Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Seed Power Bars

I created these new Seed Power Bars for the new book. The idea came when Michelle mentioned that she would love a high-protein snack recipe for school snacks that are nut and peanut free (because of all the allergy restrictions in schools).

I somewhat modelled these after my Totally Nutty Bars from Vive, though they are completely nut-free and include protein-rich pumpkin seeds, hemp seed nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and sunflower nut butter.

With my first batch of these I included carob powder, as in the picture above and shown pressed in the pan to the right.

For my second batch, pictured here and to the right in a smaller pan, I substituted cocoa powder (since I used up all my carob powder in the cookies)! Equally delicious, but looking rather different (well, I also used black sesame seeds in the first batch and regular white sesame seeds in the second batch).

So, Michelle, if you want to give these a test-run with your kidlets, I am happy to send you the draft recipe to try out - let me know, and thanks for the inspiration! :)


Michelle said...

oh wow, i am actually mentioned on THE dreena burton's website?? oh my gosh!

YES, we'd love to test drive your recipe! we love your Totally Nutty bars (for at home!) we are so honoured :)

cindylou said...

These look awesome. I would like to learn more about your recipe book. I love trying out new things.

JessieGirl said...

These bars look so yummy! I can't wait for the next book to come out.

Freedom said...

I'm not sure that these totally appeal to me - I have nothing against seeds except their fat content :-(
But the carob cookies from yesterday look great! I was never a big fan of chocolate but I have discovered that I love carob! I can't wait for the new cookbook! (Still loving 'The Everyday Vegan!)

EatPeacePlease said...

This is Treats! Please send this to me (hopefully no baking) and I will be happy to test and test and eat and eat more! I made super-nut treats one time and they were wholesome and wonderful, but your allergen-free idea is great/better!

Melissa West said...

Wow Dreena! You are so creative. These look amazing! They look a lot like those little yummy sesame treats you can get at the health food store, but more interesting. I am totally looking forward to your new cook book.

Melissa West said...


Dreena I tried to send you an e-mail with suggestions for the new cook book but it got bounced back.

This is probably not the right place for it, but I will post it here anyway to make sure you get it.

Hi Dreena

Congratulations on your new cook book. I am totally excited about it because Vive le Vegan totally rocks my world.

I have a suggestion for your new cook book. Lately I have been craving a brown rice pudding with nuts, and dried fruit that I could eat for breakfast, kind of like a variation on muselie. I think it would be cool if it tasted good hot and cold... so that you could eat it out of the oven the first morning and then just pull it out of the fridge for a snack and for subsequent breakfasts. I gave away my microwave a little while ago, so I am not much into things I have to heat up

Another recipe that I am dying for is an asian style curry. There is something about the asian curry at thai restaurants, or vietnamese restaurants that is distinctively different from an indian curry
(somehow lighter?) The curry that my husband and I absolutely adore is at Cafe 668 in Toronto - they use the same sauce in both their veggie curry and their amazing eggplant curry. Anyway, if you are ever in Toronto, it would be my pleasure to treat you to a meal at this place... they do amazing things with sieten and gluten that will knock your socks off. It is totally unpretentious so you can bring your
kidlets as well!

Here is a link to their website:

Another idea (that I think you did in Vive that I really like in a cook book) is to make suggestions of what to serve with the recipes... so for example if you have a main course dish suggest a side dish that
pairs well with it that is also in the cook book.

Another thing that I like in a cook book is meal plans for special occasions like birthday
parties, an asian theme, Christmas, thanksgiving, back yard bbq, mother's day, father's day, dinner party etc. A lot of cook books have this kind of
thing in the back.

OK, enough for now. I hope this helps. Man, would I love to write a cook book, however my talent seems to lie in following directions, not in creating my own recipes.

Thanks for everything you do to write amazing recipes that nourish vegans and vegan wannabes.

Melissa West said...

p.p.s. last comment, i'm sorry to clutter up the comment board!

