What better way to celebrate National Spinach Month than with these yummy spinach snack bars! I first tasted these delicious bars on a weekend away with some good friends, one of whom brought these as a treat. Unfortunately hers were made with a hefty portion of whole milk, cheddar cheese and eggs, so I decided to try my hand at veganizing them. Loaded with iron and vitamin K-rich spinach, they also get a boost of protein and minerals such as copper and magnesium from the nuts.
These bars are a belly filling snack, and can even be a wholesome meal. I like to eat them warm as a satisfying breakfast, but they are also good chilled or at room temperature.
For the cashew spread:
- 60 g (1/2 cup) raw cashews
- 3 tbsp cold filtered water (plus more for soaking)
- 6 g (1/8 cup) nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp ground mustard
- 1/8 tsp kosher or sea salt
- ground black pepper, to taste
For the sautéed vegetables:
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup shallots, cut into ¼” dice
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 pinches kosher or sea salt
For the wet mixture:
- 2 tbsp ground flax or flax meal
- 6 tbsp cold, filtered water
- 250 ml (1 cup)unsweetened nut milk
- 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 285 g (1¼ cup) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (reserve the liquid for another use)
- 4 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
For the dry mixture:
- 1 cup (150 g) flour of your choice (gluten-free, all purpose, etc.)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
- 3 dashes fresh ground pepper
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika, optional
- Place the cashews in a bowl and cover by 1” with water. Let soak for 1 hour (overnight is ok).
- Preheat the oven to 325 F or 160 C.
- In a small pan, heat the olive oil over medium low heat. Add the chopped shallots, garlic, thyme and salt. Sauté until the shallots are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- While you are sautéing the vegetables, make the cashew spread. Drain the cashews. Place the drained cashews and the water, yeast flakes, olive oil, lemon juice, ground mustard, salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Process until silky smooth (it will have the consistency of hummus). Add a small amount of additional water if needed to process.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flax meal and the water. Whisk vigorously for 30 seconds. Whisk in the nut milk. Next add in the lemon juice, chopped dill and the cashew spread, whisking to make a cohesive mixture. Fold in the squeezed spinach, the pine nuts and the sautéed shallot mixture. Mix well to make sure that all of the ingredients are distributed evenly.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and smoked paprika, if using. Add this dry mixture to the wet mixture, folding it in with a spatula just until the mixture is incorporated. (Try not to over mix the batter).
- In a well greased 8 x 10 inch pan, pour in the spinach batter, spreading it around the pan evenly. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. (When the top is puffed and the bars have just started pulling away on the sides, you know it is done).
- Let the pan cool on a wire rack. When cool, cut into 2 x 2 inch bars. The bars will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
Prep time: 60 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Servings: 20 bars
- Nutrition per serving:
Yields and nutritional information are estimated and will vary depending on produce size and equipment used.