All that said, I miss Teaism’s Salty Oats Cookies very much, particularly the chocolate version. I had first thought of trying to veganize and make gluten-free the Teaism recipe, but I also wanted to make a recipe that had less fat and would not miss the sugar. I went back to the FatFree Vegan Kitchen blueberry oats bars (which I had only slightly tinkered to make these blueberry oatmeal bars) and then also saw these Healthy Oatmeal Cookie Bars over at Vegan Peas (authored by Carrie of Ginger Lemon Girl) and all of a sudden I got really inspired.
A couple of tries later and I bring you these Salty Almond Chocolate Oatmeal Bars. Aren’t they pretty? I love how the kosher salt looks on top of the bars. They definitely do not have the trademark butteriness of the Teaism cookies, but that’s ok – they do have that wonderful salty-sweet combination which I had been missing. I added the almonds to give the bars a bit more heft, and I am loving the combination of the chocolate and almond flavors.
I am submitting these bars to Yasmeen’s blog Health Nut for her event called Guilt-Free Snacks. I found out about the event through Ivy’s blog Kopiaste. These Salty Almond Chocolate Oatmeal bars are definitely quite low in sugar and very high in fiber, and while they are not very low in fat, the fat is derived from the heart-healthy almonds.
1 cup raw almonds (see notes below)
2 cups oatmeal (regular, not instant – I used gluten-free oats)
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (I use sea salt for the recipe but kosher salt for sprinkling)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
6 tablespoons (3/8 cup) agave nectar
4 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk or other non-dairy milk (I used Blue Diamond unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 375F. Oil an 8×8-inch baking dish.
Put the 1 cup raw almonds into a food processor and grind to a fine texture. Put ground-up almonds in a medium-sized mixing bowl and add the oatmeal, brown rice flour, cinnamon,baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Mix well. Stir in the apple sauce, agavenectar, almond milk, and vanilla, and mix well.
Spread thebatter into the prepared pan, smoothing well to cover the bottom of thepan. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the top is a bit crisp yet bounces back. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.
Notes – the idea to include almonds was last minute, which is why I just ground up raw almonds into a coarse meal. I do not have much experience working with almond meal, blanched or otherwise, but I see no reason you cannot substitute this for almonds. The 1 cup almonds ended up being about 1/2-2/3 cup of ground almonds. Also, there are many optional stir-ins that would add richness and depth to this recipe, like coconut or chocolate chips. If you add those, I would start with 1/2 cup at a time, and see if the batter gets too dry. If that is the case, add another tablespoon of non-dairy milk.
General Disclosures & Disclaimers