Strawberry and Coconut Energy Bars

strawberry-coconut-flapjacks

I took part in a 78-mile cycling event yesterday and, although I’d bought a Bounce Energy Ball and a Clif Bar to take with me, because I’ve got a bigger cycling event coming up in a couple of weeks and a) shop-bought products are expensive (the Bounce Energy Ball was £1-something and the Clif Bar was a smidge under £2); and b) I wanted to try a variety of different energy bars to see which I liked best, I wanted to make some of my own.

These strawberry and coconut energy bars are based on this Sunshine Bars recipe and they got me happily through 63 miles of cycling. I then had the Clif Bar, felt sick and abandoned the last twenty miles of the ride and got the train home instead. There’s something to be said for the ‘never try anything new on race day’ advice. But if you want something homemade with the right nutrients to get you through a long sporting event (don’t confuse protein bars with energy bars – protein bars contain a high amount of protein and are best after exercise to help repair the muscles, whereas energy bars contain a high amount of carbohydrate to fuel your muscles during exercise), these bars are for you. They taste amazing, too. I used dried strawberries from Urban Fruit because their dried fruit contains fruit and nothing else. I was shocked a few weeks ago after buying a bag of dried cranberries, to find out that cranberries were only about 40% of the ingredients.

Unfortunately, they’re not vegan, as most rice crispies contain Vitamin D, which is made from lanolin – a secretion from sheep skin, found in wool (and now I’ve just typed ‘a secretion from sheep skin’, I feel as sick as if I’d just eaten another Clif Bar) and I also bunged in a bag of Munchy Seeds honey-roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds that I had lying around in the fruit bowl that never contains fruit. However, vegans need not despair – after finding out that all major supermarkets’ own rice crispies contain Vitamin D, I’ve found a vegan-friendly brand: Kallo Organic Wholegrain Breakfast Puffs, that you can get from Ocado or Holland & Barrett.

Strawberry and coconut energy bars

Strawberry and Coconut Energy Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Energy Bars
Serves: 9
Ingredients
  • 50g dried strawberries or other dried fruit, chopped
  • 50g porridge oats
  • 25g puffed rice cereal
  • 40g desiccated coconut
  • 25g cashews or other nuts, chopped
  • 25g sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds
  • 50g demerara sugar
  • 60g Golden Syrup
  • 50g butter or spread
Instructions
  1. Mix the fruit, oats, cereal, nuts, seeds and coconut into a large bowl and mix well
  2. Gently heat the sugar, syrup and butter/spread in a saucepan until the butter has melted, then simmer for a couple of minutes
  3. Stir the syrupy mixture into the dry mix and combine thoroughly
  4. Tip into a 8" square tin and press down firmly (I do this by putting a piece of baking paper over the mixture, then rolling a tin backwards and forwards on top of it)
  5. Bake in the oven at 180C for about ten minutes, or until lightly browning at the edges
  6. Leave to cool, then put in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up
  7. Cut into 9 pices

 


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Veganuary Catch-Up: Days 22, 23 and 24

Vegan Betty Crocker brownies

Don’t worry, I haven’t fallen off the Veganuary wagon, I just didn’t get round to posting on Saturday because I got excited about a friend inviting me to Tenerife this coming Saturday and then on Sunday I was too hungover after celebrating being invited to go to Tenerife this coming Saturday (yes, I fell off *that* particular wagon again).

So, here’s a quick catch-up of Veganuary Days 22, 23 and 24.

Veganuary Day 22

Breakfast
Kiwi, frozen summer fruits, cashews and dates nutriblast
Kiwi, frozen summer fruits, cashews and dates

Leftover smoothie from Day 21.

Lunch

Ainsley Harriott szechuan hot & sour soup vegan

Spinach, olives, cucumber, tomatoes, sundried tomato paste and harissa paste wrap, and an Ainsley Harriot Szechuan Hot & Sour Cup Soup (which, as far as I could tell, is vegan).

Dinner

Vegan tofush and chips

Home made tofush and chips from the chippy. Go here for the tofush recipe.

Snacks

Snack Organisation Lightly Salted Rice Crakcers

Hot chocolate (Cadbury’s Drinking Chocolate and soya milk) and rice crackers.

Veganuary Day 23

Breakfast

Nothing. Naughty.

Lunch

Vegan potato cakes and Vitalite

Potato cakes and Vitalite. I love potato cakes.

Dinner
Vegan smoky mushroom burger
Vegan smoky mushroom burger

I fried up some of the leftover smoky mushroom burger from last Saturday.

Snacks

Vegan Betty Crocker brownies

I keep reading about how most of the Betty Crocker mixes are vegan and you can add a can of fizzy drink instead of egg to keep them vegan and I’ve wanted to test this on the packet of Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix I’ve had in the cupboard for ages (so ages it was out of date).

I’d read that you should use a bit less than a can’s worth, so I used 300ml of Coke but this was too much and although the brownies taste divine, they’re a bit gooey. But, who cares about a bit of goo when you can have a vegan brownie, eh?

