I'm going home to Arizona in a couple days(!!), which means that I need some serious snacks for my long flight across the country. Normally, I would pick up some dried fruit and maybe a Larabar or two, but I had some time this weekend to make my own breakfast bars of sorts. There are so many things I love about these Salted Caramel Apple Breakfast Bars, but here are just a few: they are rich in protein and carbohydrates, making them more filling than the average snack bar; they are delicious, thanks to the easy date caramel; and, perhaps best of all, they are easy to store and transport. And despite what the word 'caramel' might evoke, these bars are not too sweet, making them a good breakfast option. I'm excited to pack a few of these breakfast bars in my bag while traveling, but they also just make an easy weekday breakfast. Just set aside an hour on Sunday for baking, and you're set will a delicious, plant-based breakfast for the rest of the week. During the busy holiday season, you can't ask for much more than that!
YIELDS 6-8 bars
- 2 cups rolled or quick oats
- 1/4 cup organic sugar
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds (optional, but good for an extra protein boost)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- 1 cup medjool dates, soaked in boiling water for 10-15 minutes
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 apple, halved and sliced thinly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. While oven is heating, bring two cups of water to boil. When water has boiled, pour over pitted dates and let soak. 2. In a large bowl, mix together oats and sugar. 3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flax meal and warm water. Set aside to thicken. 4. When the dates and flax seeds are ready (about 10-15 minutes), add them to a blender, along with salt, vanilla, and water. Blend on high until smooth. The mixture should be the consistency of caramel. 5. Set aside 1/4 cup of the caramel. Pour the remaining caramel into the oat mixture and stir until evenly combined. 6. Pour the oat and caramel mixture into an oiled 8x8 baking dish, using a spatula or spoon to spread it out evenly. Top with sliced apples (if you're feeling fancy, you can fan them out like I did). Drizzle reserved caramel on top of apples. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, until the top is golden. Let cool before slicing into bars.
Also by Molly: Vegan Matcha Sugar Cookies
Related: Grain-Free Overnight Oats
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Photos: Molly Lansdowne