I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again — give a climber a Clif Bar and we’ll be your friend for life. So when I show up to the gym or crag with these bad boys, I’ll have a million friends for life. Unless I haven’t eaten them all by then. There are a million different ways you can make homemade Clif Bars (or any snack bar, really). But the salted caramel flavour of this makes it unique, something you can’t buy in the store. I’ve actually had a hard time finding a vegan caramel that’s not date-based, since dates are not exactly a fructose-friendly food. But this mix of 1/2 brown rice syrup and 1/2 peanut butter with just a small bit of virgin coconut oil makes a pretty convincing dupe.
Salted caramel Clif Bars (makes 8 large bars)
- 1 cup crispy puffed rice cereal (I used 365 Organic)
- 1 cup rolled oats (use certified gluten-free if celiac)
- 1 cup crushed nuts (I recommend a mix of nuts; all I had was walnuts, but almonds, peanuts, cashews, macadamia, whatever, man, they all sound great!)
- 1/2 cup seeds (I used a mix of sunflower and pepitas)
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life, which are vegan, gluten-free and nut-free)
- 2 tbsp cacao nibs (optional)
- 2 tbsp shredded coconut (optional)
- 1 cup nut butter
- 1 cup brown rice syrup (or coconut nectar)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, softened
- A dash of fine grain sea salt
- If not already crushed, run the nuts through a food processor quickly to get them into crumbs.
- Mix the oats, rice puffs, nuts, seeds, chia seeds, chocolate chips, coconut and cacao nibs in a bowl. Shake around to get it nice and even.
- Meanwhile, soften the coconut oil. To make this a truly “raw” recipe and avoid zapping your food, simply fill a medium-sized saucepan with hot water and sit the jar of oil in it to soften.
- Fill another large-sized saucepan with hot water from the kettle and sit a large pyrex measuring cup (at least 3 cups) in the hot water. Add your peanut butter, brown rice syrup, soft coconut oil, vanilla and sea salt.
- Mix the liquit thoroughly, as quickly as possible — that’s the only way you can get it nice and soft without having to zap it.
- Line a deep rimmed baking dish with parchment paper. Once your “caramel” mixture is soft enough, pour it into the dish.
- Add your dry mix and use a fork to move it around, incorporating everything.
- Put in the freezer for about an hour to really solidify, then transfer to the fridge. And try not to eat it too quickly!