So, I am in LOVE with this blog called, Karina's Kitchen, which you can find on the left hand side of my blog under, "BLOGS I LOVE!!!" It is so wonderful. This lady has so many food allergies, and she has made these DELICIOUS recipes (I think there are over 400!!) that are gluten free, vegan, and completely divine!
When I started this whole gluten free thing a while ago, I was really concerned that I would have to stick to veg and rice and meats... anyone who knows me well, knows of my serious (I mean, SERIOUS) addiction to breads and pasta and sweet things. I was really upset at the thought of an empty breadbox.
Well, then I found gluten free flours that do the job of curbing my carb fix, but really are NOT the same at eating delicious whole wheat and white flour...
I have made gluten free bread, and pancakes, and pizza, and cookies, but like I said, it's just NOT the same, and may I be so bold, specialty stuff is EXPENSIVE!!!
So, we've pretty much gone without, and today my husband really finally told me how much he misses bread and sandwiches. You see, he is NOT allergic to gluten, as my son and I are, and he has had to do without purely because we have. Poor guy!
I stumbled on this blog, Karina's Kitchen and I just absolutely was amazed at how WELL she was eating and maintaining her gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, meat free lifestyle. The pictures of the cakes and the brownies and the cookies and the breads and the delicious looking meals she makes was just too tempting to pass up.
So, I tried my hand at her chocolate-coconut bars and let me tell you, they were DELICIOUS!
I substituted the tapioca/potato starch and the rice/sorghum flour and the xanthan gum in this recipe with Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free All purpose flour and it worked awesome! I am sure if you don't have gluten problems, dairy aversions or are not a vegan, you can use plain all purpose flour, regular chocolate chips and regular applesauce and milk and it would be just as delicious!
Vegan Coconut Bars Recipe
Chill before eating for best texture. or go the other route and zap in the microwave briefly to melt the chocolate chips. Life is short.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking pan with vegan shortening. Dust with a bit of gluten-free flour.
Whisk together dry ingredients:
1/3 cup coconut flour
2/3 cup rice flour or sorghum flour
1/3 cup tapioca or potato starch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
In a separate bowl, beat to combine:
2/3 cup organic brown sugar
1/4 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
2 1/2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla
1 tablespoon agave
1/4 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup warm vanilla hemp, coconut or rice milk, more as needed
When the wet mixture is smooth, slowly add in the dry ingredient mix and beat just until combined.
Add in by hand:
2/3 cup shredded coconut- sweetened or not
1/2 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
Dump the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it evenly. Sprinkle on extra chocolate chips if you like (and press them gently into the top).
Bake in the center of a pre-heated oven until the batter is set and slightly golden brown - anywhere from 22 to 30 minutes, depending upon altitude (at high altitude these took almost 35 minutes to bake). The surface should be slightly firm, like a blond brownie (if a finger touch leaves a dent, bake a tad longer).
Cool completely on a wire rack; chill before cutting and wrapping for storage.
These bars are moist and chewy, and are best eaten chilled. Hot from the oven they fall apart.
Makes 15 cookie bars.
I hope so much that you like these if you try them, because WE REALLY REALLY DID!!!