Looking at the calendar and seeing it is January the 1st always excites me. It's the beginning of a new year and an excellent opportunity to start fresh. I love pencilling in new schedules in my calendar and setting goals. While the standard goals seem to be the obligatory plans of getting fitter and losing the holiday weight in record time, I take the more relaxed route. I do not like to overwhelm myself with hard to reach goals and fret over numbers. I check my favourite pants and if they fit, fine. If they don't... ah well. Days are getting longer, spring is nearing, and with it, the outdoor activities which should result in the loss of the few extra pounds I
might or might not have gained have gained. Until then I will stick to my healthy but delicious breakfasts.
These no-bake breakfast bars with cranberries are not only a delicious breakfast but they are also my favourite way to use up any ingredients that I have left over from Christmas baking. While I recommend to try these out as they are; you can experiment by swapping out nuts and seeds for other variations. But keep in mind to stick to the ratios or the bars will have a completely different texture. I balanced all ingredients so they come out as a chewy and delicious bar.
I tend to make a huge batch of them and freeze them in suitable and airtight containers. When I want to eat them I take them out and leave them on the counter for a few minutes. Due to their fat content, they won't go as solid as other things like ice so they can even be eaten straight out of the freezer if you have no issue biting into cold things. I love bringing them with me on trips for emergency snacking but they can also be served in a fancy manner. Due to their colour and taste, those no-bake breakfast bars are a very liked snack on parties. Just stack them on a cake stand and scatter some seeds and nuts around them. It looks delicious and they never last longer than a few minutes once the first person tried them.
How are you setting your goals for next year? The one thing that has always worked for me was a schedule. It seems to work best for me when I can take a planner out and look at the week ahead, and I am old-fashioned when it comes to that. Pen and paper seem to make more sense to me and I go all out and use anything from text markers to sticky notes. It works like magic for me. If you are the tech-savvy person that manages their time digitally, I applaud you. In fact, I completely envy you.
I can say with certainty it will be a while before I make the jump to digital notes, especially when it comes to cooking and recipe development. I love making little notes and not having to worry about covering a device in melted peanut butter, which is something that is happening in this recipe and it is my favourite part of making these bars. The smell of slightly heating the date and peanut butter mixture just until it combines is heavenly.
There's just something very comforting about making these. Hardly anything can go wrong and the possibilities to adjust them to anyone's taste are endless. Have you ever made breakfast bars? If you do try them, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it and feel free to tag your versions on Instagram with #gloriathegreedyvegan so I can find them.
Oh, how I wish I could let you grab one of these!
Happy New Year!
No Bake Breakfast Bars with Cranberries and Seeds
For the bars:
For the topping:
- 8 whole walnuts
- 2 tablespoon cranberries
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
- 300 g tightly packed pitted dates*, 125 ml water*, 50 g coconut oil, 125 g peanut butterProcess the dates and water in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add the date paste with the coconut oil and peanut butter to a saucepan and heat gently to melt the oil and the peanut butter. Stir until evenly combined.
- 175 g rolled oats, 100 g ground walnuts, 35 g roughly chopped walnuts, 20 g sunflower seeds, 20 g pumpkin seeds, 30 g cranberries, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence or 2 scraped vanilla beans, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ⅛ teaspoon saltAdd the paste to the dry ingredients and add the vanilla, salt and cardamom. Mix everything by hand or use a hand mixer with dough hook attachments.
- Once it is evenly combined press the mixture into a square form of 20*20cm (8*8inch) that is lined with baking paper. Make sure to press the mass down as hard as you can. If it is too loose, there will be air trapped in the mixture, and that will make your bars crumble once you cut them. I lay a piece of baking paper on top of it because it makes it easier to even the surface out.
- 8 whole walnuts, 2 tablespoon cranberries, 1 tablespoon pumpkin seedsIf you choose to make them look a little bit fancier, then scatter the topping over the evened out mixture and press the nuts and seeds into the surface. Cover with baking paper and store in the fridge for a few hours, best overnight.