The curry I am talking about is not like a thai style red or green curry, but more of a "normal" curry - if that makes any sense at all! LOL!

Dreena said...

Hi Michelle!! Well, I really thank you for the suggestion - I don't think I would have created something like this without it. But, NOW I say "oh my gosh!!", because through getting this post together I then see your recent post about the quinoa salad... gee... thanks!! (blushing over here) I know you have enjoyed several recipes in Vive before, but that's quite a mention that I'm feeling a touch embarrassed! But thank you. I have to also tell you that I was testing that salad all through the end of the first trimester of my second pregnancy, and I was still feeling queasy. I made so much of it, and my mom was visiting so I kept giving it to her for lunch! She loved it, so that worked out, because I just couldn't eat it after feeling nauseous while making it - I haven't made it since because of that!! Anyway... great that you want to test them out - I'll check if your e-mail is on your blog, if not, then I'll have you e-mail me so I can sent the document to you. :)

Hi cindylou, thanks for popping by and giving your feedback. I have posted a lot in the last couple of months about recipes that will be in my new cookbook, as well as some from my current books. Have a browse through and feel free to ask a question anytime!

Thanks Jessiegirl!!

Hi freedom, I understand the concern about fat in seeds and nut for a lot of folks. These are very healthy fats, though, and consumption of the healthy fats actually helps us maintain a healthy weight - as long as you aren't overcomsuming them (probably not a good idea to eat half this batch - ha!) Wow, I haven't had too many people mention that they don't like chocolate, but that keeps you safe from a lot of temptation!! I love carob much more than I did the first few times trying it, I think because people said it was a sub for chocolate, which... it's not, it's carob!

Hi Leslie!! So funny you say that, because when I made the first batch with carob powder, well, they looked like seed bars. Then, when I made the second batch with cocoa powder I thought "holy TREATS".... "this pic could be straight from Leslie's site". I would love for you to test them out, thanks! I also have a question for you about another recipe, so when I get the document together to e-mail, I'll get to that too!

Hi Dragonslayer... thanks so much - first for your sweet comment, and second, for taking the time to write a note. Sorry your e-mail bounced back - did you send it to (just to check) Anyhow, I really appreciate that you took time to write and send me your feedback about my recipes and cookbooks and also some suggestions for the new book. I love your rice pudding idea. I have 2 rice puddings in The Everyday Vegan - one is a Tropical Rice Pudding, and the other is a vanilla rice pudding with raisins. Both of these use arborio rice to make the pudding very creamy. So, if you want to check those out in TEV, you could always add nuts to either of those puddings. They aren't overly sweet, even though they are in the dessert section. As I said, though, they use arborio rather than brown rice, and I like your idea of having a very healthful pudding with nuts and brown rice and maybe some other additions! The asian style curry I will have to educate myself on. It sounds great, as does this restaurant, and now I am a little jealous! :) I would LOVE to go there. We don't get to restaurants at all, because we are an hour's drive from Vancouver and that is a bit of a jaunt with two kids just to go for a restaurant meal! I feel quite deprived from trying restaurant vegan creations for sure! Anyhow, I will check out this site and do some researching to get the idea of what flavors and the kind of sauce you mean - I think I understand when you say not a Thai sauce, which is thick with coconut milk. Thanks for your other ideas too - I will definitely be giving serving suggestions to pair recipes together, and the meal/menu planning I may do too. I did it for TEV, but I wondered whether it was useful at all, if people really referenced it? Btw - no apologies needed for a long comment - have you seen how long mine typically are??!! :) I am quite long-winded in my replies! Anyhow, much thanks to you.

Angie said...

The seed bars look wonderful. I made the Energy Bars and the Fudgy Brownies from Vive last night and they were amazing. My DH, a diehard skeptic, has now decided that eggs and dairy in brownies are superfluous. Thanks.


EatPeacePlease said...

