Have you heard of Aussie Bites? They're sort of a cross between a mini muffin and a cookie. With a serious dose of granola bar thrown into the mix. They're a bit sweet, a tad salty, a little crunchy, and oh-so very delicious. They boast a nice, healthy dose of Omega-3s and fiber, and they also make an incredible grab-and-go breakfast or snack. Basically, they rock.
I've only ever seen them on the shelves at Costco, but after becoming a bit addicted to the store-bought version, I set out to make my own. I checked the list of ingredients: Rolled oats. Butter. Flaxseeds. Coconut. Dried apricots. Raisins, honey, sunflower seeds... I could do this.
I wanted my version to be as healthy as possible, so I swapped the butter for coconut oil. And to keep them vegan, I opted for maple syrup instead of honey.
It took a handful of tries to get these right, but the recipe I settled upon has been a hit among my official taste panel (that would be, um, my toddler, my husband, my sister, my friend, and myself).
These homemade vegan Aussie bites taste a lot like the original, though texture-wise, they're less like muffins and more like granola bars in mini-muffin form. The store-bought version is more cakey and buttery. This homemade version is crunchier, heartier, and more densely packed with seeds and dried fruit.
My taste-testers unanimously stated that they prefer the homemade vegan version over store-bought. Well, the two-year-old munched a bit on hers and then murmured something about Red Car and Mater (her latest obsession is watching Disney's "Cars mooobie!"); but I'm pretty sure that was code for "I find these vegan Aussie bites to be particularly delectable. Well done!" That's not too much of a stretch, is it?!
This recipe results in about four dozen Aussie bites, so if that's a bit much at one time, just freeze the extras. Seal them in a zipper bag, put 'em in the freezer, and then pull a couple out and set them on the counter while you're starting your morning coffee. They'll be pretty well thawed and ready to go after just a few minutes.
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 ½ cups oat flour*
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats
- ½ cup unsalted roasted sunflower seeds
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ⅓ cup flaxseed meal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup dried apricots
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray the cups of a mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray or rub with a little coconut oil**.
- Heat the coconut oil and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until coconut oil has melted. Set aside.
- To the bowl of an 8-cup or larger food processor, add oat flour, oats, and sunflower seeds. Pulse a couple of times until the seeds and oats begin to break up. Add the coconut, flaxseed meal, baking powder, and salt. Pulse to mix.
- Add the raisins and dried apricots and pulse until the apricots are approximately the size of peas.
- Pour the melted coconut oil and maple syrup over the dry ingredients, then pulse just until combined. Transfer to a large bowl and stir well to make sure all ingredients are well-combined. If any of the apricots and raisins stick together in clumps, use your fingers to separate and distribute them throughout the mix.
- Scoop by the heaping tablespoonful into the cups of the mini muffin pan (I use a cookie scoop). With your fingers, press each gently but firmly to pack and flatten.
- Bake for about 12 minutes until set and edges are golden.
- Remove from oven, allowing to cool for about 10 minutes. Use a butter knife to help pop each bite out of its respective tin; carefully remove from tin and place on a wire rack until completely cool and set. They may be fragile until completely cooled.
- Keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days, or freeze in a zipper bag.
** This recipe yields about 48, and I only have a 24-cup mini-muffin pan, so I bake in two separate batches with no issues. I have also made this recipe using a 4-cup mini food processor instead of a large food processor. I just pulse the items that need chopping or pulverizing as I go, mixing ingredients together in one large bowl.
This post was originally published on January 23, 2014.