Crumbly Gingerbread Oat Bars

Crumbly Gingerbread Oat Bars | ourfourforks.com

While I was living in London, I discovered British flapjacks, often individually wrapped by the checkout counter in grocery stores.  They’re easy to grab and seemingly healthy – like a soft granola bar. I assumed they were a relatively smart snacking choice until, while eating my second (or third or fourth), I realized that they’re no different from American granola bars; sugar with some oats.

 

Isabel visited Boston this past weekend, so we got to do some healthy holiday baking. Inspired by flapjacks and the date and oat slices in one of my favorite cookbooks, Breakfast, Lunch and Tea: The Many Little Meals of the Rose Bakery, we decided to bake our own, healthier oat gingerbread bars.

 

These gingerbread bars have a soft base and topping made from gluten free oats, coconut oil and fresh ginger. Between the oat layers is a ginger spiced chewy date layer, which provides most of the sweetness. Cut these bars into any size (the smaller you cut them, the more crumbly they get) and enjoy for breakfast or an afternoon snack with tea. Or drizzle with a little melted white chocolate and serve for dessert.

 

Crumbly Gingerbread Oat Bars | ourfourforks.com

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Apple Pie Bars À La Mode

Apple Pie Bars | Vegan, Paleo, Gluten Free | ourfourforks.com

Ever since I made carrot cake bars this spring, I’ve kept a batch of no-bake bars in the freezer, always replenishing before they run out. I make a different flavor depending on the season and since it’s fall it’s all about pumpkin, pecans and apples.

 

A couple weeks ago, I bought a Costco membership (a little excessive for two people), and immediately purchased enormous bags of nuts and dried fruit. I justified these purchases with a no-bake bar frenzy. In one afternoon I made five types of bars: pumpkin pie bars, apple pie bars, pecan pie bars, peppermint brownie bars and gingerbread bars.

 

I’ve put all five of these fall and winter holiday recipes in a small eCookbook, which is completely free. All five recipes are gluten free, vegan and paleo, made without refined sugar. To get the free eCookbook, just subscribe to our e-mail list and it will be delivered to your inbox.

Apple Pie Bars | Vegan, Paleo, Gluten Free | ourfourforks.com

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Mini Chocolate Banana Cream Pies

Chocolate Banana Cream Pie | ourfourforks.com

Banana “ice cream” has been a dessert staple for me since I put it between vegan snickerdoodles a couple weeks back. Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of frozen treat season, so when Vega sent me some of their maca chocolate to experiment with, I knew I wanted to pair it with banana “ice cream” somehow. The result: vegan frozen mini chocolate banana cream pies.

 

Each vegan mini chocolate banana cream pie has four layers: a date and walnut crust, banana “ice cream,” dark chocolate and coconut whipped cream (finished off with some more chocolate). They are small and healthy enough to eat without feeling guilty, but nourishing and decadent enough to leave you satisfied.

 

Chocolate Banana Cream Pie | ourfourforks.com

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Carrot Cake Bars

Vegan Carrot Cake Bars | ourfourforks.com

There is a table in my office that is a dessert depository;  leftover birthday cake, unfinished batches of cookies, candy someone bought and decided not to finish. Usually, I’m pretty good about ignoring this spot until recently someone left carrot cake and I couldn’t keep myself from trying a piece. My obsession with carrot cake was born in my hometown of Southampton, New York. I grew up on Tate’s Bakeshop carrot cake, which I’ve requested for every birthday since I grew out of my Carvel ice cream cake phase many years ago. After all this time, I’m still convinced there is no better carrot cake in existence.

 

There is, however, healthier versions of carrot cake. And in celebration of Easter, I decided to pay homage to the carrot cake by making these carrot cake bars, topped with a vegan cashew cream cheese frosting. Gluten-free, vegan, and paleo, they are a decadent and filling dessert, snack or quick breakfast on the go.

 

Vegan Carrot Cake Bars | ourfourforks.com

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Healthy Nutella

Healthy Nutella

Healthy nutella – sounds too good to be true, right? I thought so too, until Josh and I made a homemade version after our long run this weekend . Made with roasted hazelnuts, soaked dates, cocoa powder, and coconut milk this spread is simple and satisfying. Already a new staple in our house.

 

After taking a winter hiatus from any real training (too cold, too icy, too dark… reasonable excuses), Josh and I are back, running our usual Sunday route along South Boston Harbor Walk. This weekend was sunny and windless; for the first time in months I was happy to be outside. With harder training comes the glorious need for more food and this healthy nutella is the ideal post-workout fuel (or snack, dessert, or… breakfast).

 

Healthy Nutella

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