Crunchy and Fruity Shortbread Bars {Gluten-free & Vegan}

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Happy Monday everyone! I woke up fully energized after a nice long weekend. It has been almost a week since we returned from New York and I think I am FINALLY caught up on my sleep from that trip! I probably will not feel rested until I have this baby of mine, but I can say for sure that I feel wonderful today. That is all that counts. Living one day at a time and with purpose.

Saturday morning was spent cleaning house. After being away from home, there was plenty of unpacking, cleaning, and washing to be done. Saturdays were usually cleaning days but who wants to be doing that during the weekends? Ha ha ha, right, I know.

Well, I got up at 8:30am and had many plans. I left the house thinking I could do errands for a quick 30 minutes and then return home and have breakfast. WRONG. Waves of nausea attacked me and I had to pull on the side of the road, enter the supermarket parking lot and heave. How embarassing! What can one possibly have in their tummies just after waking up? Yeah, you DON’T wanna know.

I quickly bought an egg sandwich to get some protein in my body. Yes folks, I have been eating more like a vegetarian lately. Well, all in all, I have needed to eat meat since I have not been able to stand the sight of beans, tempeh, or tofu. I am seeing this as a stage where my hormones are raging against me but I know I still need to eat. I know I need to do what is best for my body and my little figgy at this moment.

Anyway, I learned after getting sick in the parking lot, that I should not leave home without forcing myself to eat something AND to take some snacks with me. I am so slow, but eventually I will get there. Good news though! I am 11 weeks into this pregnancy which means I have one more week until I am past the 1st trimester, which means that morning sickness should be gone. Please Lord it needs to be gone.

The rest of the day was focused on cleaning the wood floors, dusting, laundry, and making dinner for company. Wowzers, was I ever tired by the end of the day! Ryan suggested I take a nap before I put in some pies to bake and before company arrived. He is so sweet and thoughtful. I am blessed to be married to such a great guy!

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Strawberry-Rhubarb Orange Pies

Onto my post. I think the next several posts are going to be focused on desserts, since those are all still vegan and mostly gluten-free. If it is one thing, I have hardly craved anything sweet and if I do it is all natural sweetners.

My mother got me a gluten-free cookbook at Christmas called Great Gluten-free Baking by Louise Blair that I had not made anything out of yet. It is not a vegan cookbook so when I came across a tantalizing recipe for shortbread bars, I jumped at it. The recipe is originally called fingers, but they did not look like fingers at all. I think they also should have been called Crunchy and Fruity Shortbread Bars because it has lots of cornflakes on top of these bars.

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These shortbread bars taste buttery even though I used Earth Balance margarine and they are more like a trail mix bars but with a shortbread crust. They are super lovely, even Ryan said that they tasted buttery! 2 thumbs up! They are really easy to make and they are a great snack or dessert. I hope you enjoy these as much as we did.

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Crunchy and Fruity Shortbread Bars
adapted from Great Gluten-free Baking
makes 12 bars
Bars
7 Tablespoons Earth Balance margarine, softened
1/4 cup palm sugar (or vegan granulated sugar)
2/3 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup corn flour
1 cup dried dates, roughly chopped
grated rind and juice of 1 orange
4 Tablespoons water
Topping
1/4 cup agave nectar
3 Tablespoons Earth Balance margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups gluten-free cornflakes, roughly crushed
4 Tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
4 Tablespoons mixed seeds (such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the margarine and sugar in a large bowl and beat together until light and fluffy, then stir in the flours until well combined. Press the shortbread into an 11×7-inch baking pan and place in the preheatted oven for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the dates, orange rind and juice, and water in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer gently until pulpy. remove from heat and let cool a little, and then spread the mixture pver the shortbread layer. Be careful with this. Make sure to place dollops of the pulp over the shortbread so as not to mess up the bready layer.
Place all the topping ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Spoon mixture over the date layer and press down gently. Place in the oven for 15-17 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven, let cool a little, then cut into 12 bars and let it cool completely before removing them from the pan.
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10953934856050968428 Vegiegail

    YUM! I am SO going to make these!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01257119248873696055 Wilde in the Kitchen

    Congrats on being onto your second trimester, here’s hoping all that morning sickness vanishes!

    These bars look really good, hard to believe they are vegan and gluten-free!

  • http://www.thechefdoc.com/ Hester aka The Chef Doc

    Aw, I do hope you feel better soon! I’ve never been pregnant so I can’t empathize but I’ll definitely sympathize :-) Your bars look absolutely amazeballs! I’d like to try my hand at it with the margarine that my mother has in the fridge.

  • http://alittlesumpinsumpin.blogspot.com/ Christina

    These look fabulous!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16006562924010658931 Debra

    Mmmm it all looks so yummy!!! Thanks for sharing, I”ll have to try these out soon! :-)

    Blessings, Debra
    Raw Vegan Diet

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08927164838699702741 Brian

    hey! those look great, sorry you haven’t been feeling well. we don’t leave the house without snacks. rachel is always grazing, just to keep from getting sick. she has been a somewhat resentful vegan, as food issues, and veganism have not been in agreement lately. i see you had to make some concessions. you do what you have to do. your health and the baby are number 1 priority. hopefully yours (and rachels) morning sickness will subside soon. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16128794234940676903 Rochelle

    Love these bars! They look really good and I can imagine the dates give a great texture and flavor with the corn flakes and the chewiness of apricots.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08873080530639686787 HiHoRosie

    So glad to hear you’re feeling more energized today! And hope the morning sickness goes away soon for you too. And honey, get as much rest as you can BEFORE baby comes! You won’t get much after. Believe me. ;)

    Okay, those pies look good and so cute. And the bars? YUM-O! Thanks for sharing.

  • http://anecdotesandapples.weebly.com/ Monet

    To me, there is nothing as satisfying as returning home and “nesting”. I’m glad you made it safe, and I’m glad you shared these bars. Thank you for sharing, for creating, and for inspiring me to remember all the beauty and good in this world. Many blessings tomorrow and in the days to come this week.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15456032622571187918 Peggy

    These sound fabulous! You’ve definitely been a busy bee! So glad you had the time to make these though!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12062889933701288004 vko

    Hi there! Hope you are feeling better-loving the crunchy fruity bars & so glad to see that making delicious vegan desserts do not make you queasy! xo