Looking forward... (ps, I haven't gone to the PO box to check my mail. Yet.)

Tara said...

Yay, more power bars! :D

I'm a bicyclist and I love these sorts of things. One day I'm going to get the Totally Nutty Bars from VlV right. They've turned out great both times, but not exactly right. ;)

The cookies look very good, too. I've been craving cookies lately.

krispycheks said...

Those look great, Dreena. How was the consistency the next day? Chewy? Crunchy? I need to experiment more with carob. I was eyeballing it at the co-op last night, but with the move next week, I need to be resisting my cooking urge!

Vicki said...

these look like a yummy, hearty, nutritous snack. i like the process photos.

Dreena said...

Hi Angela - thank you a bunch! Superfluous - that's perfect - I love that!! I may want to use that description in my book, if you don't mind, since I don't know if I could sum up vegan baking any better than eggs and dairy are superfluous! Brilliant.

Hey Leslie! Well, don't make the po box trip just yet... I asked hubby to take care of getting mo just so I didn't have to tote the kids with me on that errand. I think he may not get to it himself until tomorrow, and then I figure it will be a week or so before you see it. But, you'll see it soon... because I need that beautiful choker!!

Hi Tara, thanks for the input... I should ask you what's not working with the totally nutty bars - are they not sticking or the taste not quite right... maybe I can help if you want to give a little more info. :)

Hey krispycheks... thanks. The consistency is a little chewy - certainly not crispy like those little sesame seed snacks you see in stores. They are soft to bite/cut through yet have the crunch from the seeds, and not very sweet so they are a good snacking/nourishing kind of treat! btw - I wouldn't take on any kind of baking/cooking either while moving - that's more than enough work on its own!! Good luck with it. :)

EatPeacePlease said...

Thanks for the warning Dreena. No rush at all.

Anonymous said...

I am not vegan, but your blog makes me almost wish I were! I love the recipes for inspiration in my own kitchen.

Dreena said...

Leslie, the rush is on my end... sooner the better for me! :)

Thank you anonymous, that's a compliment for sure! Maybe some of these posts will give you the interest to try some veg meals/snacks here and there (perhaps you are already doing that anyhow). :) Any q's, please let me know!

raising_kahne said...

hi Dreena! I hope you dont mind me asking this question, because it's a pretty random one! I dont use no-stick cooking spray that much, but sometimes I need it. My question is, is it healthy or vegan?? The only kind we have here is the butter flavored kind. Here is the list on ingredients:

Soybean Oil, Soy Lecithin, natural butter flavor and other natural flavor, Beta-Carotene(color), propellant

I just wanted to make sure before I used it, and it it's not healthy or vegan, what kind do you suggest??

Mrs. Carlson said...

Hi Dreena!
I have been reading your website for a while, and have actually tried to email you, but also to no avail (message got returned). But I ended up buying your cookbook and completely love it! I made your Banana Oat Bundles and Cannelini Yam Hummus - they were both incredible! In fact, your Fudgy Brownies were also THE BEST BROWNIES I HAVE EVER HAD!! No kidding - and I grew up with a dad who claimed to make the best brownies AND I really don't like chocolate all that much!
Anyhoo, I have a question about the nutty bars. When I made them, they did not stick together well, and even fell apart after freezing (well apart as they thawed). Any suggestions? Maybe mixing more thoroughly or adding more of the liquid? Thanks!!

Michelle said...

my email is

can't wait to try these!

Tara said...

Dreena, thanks for asking, but I'll let you know after I've made them once by the recipe as written. ;) Both times I've made them I've had to improvise some because I didn't have the all of the listed ingredients. So it's not the recipe, it's the cook. ;)

One thing that is helpful is when you write "a thick honey alternative" is to give an example, though, especially for new-to-vegan-cooking and talentless in the kitchen people. ;)

Dreena said...

