I have been traveling for the last two weeks and have had some good and not so good experiences. When traveling North, it is hard to find vegan food so there were several times when I had a bar (thanks Vega!) or snacks for a meal. I was able to bring some microwavable KeenOne Quinoa cups which helped when I had access to a microwave.On the bright side, I was able to have a delicious sushi meal in Winnipeg with a good friend. I also tried Chipotle for the first time (I know! I know!) when I traveled to southern Ontario and had the best experience there. The employees were amazing and the food was great too.
During one of the conference lunches, they prepared vegetarian boxes that had vegan and gluten-free treats included in them. I had another new experience and had a “Hello Dolly” for the first time. My husband and I actually fought over it because it was better than we anticipated. All of my favourites were in it, chocolate, coconut and nuts. When I got home this week, it was the first thing I attempted to make.
After doing some research, Hello Dolly’s are supposed to have a graham cracker crust. Well, I didn’t want to create my own recipe for gluten-free, vegan graham crackers and I didn’t want to head into town to search some out, so I just decided to make a crust with nuts and oats and a bit of cinnamon to replicate it. It is easier than making graham crackers and healthier too.
I did make my own condensed coconut milk, so if you don’t want to do the prep work the day before, then try out the canned prepared stuff. Usually you can get them in larger grocery stores or health stores. I haven’t tried it before, so please let me know how it is. Once you have the coconut milk made or bought, the recipe is super quick to put together. You will need 1 cup condensed coconut milk if you purchase pre-made.
Makes 16 bars (8×8 inch pan)
– 1 can (400mL) full-fat coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen)
– 4 tablespoons maple syrup
– 1 cup almond flour (I make my own by pulverizing 1 cup in a Vitamix)
– 1/3 cup oat flour (again, I just take 1/3 cup oats and pulverize in my Vitamix)
– 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
– 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
– 3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
– 3/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
– 3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1. Prepare condensed coconut milk ahead of time so that it has time to cool. Place the can of coconut milk in a medium-sized pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add in the maple syrup. Continue to simmer until reduced by 1/3 (to around 1 cup). It can take up to an hour. Still occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool completely to thicken.
2. Line a 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350F.
3. Mix together the base ingredients and press firmly into the bottom of the pan.
4. Top with pecans and then layer with chocolate chips and finally coconut.
5. Pour condensed coconut milk evenly over the top.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bars are golden brown.
7. Take out of oven and let cool completely before trying to cut. Store in fridge/freezer.