Food for Thought Column: Recipe hack – better-for-you holiday snacking

(NC) While this season is often a time to indulge, many of us are looking for ways to stay on track with our health goals. Making better-for-you choices can be even harder if we’re in the kitchen cooking up a storm. If you know that you can’t always (or don’t want to) refrain from enjoying your own creations, try this simple recipe as an alternative treat.

Anything Goes Cookie Dough Vegan Energy Bars

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves: 24


• 2 1/4 cups (550 mL) all-purpose flour

• 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda

• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

• 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) assorted seeds (hemp, raw sunflower and/or chia seeds)

• 1 cup (250 mL) chopped assorted dried fruit (dried figs, peaches and/or cranberries)

• 1/2 cup (125 mL) rolled oats

• 1 cup (250 mL) Becel Vegan margarine

• 1 cup (250 mL) firmly packed light brown sugar

• 1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar

• 1/2 cup (125 mL) unsweetened pure pumpkin purée

• 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

• 1 tbsp (15 mL) ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper leaving two-inch overhang on each side.

2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

3. Beat margarine with sugars in large bowl. Beat in pumpkin purée and vanilla until blended. Gradually add in flour mixture; beat just until blended.

4. In a separate bowl, combine seeds, dried fruit and oats; set aside.

5. Stir in cinnamon and 2 cups (500 mL) seed mixture. Spread into prepared baking pan. 6. Top with remaining 1 cup (250 mL) seed mixture and gently press into dough.

7. Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are golden.

8. Place pan on a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes. Using foil overhang, lift out of pan and cool completely.

9. Cut into 24 bars.

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