Vegan's Chronicles + [Vegan]

Land of Morning Calm bars

In the past, I was never really an "energy bar" kinda gal, but I'm beginning to realize how useful they are to have stashed in my bag. It's not uncommon to find myself getting hungry in between meals, so having something on-hand when I need a quick pick-me-up is important. Unfortunately, when you're vegan in Korea, it's not so easy to just "grab a snack" when you're out, especially one that's healthy, balanced in nutrients, and tasty. None of the energy/snack bars that they supply at Korean convenience stores are vegan (like Soy Joy, Nature Valley, or Nutri Grain), and they have more ingredients than I feel comfortable with. This has often led me to some very random snackage habits. In the past, I used to carry around containers of beans, or grab some chestnuts from the convenience store.

Land of Morning Calm Bars

I could order boxes of larabars from iHerb, but let's face it, they ain't cheap. So in an attempt to make my own healthy to-go snacks, I baked some oat bars that have a Korean flair.

Land of Morning Calm Bars

Dried jujube! (Daechu 대추) This is a specific type of date that is commonly used in Korean herbal medicine, and supposedly has properties that reduce stress! Less stress?? Sign me up~

For the basic recipe, I adapted this one from OhSheGlows.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup soy milk (or other)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium very ripe bananas
  • 2 dried persimmons, de-seeded & chopped
  • 5 dried jujube, de-seeded & chopped
  • 1.5 cups regular oats
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (or other flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8th tsp salt
  • about 1 cup of nuts/seeds
  • 1 Tbs lemon zest

Directions: Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8 inch square pan with parchment.

In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, ground flax seeds, soymilk, oil, and vanilla. Whisk together.

Cut the bananas into chunks and stir into the wet mixture. Grab a fork or potato masher and mash the banana into the wet mixture. It is ok if some small chunks remain. Stir in the persimmons, jujube, nuts, seeds, and lemon zest. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix your dry ingredients. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just combined. Scoop the granola batter into the pan. Smooth out with a spoon or hands and press it down firmly. (It helps to wet your fingers slightly so that it doesn't stick all over you.)

Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes until the edges begin to golden and it is slightly firm to touch. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and cooling completely. Slice into bars & enjoy!

Land of Morning Calm Bars

I quickly scrubbed a handful of them clean under running water, just to get the little dust particles out of the crevices. Then I sliced 'em up, avoiding the seeds.

Land of Morning Calm Bars

I also added 2 dried persimmons, chopped.

Land of Morning Calm Bars

Then I added a handful each of chopped almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds, and also a tablespoon of lemon zest for a little zingy flava.

Land of Morning Calm Bars

Here's the batter with everything mixed up.

Land of Morning Calm Bars

Patted flat into a baking pan. Pre-bake.

Land of Morning Calm Bars

Post-bake.

Land of Morning Calm Bars

I waited about 20 minutes before removing from the pan and slicing them up into convenient, portable-sized bars. I like to have varying sizes of bars, to cover a range of hunger intensities. :)

Land of Morning Calm Bars

They were a teeny bit gooey, but still really great. Next time, I might play around with the moisture content, but I loved the flavors of all the different nuts and fruits. The jujube definitely give it a unique taste which might not agree with everyone, but I really like them, especially in combination with the dried persimmons.

Land of Morning Calm Bars

I've been carrying these around with me everywhere. Energy up!