Hi Savanna, well, I don't use those non-stick sprays, mostly because I prefer using pure oils like olive oil, canola oil, or coconut oil. Looking at that list, I would supsect that it is not vegan, because of the "natural butter flavor". I'd also be concerned about the "propellant", that sounds nasty, and after a little googling about it, I wouldn't want to eat it. As an alternative, you can buy those little bottle misters that you fill with your own olive or or vegetable oil, and then you can use that to spritz on foods if you like. If it's the not-sticking element that you want... I HIGHLY recommend parchment paper for your baking (to line cookie sheets and brownie pans) and other cooking (ex: home fries, roasting vegetables). I use parchment paper regularly, and it is makes cleaning a breeze. Also, you can simply lightly oil pans and skillets using just a drop of oil and then spreading it around the pan with a small piece of paper towel or plastic wrap (be sure the pan isn't hot or warm first or you will be melting that plastic wrap - ouch and eww, wouldn't want to eat it!) Does this help you out?...oh, and I don't mind you asking the question, not a bit! :)

Mrs. Carlson, you are sweet talking me, aren't you??!! Wow, thank you for those delightful compliments!! What a pleasure to know you are enjoying my book and those recipes so much, and I am really flattered about the brownie comment - gosh, thanks!! Now, we have to figure out what's happening with those nutty bars! First, use the full amount of honey alternative (the 1/3 cup)... next, try using a little more cashew butter - maybe 3 tbsp, and in fact you can make that 1/3 cup of honey alternative a little generous. Sometimes with measuring for this recipe, depending on the nuts and seeds used, the volume will change and affect how it binds. For instance, if you use sliced almonds, there will be more volume than the slivered almonds because they are finer (perhaps you didn't substitute at all, but just to give an example). Also, with measuring the sticky nut butter and honey alternative (I use brown rice syrup), I am thinking that certain measurements could be less generous than others. So, if they are not holding together, it is more nut butter/honey alternative that is needed. Try that suggestion, and using the brown rice syrup if you didn't before (because it is *quite* sticky!), and see if that works. Sorry it hasn't worked yet, and I really appreciate that feedback since I will make those notes and possibly change the measurements to be a touch more generous for the next reprint of Vive. Many thanks!!

Thanks Michelle, I should probably get the document finalized sometime during the weekend! :)

Hi Tara, I'm glad you got back to me on that, because I just wrote a (very long!) reply above about the nutty bars, so maybe some of the same things are happening when you've made them. Brown rice syrup is what I use in the recipe, and barley malt will also work because it is very thick and sticky. I will make some notes to this recipe for the next reprint, and thanks again for that input - quite helpful!!

raising_kahne said...

Yes that helps very much! I was actually thinking about using it because I wanted to make waffles, but then I read the ingredients, and I wasnt so sure! I know we used to have a little bottle mister that we used to use, so I think Ill go and see if I can find it somewhere! Yes you are right about the parchment paper! I always use it when I can in baking-because who has time to clean all those pans right?

sageg said...

these look great & I can't wait to try them, but sesame & sunflowers are not acceptable at our school. :(

Harmonia said...

I'm so afraid of hemp seed nuts because I can't find them! I guess I will have to break down and substitute it for something else.

These look amazing!

Harmonia said...

Cindy lou! I love your blog and will link on mine but can't comment on yours! Will you be adding the comment option?

Dreena said...

Yeah, Savanna, I think the mister is a better option for sure! Glad you know about parchment paper too - it's my buddy in the kitchen! :)

Hi sageg, and thanks for that input... I didn't realize there were also some restrictions on seeds too - good grief!! I hope seed products are permitted when my daughter starts school. Thanks again!

Thanks Harmonia... I know that hemp seed nuts are becoming more and more available, so perhaps you'll see them in your stores in the next little while. Certainly more sesame or sunflower seeds could be substituted in here anyhow. :)

elle said...

just how do i get the recipe for these...i have all the ingredients just need the know how to make them look like these :)