I love getting into the kitchen, switching on some music or a podcast and spending time throwing together a delicious plant-based meal or sweet treat. It’s a great way to relax and get creative – plus you get to eat something at the end, so win-win.
Other than my go-to dahl recipe or spicy pulled jackfruit, one of my favourite things to make is some variation of an oat cookie, flapjack or bite. These are great because once you’ve got the basic recipe down, you can add whatever you want – nuts, cacao nibs, fruit, dried coconut, anything!
When Buy Whole Foods Online (a family-run business based in North East Kent focused on delivering quality natural and organic wholefoods to people) offered to send me a couple of new ingredients to try out, I was excited to revamp my usual recipe, test some new ingredients and try out some new flavours!
I love finding ways of switching typically dairy recipes into healthy, vegan ones, and learning about wholefoods that can be added to recipes to give them an extra boost of nutritional goodness. It can be as simple as sprinkling some seeds on your dish!
Here’s my simple go-to recipe for oaty chocolate bites with some extras to add a bit of crunch! It’s a nice easy, flexible one that is great for batch cooking on the weekend to save time and money in the week ahead.
Oaty chocolate bites
- 2 medium, ripe bananas (no need for eggs!)
- 1 cup of barley flour*
- 1 cup of oats
- A dash of oat milk (or any dairy-free alternative)
- 2 tbsp. of organic carob powder* (a great alternative to cacao)
- 3 – 4 tsp. of organic date sugar* (depending on how sweet you like them!)
- 1 – 2 tbsp. of organic shelled hemp seeds* (great for texture)
- Mash two ripe bananas into a bowl
- Add a cup of barley flour and mix together
- Add a dash of milk to help the mixture come together – you don’t want it to be too dry, but go slow. You can always add more milk later!
- Add 2 tbsp. of carob powder (feel free to add more if you’d like a super chocolatey flavour) and mix together.
- Add 2-3 tsp of date sugar and mix. Again, you can add more if you have a particularly sweet tooth, or agave syrup is another great option.
- Mix in your shelled hemp seeds to add some more texture to the bites. If you like more crunch then I’d recommend adding walnuts too!
- Mix in 1 cup of oats – add a small drop of milk if necessary to help it come together. I find adding the oats at this stage helps to spread the flavour more easily through the mix.
- Once thoroughly mixed and a gooey, sticky consistency, spoon onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and flatten out to about 3cm depth (or however thick you’d like them!).
- Stick them in the oven on 180 degrees (fan oven) for about 15 minutes.
Keep an eye on the mixture as it cooks. You want to take it out when it’s starting to firm up but still has a little bit of give. Once you leave the cooked mixture to sit for 15-20 minutes, it will firm up but still stay soft. I can’t help but eat a couple whilst they’re still warm.
Slice into bites or bars, and make yourself a coffee. Enjoy!
Let me know if you give this recipe a go or try creating your own version. It’s so simple to make, much healthier than shop bought alternatives and you can customise them however you like – throw some peanut butter in or add a couple of raisins!