Are you a cashew lover? I know I am, I love cashews, they are soft but at the same time crunchy and slightly sweet. I like to use them everywhere I can: in curries, soaked and cultured to make cheese or just as a snack. Have you ever tried cashew butter? It has been my addiction for the past few months, I especially love it on top of oatmeal.
Back to these bars, can you guess the percentage of cashews? 83% Yep, that's right, these bars contain 83% of cashews! No need to say these are VERY rich, nutty and addicting. The last point is not a good one for your waists though, I warned you.
These bars are pretty easy to make and require only a handful of ingredients: cashews, brown rice syrup, nut butter, vanilla and a little bit of oil. Cashews are first roasted in the oven to bring out their their natural nuttiness, if you are using roasted cashews, feel free to skip the first steps of the recipe.
The cashews are then processed in a food processor until roughly chopped, you want to keep big chunks of cashews. Crushing them with your hands works very well too. Cashews are then mixed with a combination of brown rice syrup and nut butter that act as a binder and help make all the cashew pieces stick together.
If you plan to bring these bars on the go, you can skip the chocolate drizzle, especially if it's in the summer. Otherwise, drizzle these bars with A LOT of dark chocolate, the combination of cashews + chocolate can't get better. You will thank me later.
These bars are very filling and great for an afternoon snack. Plus they are vegan, not too sweet and gluten-free. Just a bite in the afternoon fills me up enough to get me through dinner.
If you like cashews I have no doubt you will love these crunchy bars.
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe and tag @fullofplants on Instagram if you take a photo!
Cashew Vanilla Snack Bars
- 4 cups raw cashews
- 5 tablespoon brown rice syrup
- 2 tablespoon cashew butter or other nut butter
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Place the cashews on a baking pan lined with parchment paper, making sure to spread them out into a single layer.
- Roast in the oven for 12-14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cashews cool for at least 10-15 minutes.
- Line a square baking pan with parchment paper.
- Place the cashews in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 2-3 times to break them a little bit, you still want to have big cashew chunks. Transfer the cashews to a large bowl.
- In a small saucepan, combine the brown rice syrup, cashew butter and canola oil. Heat on medium heat until it starts to bubble. Pour the brown rice syrup mixture into the cashews. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Using a large spatula, mix everything until the cashews are well coated with the brown rice syrup mixture.
- Pour the cashew mixture into the prepared baking pan and press very firmly to create an even layer. I recommend you place a piece of parchment paper on top and press with the bottom of a glass.
- Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours, or until firm.
- Remove from the pan and cut into rectangular bars.
- Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Using a spoon, drizzle the dark chocolate on top of the bars. Place in the refrigerator for another hour.
- Wrap each bar in plastic film. The bars will keep for over 3 weeks at room temperature.
- The bars will be a little bit soft at first, don't worry they will firm up after a few days.
- You can replace brown rice syrup with rice malt syrup or coconut nectar.
Yum! I am definitely going to be making these!
Can I use a different sweetener like agave or maple?
I'm afraid the bars will not hold together as well. Brown rice syrup is very sticky and thick compared to agave or maple.