Alien's Day Out

Land of Morning Calm bars

| 10 Comments

In the past, I was never really an “energy bar” kinda gal, but I’m beginning to realize how useful they are to have stashed in my bag. It’s not uncommon to find myself getting hungry in between meals, so having something on-hand when I need a quick pick-me-up is important. Unfortunately, when you’re vegan in Korea, it’s not so easy to just “grab a snack” when you’re out, especially one that’s healthy, balanced in nutrients, and tasty. None of the energy/snack bars that they supply at Korean convenience stores are vegan (like Soy Joy, Nature Valley, or Nutri Grain), and they have more ingredients than I feel comfortable with. This has often led me to some very random snackage habits. In the past, I used to carry around containers of beans, or grab some chestnuts from the convenience store.

Land of Morning Calm Bars
I could order boxes of larabars from iHerb, but let’s face it, they ain’t cheap. So in an attempt to make my own healthy to-go snacks, I baked some oat bars that have a Korean flair.

Land of Morning Calm Bars
Dried jujube! (Daechu 대추) This is a specific type of date that is commonly used in Korean herbal medicine, and supposedly has properties that reduce stress! Less stress?? Sign me up~

For the basic recipe, I adapted this one from OhSheGlows.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup soy milk (or other)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium very ripe bananas
  • 2 dried persimmons, de-seeded & chopped
  • 5 dried jujube, de-seeded & chopped
  • 1.5 cups regular oats
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (or other flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8th tsp salt
  • about 1 cup of nuts/seeds
  • 1 Tbs lemon zest

Directions: Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8 inch square pan with parchment.

In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, ground flax seeds, soymilk, oil, and vanilla. Whisk together.

Cut the bananas into chunks and stir into the wet mixture. Grab a fork or potato masher and mash the banana into the wet mixture. It is ok if some small chunks remain. Stir in the persimmons, jujube, nuts, seeds, and lemon zest. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix your dry ingredients. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just combined. Scoop the granola batter into the pan. Smooth out with a spoon or hands and press it down firmly. (It helps to wet your fingers slightly so that it doesn’t stick all over you.)

Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes until the edges begin to golden and it is slightly firm to touch. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and cooling completely. Slice into bars & enjoy!

Land of Morning Calm Bars
I quickly scrubbed a handful of them clean under running water, just to get the little dust particles out of the crevices. Then I sliced ‘em up, avoiding the seeds.

Land of Morning Calm Bars
I also added 2 dried persimmons, chopped.

Land of Morning Calm Bars
Then I added a handful each of chopped almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds, and also a tablespoon of lemon zest for a little zingy flava.

Land of Morning Calm Bars
Here’s the batter with everything mixed up.

Land of Morning Calm Bars
Patted flat into a baking pan. Pre-bake.

Land of Morning Calm Bars
Post-bake.

Land of Morning Calm Bars
I waited about 20 minutes before removing from the pan and slicing them up into convenient, portable-sized bars. I like to have varying sizes of bars, to cover a range of hunger intensities. :)

Land of Morning Calm Bars
They were a teeny bit gooey, but still really great. Next time, I might play around with the moisture content, but I loved the flavors of all the different nuts and fruits. The jujube definitely give it a unique taste which might not agree with everyone, but I really like them, especially in combination with the dried persimmons.

Land of Morning Calm Bars
I’ve been carrying these around with me everywhere. Energy up!

10 Comments

  1. Those look great, I've never seen dried persimmons here so I might have to replace them with dried apricots but I can't wait to make them.

  2. wow this looks absolutely yum! thanks for the recipe, i'm going to try making it! :)

  3. Wow, lookit all the colors! Nom! Fun to see the inside of a Korean date. Would you believe I've never seen that before? Only the whole ones. It looks a little chestnutty.

    OK, let's see if I can post as "Lu" this time. Thanks for your answer in the previous thread!

  4. Hey Lu! So glad that problem got sorted! I actually noticed that you hadn't commented in a while! happy to have u back. ^^

  5. I've made these with cranberries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and a few chocolate chips (i'm an addict). I also left out all the disgusting coconut (blech). I love this recipe. These things also stay fairly fresh for a long time.

    I really want to find a way to make them choco-peanut butter. Nothing like taking a super-healthy energy snack and turning it into a candy bar. :P I think I need help.

  6. Looks fantastic! There's definitely a dearth of quality vegan snack food here. That said, though, there is one thing I really like: Yak-bab (약밥). Have you seen it? They sell it in the ddeok shops, but it's not ddeok. The rice is whole rather than pounded, and it's soaked through with joch'eong (rice syrup), then mixed with jujubes, chestnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, peanuts, and sometimes other stuff too. The whole thing's got a nice amber color and, thanks to the jujubes, a kind of malty taste to it.

    I'm sure your LoMC bars are great, but I think we Daegu vegans may have to stick with Yakbab for the time being…

  7. Thanks for the welcome! :D I just love your blog. And I was inspired by your pictures and your aesthetic to do some super-cute packaging for my Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale goodies. They went over well, and the cute packaging means value-added, so you can charge more for the Japan relief efforts.

  8. I made these this afternoon and they taste great. My new breakfast item :D!

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