Among the many fun things about receiving a Vegan Cuts Snack Box each month is that it’s a treasure trove of inspiration. A lot of the goodies inside are not readily available to me so if I like something, I try to recreate my own version. One such treat, an Earnest Eats Dark Choco Mint bar, was tucked inside the June box. Theirs is a baked bar packed with nuts, chocolate, and mint, but also contains brown rice and cane syrups. The flavor was fantastic with a nice hit of real mint and a subtle chocolate taste, but I wasn’t thrilled about the sugar content. In recreating their bar, I decided to go raw and to bump up the mint flavor with a small amount of alcohol-free extract alongside a handful of fresh mint straight from the garden. Dates and stevia give these bars their sweetness and the rolled oats, nuts, and seeds give it great crunch. Perfect for a pre- or post-workout snack.
Raw Double Chocolate Mint Bars
Makes 1 9″ x 9″ pan (12-16 bars)
2 cups rolled oats, divided
1 cup dates, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
3 tbsp. cacao powder
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw pepitas
1/3 cup natural nut butter
1 tsp. vanilla-flavored stevia liquid (or 1 tsp. vanilla extract)
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1/4 cup water
Line a 9″ x 9″ pan with parchment.
Place one cup of the rolled oats in a small bowl and cover with water. Let sit for about 30 minutes, drain and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, grind the dates and walnuts until finely chopped and then add the flaxseed meal, mint leaves, and cacao powder. Process until finely chopped and thoroughly combined.
Put the date mixture into a large bowl and then add the 1 cup of soaked oats, the 1 cup of dry oats, the cacao nibs, sunflower seeds, pepitas, nut butter, the extracts, and the water. Use your hands to mix and knead the dough. When thoroughly combined, place mixture in prepared pan and pat down so that it’s even. Place in the refrigerator to let set for a few hours before slicing.