Chocolate Trail Mix Bars [Vegan & Gluten-free]
Originally, I was going for vegan cookies. The first batch was a dud — too much oil, not enough sugar or peanut butter. Second time around was much better. I gave them to my friend and she enjoyed them for weeks. Yes, weeks. These last for quite some time.
But calling them cookies wasn’t right. They aren’t that sweet. It messes with the mind. Turn them into bars and label them as such, though, and you’re in business. Plus, it means you don’t have to wash as many dishes. Nothing wrong with that.
The ingredient list might look a little daunting, but the prep work is minimal. If you don’t need these to be gluten-free, then go ahead and use normal oats. Xantham gum helps bind everything together in lieu of a lack of gluten.
Coconut oil and natural peanut butter act as the butter or fat in this case. You could use regular peanut butter, but just keep in mind the extra sugar that would bring to your bars.
My gluten-free roommate was the taste-tester for each batch of these, and he voted for the bar form also. We refrigerated ours, and he said that was a nice snack after a visit to the gym. I think these are fun for on-the-go breakfasts and quick energy bites throughout the day.
They’re definitely better for you than a standard bag of trail mix filled with chocolates and sweetened fruit and extra salt. Yay. Happy trails, everyone.
- 2 tablespoons flax seed
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 1 cup gluten-free oats
- 1/4 cup extra dark cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablepsoon xantham gum
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9×13 pan.
- Place flax seed eggs and water in a small bowl and let bloom.
- In a bowl, combine white rice flour, oats, cocoa powder, baking powder, xantham gum, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine coconut oil, peanut butter, and brown sugar.
- Add flax seed eggs, almond milk, and vanilla extract, blending until combined.
- Slowly add dry ingredients on low speed. Once fully incorporated, add sunflower seeds, pecans, and cranberries.
- Distribute batter evenly into pan and bake for 12-15 minutes until the top only gives slightly and a tester comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before serving and enjoying.