If you love almonds, these bars are definitely for you. Not only is there almond meal in this recipe, but I also used roughly chopped almonds for a nice crunch. I paired the almonds with juice-sweetened cranberries to contrast the richness of the nuts with that unmistakable zing of the dried berries.
I was inspired by Su Good Sweets' recipe for Fruity Almond Blondies, but I made a lot of substitutions to make it Altered Plates-ready and vegan, so I'm publishing the recipe as I made it below. In the future, I plan to add half of an avocado, whipped, to add more of a buttery flavor, but as is, the cookies are tasty. They are not overly sweet, and are packed with fiber.
Here's the recipe as I made it:
Vegan Nuts and Berries Bars
1 teaspoon flax meal
3 tablespoons filtered water
3/4 cup + 1/2 cup toasted almonds (rough chop the 1/2 cup)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup juice-sweetened dried cranberries (although using frozen ones might be an interesting choice as well)
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and flaxmeal, and put aside.
2. In a food processor, grind 3/4 cup of almonds for 1 minute, then add the flours, salt, and baking powder. Grind again for approximately 2 minutes.
3. In another bowl or a mixer's bowl, beat the liquid ingredients until well blended. Add in the flax and water mixture and mix until blended.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones, folding until just blended.
5. Add in the berries and remaining nuts, stirring until just mixed.
6. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line your 8-in. pan with two pieces of parchment paper, crosswise.
7. Using wet fingers, press the batter into the pan. It's going to be thick and sticky.
8. Bake for 18 minutes or until a bamboo tester comes out clean.
9. Let cool in pan, then using the paper, lift the soon-to-be-bars out of the pan and cut into squares/rectangles.