Easy Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Energy Bars

by Pamela Cook on July 8, 2010

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For the longest time, I’ve been wanting a raw vegan version of a granola bar.

At the same time, I am extremely lazy when it comes to complicated food prep. My family doesn’t eat raw, or even vegan for that matter. I just go with the flow, continuing to prepare foods they’re used to, and offer tastes of what I eat from time to time. (The last thing I want to do is be preachy or pressure them to change).

I’ve become burned out on the added work of preparing food for myself, and continuing to cook for the family.

So when it comes to preparing raw vegan food for myself, the easier, the better!

I’m a big fan of the Thrive vegan nutrition book written by vegan athlete Brendan Brazier. A large percentage of the recipes are raw vegan! I began experimenting with his energy bar recipes, and came up with a variation that I call carrot cake flavor.

First, I want to give the disclaimer that there is one teeny part that is a tad bit of a pain, and time consuming. But hang with me. It is not so bad, and it’s worth it if you are wanting to eat mostly raw, and or vegan, and gluten-free, and you are a lover of carbs.

Carbs have long been my downfall – boxed cereals, crackers, bread, pasta, etc. I recently discovered something called “buckwheat crunchies” (I’m sure the long time raw foodies know all about this, but I’m still a novice!)

Buckwheat crunchies are sprouted, then dehydrated buckwheat groats. If this is something you don’t want to mess with, I’ve been there! Even though I’ve been on a raw vegan diet for a year, I just recently began sprouting regularly. For months I just didn’t want to do it. All of a sudden, I’ve gotten more in the habit of it, and it’s not so bad.

Here is a great article on sprouting wheatberries from Gena over at Choosing Raw. The technique in this article is very close to how I sprout the buckwheat groats, except I soak them for a few hours or overnight, instead of 24 hours. For buckwheat, less soaking is better because they could ferment easily. I rinse them every 4 hours throughout the day, and they are done when you see little tails forming. Then dehydrate until crunchy (overnight usually does the trick), and store in an airtight container.

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Energy Bars

Throw the following into a food processor & process on high speed to the desired consistency.

1C dates (soak if they are dry)
1/2C pecans
1/4C walnuts
1/4C hemp seeds
1/4C packed shredded carrots
1/4C buckwheat crunchies (add more or less to desired texture)
1 dropper of liquid stevia drizzled over ingredients (optional)
1/8 cup ground flax seeds (this is flexible and can be adjusted to desired moistness)

Spices – I use 1tsp of Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie spice, and sometimes add some minced fresh ginger. The spices are totally flexible – you can use only cinnamon, omit ginger, or any combination of your favorite spices typical of the carrot cake flavor.

After processed to the desired chunkiness, scoop out “dough,” shape into a rectangle, and slice into bars.

Why I love these things

This recipe is fantastic for it’s flexibility, and the ease with which you can substitute ingredients or proportions to personalize it.

It can be frozen in the warm weather, eaten as is, stored in the fridge, or placed in the dehydrator to any desired level of moistness. After dehydrated, these are perfect on the go, or for traveling.

They have the most crunch when eaten right away, or frozen. That crunch is addictive! The dehydrating does reduce the crunch quite a bit, but the portability is worth it. I plan to experiment with many more flavors before my upcoming trip to NY this August.

Last night I also made a banana bread flavor, but the recipe is too new to post yet. I’m not quite happy with it. It was a slight variation of the recipe from the Thrive book, but I want to perfect it a bit more.

Banana Bread Energy Bars

This tasted like doughy banana bread fresh out of the oven, when eaten straight from the dehydrator.
With some coconut oil (coconut oil is my “butter” of choice):

It would be even better with coconut butter, or a combo of the two. YUM!

Let me know if you give this recipe a try! If you aren’t able to sprout the buckwheat right away, it could probably be substituted with a variety of other ingredients, such as any coarsely chopped nuts or seeds, possibly some coarsely ground oats (especially if you don’t care if it’s raw), or additional ground flax.

Comment below with any questions, or your own experiences with this recipe.

Have a great Thursday!

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