Veganuary Day 24

Breakfast

Nothing, as was too hungover.

Lunch

Nothing as I’d gone back to bed at lunchtime because I was hungover.

Dinner

Vegan pizza and garlic bread

The Meat Eater made a tortilla pizza and even made some vegan garlic bread (it wasn’t as good as mine though). The photo above is from a couple of weeks ago.

Snacks

Tesco vegan free from chocolate dessert

I thought I’d give these vegan Free From chocolate desserts from Tesco a go and I wasn’t disappointed. Yum.

So. Just a week left of Veganuary, although if I can’t find anything vegan to eat in Tenerife my Veganuary’s going to end before February. The friend I’m going with though is also a vegetarian (in fact, she’s practically vegan as she’s intolerant to dairy) and I’ve got a list of vegetarian/vegan restaurants in Tenerife so hopefully we can find something to eat that’s not pizza (which is what I usually eat when I go abroad) although I suppose I could ask for pizza without cheese.

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My First Veganuary – Day 5

Spinach, apple, carrot, clementine, chia seeds, coconut water Nutriblast

Veganuary banner

Veganuary Day 5 started off with a Nutriblast as usual (for my review of my Nutribullet, go here) and today’s Nutriblast was a combination of spinach, apple, carrot, clementine, chia seeds and coconut water. I haven’t had a carrot in a Nutriblast before but I had half of one left over from Monday’s stew, so I chucked it in. I’ve said before, it doesn’t seem to matter what I chuck in my Nutribullet, it always turns out fine, unlike when you juice without a recipe to guide you and it turns out like swamp water (she says, immediately before posting a photo of something resembling swamp water).

Spinach, apple, carrot, clementine, chia seeds, coconut water Nutriblast
Spinach, apple, carrot, clementine, chia seeds and coconut water Nutriblast

Lunch 

Lunch was another Nutriblast but, unlike my breakfast ones which I make into more of a juice, I like my lunchtime Nutriblasts to be more substantial and to contain more protein, so I filled up the tall Nutribullet cup with spinach, banana, kiwi fruit, passion fruit, dates, cashews, cacao and topped it up with soya milk and water. This filled me up to the verge of needing an afternoon nap.

Deconstructed Nutriblast
Deconstructed Nutriblast

Dinner

Despite my Facebook friend Pete declaring a pie isn’t a pie unless it’s made of lard (forgive him, he’s northern), dinner was a Linda McCartney Country Pie, mashed potato (mine mashed with soya milk and Vitalite) and baked beans.

Linda McCartney Country Pie, mash and beans
Linda McCartney Country Pie, mash and beans

For a snack, I had hot chocolate and an Oat Flip (see yesterday’s post for hot chocolate and Oat Flip info and photo).

There’s nothing I’ve missed yet (what’s to miss when you can still eat pie and mash, huh?) and I definitely haven’t been hungry – I haven’t been snacking as much as I did before taking part in Veganuary and although I was having a couple of Oreos a day before January, a packet remains unopened in the kitchen (that’s probably because I’ve discovered how nice Oat Flips are).

Come back tomorrow to read about my bravery in Wetherspoons.

 

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Recipe: Quick & Easy Vegan Flapjacks

Vegan flapjacks

What I really fancied making yesterday were the chilli cheese flapjacks I made a while back. I wanted to veganise them though and wondered if swapping the cheese for Violife vegan cheese and the butter for Vitalite dairy-free spread would work but then when it came to replacing the eggs, I doubted if applesauce (which can be used to replace eggs in cakes, muffins and other bready stuff) would do the trick. I don’t know why I thought this as I’m no scientist but it sounded dubious so I decided against it. [It has just occurred to me while typing this, that chia seeds would have been a good replacement but I didn’t have any in and I wouldn’t have spent £7, or whatever they cost, on a packet just to make some flapjacks anyway.]

Vegan flapjacks

But, I still wanted to make some flapjacks and although I knew vegan ones wouldn’t be as good as the ones my friend Cassie makes (hers are full-on dairy and completely delicious if a tad unhealthy. When I say ‘tad’, I obviously mean, ‘totally’), I reckoned they’d do to quash my craving.

Vegan flapjacks

These flapjacks are quick and easy to make and are oaty, buttery and moist, just like a flapjack should be. I reckon next time, I’ll double the quantities and make them thicker.

Vegan flapjacks

5.0 from 1 reviews
Quick & Easy Vegan Flapjacks
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 9
Ingredients
  • 125g porridge oats
  • 60g dairy-free spread (I used Vitalite)
  • 60g brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Golden Syrup
Instructions
  1. Melt the dairy-free spread in a saucepan, stir in the rest of the ingredients, then press firmly into an 8" square tin.
  2. Bake in the oven at 180C for about 15 minutes, or until the edges are turning brown.
  3. Score gently, then leave to cool.
  4. Cut into 9 pieces.


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