Energy bars are a simple and nutritious dessert option. This dish is vegan and gluten-free, but caramelized bananas would make it more of a special occasion. If you prefer, you may use oats or other flour instead of nuts and seeds. Not sure how to prepare energy bars?

There are lots of readymade vegan energy bar options on the market, but some include refined sugars while others pack a protein punch that isn’t desirable if you’re watching your weight or following a nutritionally correct plan.

Instead of using honey, I added raisins and carob chips to give it more taste without adding too much sweetness. Feel free to include dried fruits such as cranberries or apricots, chopped dates, or even fresh figs if they’re in season. For a chewy-to-the-taste energy bar, use only one type of nut and seed; for something less dense, use the same amount of oats or another flour instead of some of the nuts.

I hope you’ll consider making these bars as a special treat that won’t interfere with your healthy eating regimen. Put them in the blender first, then add wet ingredients, to avoid lumps from forming.

Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats (not instant)

¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts

½ teaspoon salt (fine sea salt preferred)

1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds or flaxseed meal

¼ cup (heaping) carob chips or vegan chocolate chips (chopped if large; see Note below)

1 ripe banana, mashed well with a fork (about ¾ cup)

½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

¾ cup raisins, cranberries, or chopped dried apricots (or a combination of these), plumped and drained (see instructions below), and/or 2 tablespoons date sugar or maple syrup for more natural sweetness, plus water as needed to thin to desired consistency.

Prepare the crumpets according to package directions. Set timer for 12 minutes and 15 seconds. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).

The parchment paper should be used instead of buttering the pan. Process rolled oats in a food processor fitted with the S blade until you have a coarse meal. Add walnuts and salt; pulse just until everything is roughly chopped together. Transfer oat mixture to a medium mixing dish.

Stir in any of the above ingredients and, if desired, cinnamon and dried fruit (or infused date sugar). Combine well. If necessary, add one tablespoon of water at a time until the mixture is moist enough to stick together when pinched with fingertips. Firmly press two-thirds of the dough into the prepared pan.

Place the baking dish with one layer of paper towels on top of a cooling rack. Let cool for about 20 minutes or until the top is dry to touch, lightly golden around edges, and beginning to set (do not turn off oven). Cover raisins in a small bowl with hot water; let stand for 5 minutes (or as directed on the package), then drain.

Pour the stew into a large mixing bowl and add the rice, if desired. Set aside to cool completely before refrigerating. In a small mixing dish, combine 1 cup raisins and 4 teaspoons cinnamon powder. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle raisins over the bottom of pie crust, pressing lightly so they adhere. Return to oven and bake 10 minutes more or until fruit is plump and dry looking.

When completely cooled, cut the mixture into small bars (I cut them in half crosswise, then lengthwise). Cover and refrigerate for up to four days. Makes 12 bars. If you like chocolate chips, add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder with the carob chips instead of white chocolate chips or angel food cake. For a classic blondie look, try chopped vegan white chocolate or angel food cake instead of shredded coconut.

For the infused dried fruit:

Place 1 cup of raisins, cranberries, or apricots (or a combination) in a heatproof bowl. Add ¼ to ½ cup boiling water (depending on how dry your fruit is). Allow standing 15 minutes before draining well and patting dry with paper towels. Fluff pieces with your fingers; then if needed, add more hot water — just enough to cover and dampen completely — and let stand 10 minutes longer (and only 5 additional minutes if using dates); drain before using.

There are roughly 350 calories in the bars without fruit, and 400 with it. Fat is 12 grams; saturated fat 1 gram; Cholesterol 0 milligrams; salt 45 milligrams; carbohydrates 42 grams (fiber 5 grams, sugars 11 grams); protein 6 grams.

If you want something sweet but don’t want to make anything yourself or for someone else, try out these squares. Because I use only one kind of nut and seed rather than two or more mixed together plus oats or another flour, they’re chewy-to-the-bite. But they aren’t heavy because I add a little maple syrup for natural taste, as well as raisins plumped in water to replace some of the dried fruit called for in most conventional blondies. And I have special ingredients on my side: almond butter and ground flaxseed meal, which give them their fudgy-to-the-bite consistency.

Why Carob and Raising are Good for Your Health

Carob is good for you because it is a high source of dietary fiber, which can help with bowel regularity and digestion.

In addition, the carob is a good source of potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, and vitamin B6. All of these nutrients are important for maintaining overall health and preventing chronic diseases. Raisins are also a good source of dietary fiber, as well as potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C.

Together, carob and raisins provide a wealth of essential nutrients that are beneficial for your health. Consuming carob and raisins regularly can help you maintain optimal health and reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases.

Raisins are also a good source of potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, and vitamin B6. All of these nutrients are important for maintaining overall health and preventing chronic diseases.

Individuals should aim to get at least 900 mg of dietary fiber per day, which can come from various foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, whole grains, etc. The current daily value (% DV) for dietary fiber is 25 grams. Although it’s not clear exactly what the recommended levels are for carob consumption (given its high concentration of soluble fibers), eating carob regularly has been associated with potential benefits to your health.

Some research suggests that diets rich in plant-based foods may support heart health, protect against certain types of cancer, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and promote weight loss. Including carob in your daily diet is one way to help increase your intake of plant-based foods and potentially reap some of these health benefits.

Although it’s not clear exactly what the recommended levels are for carob consumption (given its high concentration of soluble fibers), eating carob regularly has been associated with potential benefits to your health.

Some research suggests that diets rich in plant-based foods may support heart health, protect against certain types of cancer, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and promote weight loss. Including carob in your daily diet is one way to help increase your intake of plant-based foods and potentially reap some of these health benefits.