As you all know, I had a dream trip to Paris in September (with surprisingly amazing vegan foods!). Of course, it’s not like you can walk into any store and get a vegan cookie in the Land of the Croissant, but I found plen-ty of yummy snacks at organic and health stores. One of the things I found was this chocolate hazelnut granola bar from Naturalia. Imagine Chewy bars with a Parisian (read: hazelnut) twist.
I don’t eat hazelnuts nearly as often as other nuts like walnuts or cashews, but something about them really tug at my heart strings. They taste wonderful and they remind me of 2 of my very favorite places in the world, Paris and Oregon–my home state where 99% of US hazelnuts are produced. Ah, nostalgia.
Plus, lately I’ve been running around from morning til night. In between teaching classes and blogging I usually just eat a few granola bars, and I wanted to make my own version that is healthier, more nutritious, and tastes even more delicious. And they turned out amazing!! The flavors of hazelnut, figs, and chocolate just go so well together. The texture is just the perfect balance between crunchy and crispy, and soft-baked and chewy in the middle. Usually granola bars tend to have a lot of sugar and oil (not to mention eggs or dairy), and this vegan granola recipe is so easy, has no added sugar or gluten, and just a little bit of coconut oil to bind it together. It makes for perfect on-the-go meal, healthy snack or light dessert. 🙂
Vegan Fig Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Bars
about 10 bars
1 cup hazelnuts
1 cup rolled oats
about 13-14 figs, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes and then drained
2 tsp maca (optional, but so healthy)
2 1/2 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
dash sea salt
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips
2.5 tbsp water
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper.
2. In a blender or food processor, pulse the hazelnuts until coarsely chopped into rice sized pieces.
3. Add figs, maca, cacao, vanilla extract, salt, coconut oil, and pulse.
4. Add oatmeal and blend, adding the water to help process thoroughly. Now the texture should feel a bit like wet sand.
5. Fold in chocolate chips.
6. Spoon the mixture into the baking dish and press down *firmly* with a flat spatula until packed down into even, 3/8″ thickness. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Chill in the fridge for at least 45 minutes before cutting into desired sizes with a sharp knife. Bon appetit!
More healthy vegan snack recipes: Cajun Kale Chips
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling