Grain-Free, Vegan Carob Chunk Cookie Bars

It has been over a week since I posted my last recipe, and quite a while since I posted a full-blown recipe that was not a pancake.

It has been even longer since I posted an allergy friendly recipe!

Last weekend I had quite a bit of time free to myself and instead of lounging around with my laptop I decided to bake instead.

cookie-bars-1f

Grain-Free, Vegan Carob Chunk Cookie Bars

Wheat/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Dairy/Egg-Free, Nut-Free Option, Peanut-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Paleo

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup carob powder
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed + 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2-1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 2-6 tbsp honey (replace with maple syrup to make vegan)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup almond flour (any other nut flour or seed flour will work)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Directions:Β 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the coconut oil and carob powder until well combined. Pour the carob sauce into a small loaf pan or large rimmed lid. Place in the freezer until solid (around 15 minutes for me).
  3. Combine ground flaxseed and water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat the flaxseed mixture in the microwave for approximately 2 minutes or until the water is all absorbed.
  4. Add the mashed banana, honey, coconut oil and vanilla extract to the flaxseed mixture. Stir until smooth.
  5. In a separate bowl mix all of the dry ingredients together. Then mix in the wet ingredients. Combine well.
  6. Take the carob out of the freezer and break into small chunks. Mix about 1/3 of the chunks into the cookie dough.
  7. Grease an 8×8 or 9×9 square baking pan with coconut oil and further line with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Evenly spread out the cookie dough in the pan. Top with another 1/3 of the carob chunks.
  8. Β Bake for 20-30 or until golden brown and the cookie bars bounce back to the touch. Remove from the oven and slice into 9 pieces.

cookie-bars-3f

Notes: Β 

  • If you are able to eat eggs you could probably substitute two eggs for the flaxseed + water mixture.
  • I used only 2 tbsp of honey and 1 small banana but my parents said that they would have preferred it to be sweeter. Next time I will use 1/2 banana and 6 tbsp honey.
  • I didn’t use all of the carob chunks and had some leftovers just for snacking. Depending on the size of yours and thickness you may end up needing them all. Also, if you don’t use carob a starch-free alternative would be cocoa. This would be much more bitter however (you could try experimenting with additional honey but that would probably not hold up/freeze as well).

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Shared at Food Forager.

Being finally able to post an egg-free and dairy-free recipe makes me incredibly excited. I felt like I was kind of abandoning the whole intent of my blog being for those with food allergies. While I will continue to post non-vegan recipes, I will also try to make more of an effort to post allergy friendly recipes as well.

Thanks for all of your really nice comments and insight on my post yesterday about my gastric emptying study results. I have more doctor appointments scheduled for my week off in between the end of my full time internship and the start of school/my part-time internship. They are mostly just to check-in but as always I’m hopeful that I will walk away with something new to try out!

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Have you been baking a lot this summer or just sticking the heat-friendly, non-oven recipes?

Have you ever tried carob before? Do you prefer its sweeter taste to cocoa?

What are your plans for the weekend?

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54 thoughts on “Grain-Free, Vegan Carob Chunk Cookie Bars

    • It is hard to believe that carob isn’t just another form of cocoa because it really is chocolately. I might even like it more πŸ™‚ And I first heard of carob when we bought my dog some “cookies” and I freaked out a bit because I thought that the chips in the dog treats were chocolate but thankfully just carob.

  1. I’ve been both baking and enjoying non-bake recipes! I don’t want any foods left out. πŸ˜‰
    These bars look wonderful! I love the use of coconut oil. I often use coconut oil in recipes that call for other oils or butter. It even makes the best chocolate cupcakes! πŸ™‚
    And I love carob! For me, it’s not a chocolate substitute or anything, just something I enjoy because I think it’s good in its own way πŸ™‚

    • Most of the time I use grass-fed butter or ghee in the recipes that I use for my family because it’s so nutritious. But I figured this time I’d use coconut oil since I know a lot of people are still wholly against butter in baked goods πŸ˜‰ Glad that you like carob too! I think you’d love these bars πŸ™‚

  2. Mmm my grocery store has carob raisins and i love them!! I haven’t tried carob chips yet but i did notice them at the store for the first time recently so i want to bake with them soon! Have a great weekend, hun πŸ™‚

    • Be careful with those carob chips. They’re addicting and so delicious. I was actually surprised to find this canister was still in my cabinet! I haven’t been able to eat carob for awhile and just assumed that I had already gobbled it all up πŸ˜€ Hope you had a great weekend Caitlin! I haven’t had a chance to read your e-mail, but I received it and will try to respond during my lunch break!

  3. Oh my gosh! These cookie bars look SO good πŸ™‚ I love cookie bars and haven’t had one in the longest time. I may have to make these the next time I’m in charge of a dessert. I think they’d go over quite well πŸ™‚

    • These would go over great I think! Definitely go with the higher end of the honey or liquid sweetener though if serving as a dessert for a crowd. Let me know in the future if you ever try them.

  4. Not sure if you have twitter? I couldn’t find you (I’m @olivetorun) but I HAD to share these on twitter… looked DELICIOUS!

    • I don’t have a twitter for my blog (and don’t ever use my personal one either, haha), but I SO appreciate you sharing my recipe!! πŸ™‚ I hope you get the chance to try them for yourself!

    • Oh you are in for something great when you finally try out carob. I love that it’s caffeine-free and much sweeter (naturally) compared to cocoa. Also less bitter so it doesn’t need as much ingredients to make it taste good. If you ever find some carob powder just mix it up with equal parts coconut oil and freeze it for a few minutes for a chocolate bar—- it actually snaps when you break it too. Like real chocolate!! (<< I'm easily excited. Lol).

    • These actually didn’t melt very much in the heat when I was taking pictures…. But given the temperatures in your neck of the woods, I’d say for sure that melting would be an issue and you would most definitely have to eat the whole thing. Wouldn’t want it to go to waste!

  5. I just made these today, and they were delicious! I did make a few changes: I used chocolate chips instead of the carob chunks, used one banana and 6 tablespoons of agave nectar, and used some all-purpose gluten-free flour instead of the almond flour. Thank you for the fantastic recipe; I will definitely be saving it.

    • I’m so happy to hear that you liked them! I’m going to increase the amount of sweetener next time too to make them more of a dessert vs. a snack. Good to know about the gluten-free flour too. I think most of the time all purpose flour can be substituted for grain-free flours, but it sadly doesn’t work the other way around 😦 Let me know if you try any other variations! I’ve been thinking that some dried cranberries and nuts would be excellent in these! πŸ˜€

  6. Um, YUM. I will probably add egg to mine and maybe use chocolate chips because I am fortunate enough to be able to eat them but damn, this looks good! Hope your internship is going well! I swear I have been reading even if I haven’t commented in ages! x

    • Definitely use egg if you are able to! I think 2 eggs would be a good amount substituted for the flax seed, but I’m not 100% sure. And go for the chocolate! πŸ™‚ Haha.

      I believe you! I’ve been just reading and not commenting on a lot of blogs this summer. I’m sure you’ve been super busy. And my internship is going pretty well. Ready for school to start though. Have you got your writing blog up and running yet?! πŸ™‚

  7. I had planned to do a lot of baking this summer, but I just got lazy, haha. These bars look so good! I’m going to have to try them, as they definitly look like something my tummy can handle! I’m just going to have to get my hands on some carob chips, which are pretty non existent in my small town!

    • I had huge plans for baking this summer too, but I only get to about once a week or every other week depending on when I go home (and who’s willing to eat! πŸ™‚ ). I can totally understand the fact of trying to find something that your stomach can handle (unfortunately mine would be not be able to consume these but I can’t really eat much of anything so that’s not saying much! Haha). I hope that you can give them a try! We don’t have carob in our small town either but there is a health store about 30 miles away that had some carob powder so I scooped it up right away!

  8. First off, girl your photos are gorgeous! Teach me your ways!

    I have been so lazy with my blog (and baking!) lately, so I’m so jealous that you not only baked, but made something that looks incredible! I finally got around to buying carob chips the other day, and I feel like I’ve been missing out! Now I have to bookmark this and a couple recipes and stop making excuses and bake with them! πŸ™‚

    • Oh Katherine, who are we kidding?! Your photos are so professional looking! I try… Haha.

      And of course you’ve been a little “lazy” (although I wouldn’t call it lazy) lately, you’ve been on a trip and spending time with your family! Using your own carob chips would make this recipe even more easy to make even though homemade carob chunks literally take 10 minutes at most. You should use them up this week! πŸ™‚

  9. Carob is so amazing in vegan desserts! I remember my campus used to make bars similar to these. I always tried to make it to my dining commons when they were being served :)!

    • Carob is great in vegan desserts. Cocoa sometimes doesn’t taste quite so good because of the lack of dairy to compliment it, but carob is never lacking πŸ™‚ Your campus dining hall sounds awesome.

    • It’s not related to cocoa I don’t think, but it does taste incredibly similar! It’s naturally much sweeter, less bitter, and caffeine-free as well so I’d say in most regards it beats cocoa on the health scale πŸ™‚

  10. These bars look so delicious. I’ve never used carob (though I’ve bought dog treats with it, haha–for the dog, not myself!) but it’s something I’ld like to try. Might have to start with these!

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  12. Wow these look amazing! I’d like to try carob. I love your picture of the bars outside. I haven’t done a whole lot of baking this summer mostly because I find myself so busy. I have been eating more cold desserts though πŸ™‚

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    • Hi Tom! Sorry for not responding sooner. I haven’t had any internet connection to check up on blog comments.

      Honestly, the coconut flour is a huge moisture absorber so I think using nut flour instead would completely change the recipe. If you did try it with nut flour, I would at least double or triple the amount.

      But while I’d love to be selfish and keep you on my blog ( πŸ™‚ ), I wouldn’t want your cinnamon rolls to fail. Here is another recipe on the blog world that has no coconut flour: http://urbanposer.blogspot.com/2012/04/best-almond-flour-cinnamon-rolls-paleo.html

      If being egg-free is your concern, try replacing the eggs with a flax mixture like I have above, or some tapioca “eggs.”

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

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