The hardest thing for me transitioning to vegetarianism/veganism are snacks (I say "vegetarianism/veganism" because while I'm mostly eating vegan, there are the very occasional times I still have a slice of cheese, and on top of that, I'm still eating some fish, which would make me more of a pescatarian, but titles are just confusing, and I don't want to label myself other than saying I'm trying to eat vegan). Anyway! The hardest thing with this transition has been snacks. Along with having some past issues of anemia, I have very low blood pressure and I'm a self-diagnosed hypoglycemic. Long story short, I generally need to eat every 2-3 hours or I feel like I'm going to pass out (yes, I eat a lot of protein). With my job as a photographer, my schedule is pretty irregular, which means sometimes I have a photoshoot over lunch, or both lunch and dinner, and so my eating schedule can be all over the place. If I'm on the go taking photos, I can't necessarily run into a gas station and grab a healthy snack, but if I don't eat something, I'll be about ready to pass out.
I was super excited to try out these Classic glo bar's by Oh She Glows and oh my goodness are they ever delicious! They're pretty easy to make, they are raw (you don't have to bake them), and they are perfect for me to take on the go to a photo shoot. Since eating vegan, I've been way less concerned with my sugar intake, and instead I'm focusing on not eating processed food. If it has sugar in it and I've made it from scratch, bring it on. Next time I'll double this recipe and freeze the rest.
Another thing about transitioning to being vegan is it requires a lot of new shopping that you aren't used to. Suddenly most of what you buy comes from the bulk section and all of the seeds look the same, so it takes ten times longer to find your ingredients. On top of that, the prices look scary. Ten dollars per pound for SEEDS?! That was my first thought when I went out and bought all of the ingredients for this recipe, but I'm here to say it's okay! Really, it is.
First of all, it's not as expensive as you think. I bought what I thought was a lot of seeds, but none of what I purchased weighed over a pound. Once I got home and made this recipe, I still had half to three-quarters left of each seed I had purchased. Therefore, it wasn't expensive at all.
Secondly, once you have vegan-friendly ingredients in your house, you're set. It takes some time to shop for vegan ingredients at first, but once you have your basics, you can make most things. It's just like regular cooking...your basics are things like salt, pepper, garlic, lemon, olive oil, condiments...those kinds of things. With being vegan, you need a few different types of seeds, some new oils and possibly flours, but after that, you'll have everything you need. You'll find vegan recipes use the same ingredients over and over again. When you find these ingredients once in a grocery store, they'll be easy to find the next time.
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 1/4 cup rise crispy cereal
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
- 1/4 cup roasted almond butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup mini non-dairy chocolate chips (optional, but I absolutely added these)
Line a 9-inch cake pan with two pieces of parchment paper (one going each way).
In a large bowl, combine the oats, rice crispy cereal, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, sesame seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt. Mix.
In a small saucepan, stir together the brown rice syrup and the peanut butter until well combined. Cook over medium to hight heat until the mixture softens and bubbles slightly, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Pour the peanut butter mixture over the oat mixture, using a spatula to scrape every last bit out of the pan. Stir well until all of the oats and cereal are coated in the wet mixture. Allow the mixture to slightly cool before folding in the chocolate chips (so they don't melt).
Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, spreading it out evenly. Lightly wet your hands and press down on the mixture to even it out. Make sure the edges are pressed down and tight, too.
Place the pan in the freezer, uncovered, and chill for 10 minutes.
Lift the oat square out of the pan, using the parchment paper as handles, and place it on a cutting board. With a pizza roller or serrated knife, slice the square into 6 rows and then slice them in half to make 12 bars total.
Wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap or foil and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or 1 month in the freezer.
I thought I'd eat the entire pan these are so good, but they're also very filling and I managed to only need one (thus saving my self control for another day).
Let me know if you make them and what you think!