

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The highlight of my fauxrabar making is my Cranberry Bliss Fauxrabar that is out of this world.  So freaking good.  If you’re familiar with the seasonal pastry from Starbucks (cranberry bliss bars), that’s kind of what these taste like…cranberry, white chocolate, and oats.  Here’s how I did it, but if you replaced the vanilla extract with orange extract, it would probably taste even more like the pastry:

Makes 3 bars

1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup walnuts (cashews or pecans would probably also work)
6 T dry oatmeal
1 T white chocolate
1/8 – 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or orange)

First, add the oatmeal to the food processor and chop until a fine powder.  Then add in the walnuts, cranberries, white chocolate, and salt.

Process until it reaches a uniform texture.  It will still be quite dry.

Now pour in the extract and give it another buzz.

Mine was moist, but it wasn’t sticky, so I added water in 1/2 tsp increments until it started pulling away from the sides and center of the food processor (it only needed about 1 tsp)

Then just press it into a block and then divide into three bars!  Here’s a reference for how much total dough this makes…next to a toothpick.

 So it’s not very much dough, but these are an easily portable and relatively nutritious sweet snack.

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I have written down so many more varieties I can’t wait to try…Gingerbread, Cranberry Coconut, and Maple-Pecan to name a few!  I just have to eat up all the ones I’ve already made…

That shouldn’t be a problem.

PS, I promise I’ve got some good posts coming up! Thai turkey burgers (finally), pumpkin pie bars, and the easiest, tastiest pie you will ever encounter, to name a few!

No Bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Larabars

20 Sep

I’ve never had a larabar, but everyone raves about them.  They recently made an appearance on Unwrapped (food network), and are made with all natural ingredients…dried fruit, nuts, spices, so I can respect that.

That being said, I don’t usually do the whole vegan/raw food recipes thing.  These recipes tend to have strange ingredients that I don’t have in my kitchen and don’t have any desire to track down.  Plus there’s that whole tasting like cardboard thing.

Oh sure, they’ll tell you ‘it tastes just like a _____’, but what they mean is ‘it kind of tastes like a _____, and slightly less like cardboard than you might think!’  I don’t like to eat cardboard.

I came across this and with larabars on the mind and all the ingredients in my pantry, I thought…why not?

Look guys, I made a funny! Fauxrabars, Larabars?  It’s funny, I promise…

Moving on, these are tastyyyy.  The bars seriously do taste like an oatmeal cookie.  They’re sticky, dense, and chewy, but the flavor is there.  Like most energy bars, I wouldn’t call these ‘healthy’ due to the sugar, fat, and 250 calories.  Then again, they are all natural, packed with protein and fiber, and much cheaper than any storebought bar.   So for that busy morning breakfast, easy afternoon snack, sugar craving, or any time you need some quick energy, instead of reaching for that candy bar or energy bar, reach for one of these instead.  You’ll be glad you did.

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Seriously, if you have a food processor, this is the easiest recipe I’ve shared with you yet.  The whole thing takes five minutes.

Pulse 6 T of dry old fashioned rolled oats (or quick oats) until pretty fine.

Then pour in ½ cup of walnuts, ½ cup of raisins, ¼ tsp (or to taste) cinnamon, and a scant ¼ tsp salt, and pulse until uniform in texture.

Drizzle in ¼ tsp vanilla extract and pulse again.  Mine was still pretty dry at this point, so I added ~1 tsp water and continued to pulse.  Once the mixture pulls away from the sides of the food processor, or sticks together when you press it between your fingers, it’s ready.

Ta da!

Then just press it all together tightly and divide it into three bars!  You can do this in a Ziploc bag or between saran wrap if you don’t want to get your fingers sticky. (I probably should have included something for reference in the image below…that looks like a lot of dough.  It’s not.  It makes three bars about the size of Chewy Granola Bars).

That’s all, folks!  Easy, homemade oatmeal raisin cookie faux Larabars (fauxrabars) !

I may have never had a larabar, but I did eat many a cliff bar hiking in the woods last summer…after making these, I’m debating how to use this basic method to replicate the carrot cake and white chocolate macadamia nut varieties (my favorites)…hmmm…

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Fauxrabars

From ChocolateCoveredKatie

Makes 3 small bars

6 T dry oatmeal
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 tsp cinnamon
scant 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tsp water (if needed)

  • Pulse the oatmeal in your food processor until fine
  • Add in raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, and salt, and pulse until well combined and a uniform texture
  • Pour in vanilla extract and pulse
  • Your dough should pull away from the sides of the food processor and stick to itself.  Test some by pinching between your fingers.  If it does not stick together easily, add in water a tsp. at a time until it is sticky
  • Pour dough over saran wrap or into a bag and press together firmly into a rectangle; Cut into three bars and wrap each individually in saran wrap.  Stores at least two weeks in the fridge