Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Bars (no bake)

{No Bake} Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Bars | Pumpkin Honey

Raw and no-bake desserts can be totally hit or miss. Some are absolutely incredible and some taste like cardboard or flavorless mush. These Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Bars are seriously good. They taste just like oatmeal raisin cookie dough. I’m serious. No, really. They’re delicious. SERIOUSLY. And they are pretty healthy as well. Plus, they’re easy as pie to make! One food processor, one pan and voilà – you’ve made the equivalent of oatmeal raisin cookie dough. Could that be more wonderful? So, please, go ahead – make them and eat them.

{No Bake} Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Bars | Pumpkin Honey

These bars make an excellent breakfast or snack. And dare I say it? They’d even make an excellent dessert… that you can feel good about afterward.

{No Bake} Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Bars | Pumpkin Honey

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Bar

1 1/2 Cups Oats (Quick or Regular)

1/2  Cup Walnuts

3 Tbsp Coconut Oil

1 1/4 Cup Dates

1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4 Tsp Salt

1 Tbsp Cold Water

1/4 Cup Raisins

1 – 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

1/2 Tsp Cinnamon (optional)

Blend the oats & walnut in your food processor until they turn into a coarse meal. Add dates, coconut oil, water, vanilla & salt and blend until the dough comes together. It should be slightly sticky. Add the raisins and pulse a couple of times to incorporate.

Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Press the dough firmly into the lined pan. Drizzle the maple syrup over the top evenly. This gives the bars a light, sweet, maple flavor that really sends them over the edge. Refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours before eating. Refrigeration helps the bars stay together better, cut more easily & they taste great cold! Like cookie dough straight from the fridge : )

Enjoy!

{No Bake} Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Bars | Pumpkin Honey

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Pico De Gallo Slaw

Just over a week ago I received very exciting news!!! The exclamation points let you know how exciting 🙂

I received an acceptance letter from American University’s School of International Service. Starting in the fall I will be a graduate student working toward an M.A. in Global Environmental Policy!

I finally have some direction and that feels incredible. One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books sums it up, “But absolute freedom can be as paralyzing as confinement when you don’t know what you want” (Around the Bloc by Stephanie Elizondo Griest). I finally know what I want!

Interestingly, American was the only school to which I applied (Penn State was the only school to which I applied for undergrad). Thank the universe I was accepted (to both).

I visited campus the day I was accepted (I didn’t get my acceptance email until that evening) and have already started looking at apartments, short-term study abroad opportunities, thinking about part-time jobs (Whole Foods?), and internships in the city. Each class is only once a week, and the average graduate student course load is 9 credits (3 classes) so I may only be on campus 2 days a week.

Anyway, onto the food! I eat tacos at least once a week, if not more. I love them. Usually they’re filled with black beans, some combination of veggies, and some kind of salsa, and/or guacamole. Last night, Stephen made some amazing tofu tacos and the tofu actually turned out perfect! Almost restaurant style!! Oh dear, they were so good I’m drooling just thinking about them.

And I learned a new trick after some internet searching… thank you, Vegan Yum Yum. The tofu should be DRY FRIED. It leeches out more moisture so the tofu becomes more spongy & chewy while simultaneously giving it a crisper outer texture. After dry frying the tofu, he added Olive Oil, Jalapeño, Onion, and Bell Pepper & sautéed it all together with some Chili Powder, Cumin & Salt. I fried the tortillas a bit to make them warm & pliable. Then we added the slaw I had made around lunch & topped it off with some green leaf lettuce. Oh, and we never forget the Tapatío. They were seriously delicious. I will probably never get around to posting a taco recipe because not only are tacos easy to make, I am FAR more interested in eating them IMMEDIATELY than I am in setting up a picture of my favorite food while it begs to be consumed. Maybe, one day.

Pico De Gallo Slaw

  • 1 Cup Green Cabbage, Shredded
  • 2 Medium Sized Tomatoes, Diced
  • 1/4 of a Large Onion, Diced
  • 1 Large Clove of Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Jalapeño, Minced
  • Juice of One Lime (or to taste)
  • 1/2 Tsp Cumin (or to taste)
  • Dash of Chipotle Powder, for smokiness
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 Tsp Brown Sugar, Agave, or Honey
  • Cilantro (optional)

The addition of the cabbage actually came about because I didn’t have cilantro and diced tomato, onion & garlic just wasn’t going to cut it. The Mexican restaurant in Kutztown, La Cocina Mexicana, always serves their salsa with shredded cabbage and it’s dynamite. Thus, this slaw was born. Both the jalapeño & chipotle add a bit of spice to adjust to your preference.

In a medium/large bowl combine cabbage, tomatoes, onion, jalapeño and garlic. Toss together. Squeeze in lime juice. Add cumin & chipotle. Toss & taste. You may decide not to add sweetener or salt. I liked a little of both. Definitely be careful with the sweetener though. I accidentally added a touch too much the first time I made it.

If you have cilantro, absolutely add it. Let the slaw marinade in the refrigerator while you make the rest of your tacos. The flavor will enhance as it sits.

The slaw is fresh, bright, and adds a bit of crunch to your taco. It’s really wonderful and you could dress it up however you like.

Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate

I made a recipe on my To-Make List!!! And boy oh boy was it fantabulous. Pre‘s Raw Macaroons are divine. And the ingredient list is too. These vegan, raw coconut macaroons are like a sophisticated, grown-up Mounds candy bar except so much better & much healthier. I followed Pre’s recipe almost to a T (well I halved it to a T), using slightly more coconut oil & semi-sweet (still vegan) chocolate. Seriously, they were even better than I imagined. They melt in your mouth. Oh, and I also bought dried nettle leaves to make tea after a recommendation on her blog. I think I might love her.

I used organic, unsweetened, unsulfured, shredded coconut. Shredded coconut is much smaller than the longer pieces that you usually see when you buy sweetened coconut & they’re crisper because they’re drier. Sweetened coconut is usually coated in corn syrup, which makes it sweeter, moister, plumper and ultimately less healthy. Combined with coconut oil & maple syrup, the crispy unsweetened flakes are the way to go.

I also used organic extra virgin coconut oil, which can be quite expensive! According to www.live-the-organic-life.com virgin & extra virgin coconut oil are pretty much the same thing, with no industry standard processing. However, virgin coconut oil (VCO) is much different from refined coconut oil (RBD). According to the website, refined coconut oil is of a lower quality, undergoes greater processing, and will clog the pores if used for external use (ie moisturizer). RBD stands for refined, bleached, and deodorized so the oil also loses much of its smell (which I supposed could be handy if you don’t want everything you make to taste like coconut). I think I’ll still choose virgin. Virgin coconut is physically extracted with no chemical processing and the oil remains unrefined in a more natural form. It smells wonderfully delicious.

Pre’s recipe can be found here. I highly recommend it!

I obviously haven’t mastered chocolate drizzling. And mine kind of look like chocolate covered bananas! Lol. I bet they’d be delicious with almonds, hazelnuts, or more chocolate hidden inside. Maybe some kind of raspberry filling? Oh, they’re perfect the way they are too. Enjoy!