I love to bake all year round, but baking in fall is an absolute necessity. When it's chilly outside (or even when it's not!), we need to indulge ourselves as often as possible with a hot cuppa coffee, tea or chocolate and a warm baked good.
My preference is for vegan baked goods that whip up quick and easy (so they get in my mouth faster). One of my favourite dessert recipes is my luscious and "buttery" berry oat bars. Because they are so delectable, I recently decided to make a variation of them, using a similar base/topping, but with coconut oil instead of margarine and the addition of shredded coconut and ground chia seeds.
For the filling, I opted for frozen cherries (you could also use fresh but frozen is easier) and chocolate chips. Chocolate and cherry is one of my favourite combos. My husband says these bars could be made without the cherries, but I don't see why. (How can he not like cherries? I don't get it.) The frozen cherries are quite large, so you may not get one in every bite. Rather, you get a nice little taste sensation now and then. If you want more cherry in every bite, defrost the cherries a bit first and chop them up.
As usual, I used light spelt flour, but you could pretty much use any flour you like. Just get to making these as quick as you can. They are chewy and delicious, with a lovely, light coconut flavour. (Oh, and a LOT of chocolate flavour.) Nothing strange or complicated here. You could serve them to your non-veggie friends without question. If you don't have ground chia seeds, just leave 'em out. Or add ground flax instead.
While they are baking you can get your herbal tea ready and queue up the latest episode of Downton Abbey or Outlander. Then all that's asked of you is to sit back and indulge.
Coconut Cherry Chocolate Chia Bars
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Keywords: dessert vegan vegetarian chia seeds bars
- ¾ cup coconut oil
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats
- 1 ¼ cups light spelt flour
- ½ cup organic sugar
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup frozen cherries
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- 1 Tbsp ground chia seeds
- 1 tsp light spelt flour
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper.
In a small pot, melt the coconut oil. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, flour, sugar, coconut and melted coconut oil.
Set aside one cup of this mixture. Press the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, stir together the cherries, chocolate chips, chia seeds and 1 tsp of flour.
Spread over the baked crust and sprinkle remaining oat mixture on top.
Bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes until golden.
Cool completely and cut into bars.
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