If you’re looking for the perfect portable camping snack this summer, look no further than these Vegan S’mores Granola Bars, made with dark chocolate, accidentally vegan graham crackers, and on-purpose vegan marshmallows.
We had been out exploring northern Arizona when a late spring storm rolled through – and decided to stick around for a week. So rather than sit in a muddy puddle in the desert, we hightailed it over to Durango, CO to see Michael’s little sister. It was raining there too, but at least we were inside of a house. And like always, the moment we had access to a full kitchen with an oven, we immediately started baking.
We were looking through our camp kitchen pantry and kicking around ideas for granola bars when we discovered we were still holding on to a package of Dandies Marshmallows we picked up at Expo West. They were the mini sized marshmallows, which are great for putting in hot chocolate, but could also be used for baking. From there, it was obvious. And our minds gravitated towards something we couldn’t believe we hadn’t thought of already: S’mores Granola Bars!
Since we were starting with a vegan marshmallow, we figured we could make an effort to keep the recipe vegan the whole way through. Finding vegan dark chocolate wasn’t a problem at all, however, the graham crackers presented an interesting challenge. Nearly all graham crackers are made with honey. But a little research revealed that (while we are sure the homemade variety would be far healthier) Nabisco Original Graham crackers are actually entirely vegan. Just like how Oreo cookies are also inexplicably vegan, we suspect this wasn’t done intentionally but was rather a happy accident. Either way, we’ll take it.
Put all those ingredients together with some toasted oats, add in dates and chia seeds to help bind it all together, and you’ve got yourself a delicious chewy “s’more on-the-go” granola bar.
Perfect for your next day hike or for a little camping-inspired snack to get you through the work day.
Equipment Used In This Recipe:
Oster 3-Cup Mini Chopper – We bought all the ingredients for this recipe only to find out that Michael’s sister doesn’t have a food processor. So rather than abandon the project, we went out and bought the cheapest food processor we could find. While there are definitely better food processors out there (this is the one we used to own and loved), this one did everything we asked of it.
Core Chef Knife – We typically use our Opinel Chef’s knife, but that was all… the… way…. out in the car. So we used this high carbon, stainless steel chef knife by Core that was sitting the drying rack. Cutting dates can be a total pain in the butt because they’re so sticky, but this knife handled them just as well as any.
Lodge 10.5″ Cast Iron Skillet – We love cooking with cast iron! For this recipe, it was great for toasting the oats. Once we got it properly preheated, the cast iron surface offered a consistent level of heat that allowed us to toast the oats without burning them.
Glass Mixing Bowl – This is definitely not something we carry with us when we’re camping, so we were super happy that there was one in the kitchen. While you can probably mix in any old pot, there’s something very grownup about mixing in a mixing bowl.
Wooden Spoon – This super versatile kitchen utensil once again proved its merit. We wouldn’t dare mix in a mixing bowl without it!
8.5″ x 4.5″ Loaf Pan – Nearly every kitchen has one of these loaf pans and nobody knows where they come from. We’re pretty sure the one we used for this recipe came with the house.
Vegan S'mores Granola BarPRINT RECIPE
- 6 dates pitted and roughly chopped
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup oats
- 1 cup crushed vegan graham crackers about 10 sheets
- ½ cup mini vegan marshmallows
- 1.5 oz dark chocolate chopped
- 1 tsp coconut oil or Earth Balance butter (optional if greasing pan)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Place the dates, water, maple syrup, chia seeds, and salt into the bowl of your food processor. Let it all soak for 5 minutes, then process until fairly smooth (it’s OK to have some pieces of dates remaining, but you don’t want any big chunks).
- Toast oats over medium heat in a heavy bottomed skillet until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently to ensure even toasting and prevent them from burning.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the oats, graham crackers, marshmallows, dark chocolate and the date mixture. Mix well with a spoon until all the dry ingredients are completely covered in the date mixture.
- Line a 8.5" x 4.5" loaf pan with parchment paper, or grease the pan with coconut oil or Earth Balance butter. Spread the mixture evenly into the pan, then press down on it to really compact it (I used the bottom of a glass for this).
- Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely, then remove from the pan and cut into 6 bars.
- To make these portable, wrap them in parchment paper, plastic wrap, or small ziplocks, then throw them in your pack and go!