Maple Vanilla Oatmeal Bars

Breakfast Fridaaaayyyy, people!

Today I'm sharing a recipe that I've been meaning to make for awhile now. And by awhile, I mean years. Why do I even make to-do lists?

This post is sponsored by Rodelle. All products have been tested and approved by my taste buds.

Soft Batch Maple Vanilla Oatmeal Bars |

My goal was to make a breakfast bar that actually holds you over the entire morning, doesn't fall apart when you bite into it, and is also super thick and chewy. Too much to ask? I think not.

Oh, they also must be studded with Rodelle vanilla beans and laced with a subtle hint of maple syrup.

It's like oatmeal to go. Handheld oatmeal! Whatever you want to call it, I've finally landed on the keeper recipe. It only took a week of my life to figure this one out, with the slightest of tweaks each round. 

Ground Oats + Walnuts for Soft Batch Maple Vanilla Oatmeal Bars |

The point of this recipe was to provide a super nutritious, handheld breakfast, with tons of chew and light on the sweetness. Easy for the kiddos to grab + go, but equally as awesome for adults. They're not supposed to be like bread or cake or muffins. This is an every-day-of-the-week type breakfast.

However, you can jazz it up with a dutch chocolate drizzle when you feel like you need a little treat-yo-self action. Like on a Friday. Like I just did today. Paired with a pumpkin spice latte from Angela

And speaking of Angela, I'm in the home stretch of photographing her second cookbook! I've been shooting 6-7 days/week for the past 3 months and eating my face off the entire time. I cannot even begin to explain how killer the recipes are. Every single one of them!

And the collaboration doesn't stop there! I'm now photographing for her blog! It started with that pumpkin spice latte I mentioned above. Pretty dang cool. Someone pinch me.

Soft Batch Maple Vanilla Oatmeal Bars |

Now back to these oatmeal bars and those tiny flecks of vanilla beans.

Do you ever think about things like, how were vanilla beans discovered? Who split the first one open and was all, "let's mix these into some muffins or ice cream!" I'm well aware that was probably not how they were first used. But, if you've ever actually tasted vanilla beans straight from the pod, your first thought probably wouldn't be to add them to food. They're pretty potent when not dispersed in something sweet. So I'm curious when the first person decided to use vanilla beans in cooking. Someone tell me!!! (I'm aware of the site called Google.)

Rodelle Vanilla Beans used in Maple Vanilla Oatmeal Bars |

I've been continuously impressed with the quality of vanilla beans I've used from Rodelle (and their extracts!). They're almost juicy when you slice into them and have a hefty amount of beans inside. You may remember my first collaboration with Rodelle a few months back. You know, the vanilla muffins. I so appreciate their attentiveness to not only the quality of their products, but to how they treat their farmers and give back to the farming communities. 

Dutch Chocolate Drizzle on Maple Vanilla Oatmeal Bars |

Now. As far as toppings go, it's all up to you. PB + jelly is one of my favs but the dutch cocoa drizzle isn't too shabby either. 

These bars are substantial. They're thick + chewy and meant to be that way. They're very similar in texture to a Bobo's Oat Bar, if you've ever tried one of those. If you slice them into 5 bars it's like eating 1/2 cup of oatmeal with walnuts, almond butter, and a few other ingredients mixed in. Breakfast of champions.

Maple Vanilla Oatmeal Bars |

Print Recipe!

Maple Vanilla Oatmeal Bars

gluten-free + vegan // yields: 5 servings

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup walnut halves + pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons creamy natural almond butter (oil drained off top and stirred well)
  • 1 Madagascar bourbon vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1 teaspoon Madagascar bourbon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup water

Preheat your oven to 350° F. Line an 8x4" bread pan with parchment so it covers the bottom and long sides of the pan only. Grease the small ends of the pan with coconut oil.

Place oats in your food processor and process for about 8-10 seconds until coarsely ground. You want some whole oats to remain. (Refer to photo 2.) Empty into a large mixing bowl. Add walnuts to the processor and process until you're left with pebble-sized pieces. A few larger pieces are fine. Empty into the mixing bowl and add the salt. Stir well.

Melt the coconut oil and pour into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk in the maple syrup, almond butter, vanilla beans, and vanilla extract vigorously, until fully combined. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix with a large spoon until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Use your hands if needed.

Pour in the water and mix with a large spoon until fully incorporated. Let sit for 5 minutes. The texture should be like very thick oatmeal. Empty into the pan and spread firmly with the back of the spoon or a spatula. Make sure it's level and spread from edge to edge. Bake for 16-20 minutes. The center will be slightly soft to the touch (not wet) and the edges will be more firm.

Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan. Carefully lift the block out by the parchment sides and place on a cooling rack (with parchment still attached). Let fully cool. Remove parchment. Slice into 5 bars or 10 squares.


  • If you don't have vanilla beans on hand, simply substitute 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (in total).
  • Store in a sealed container on the counter or in the fridge. Top as desired before eating. Heat before eating if desired. Bars hold together really well and don't need refrigeration to stay together. Perfect for packed lunches or breakfast to go! If adding the chocolate drizzle, you'll want to keep them refrigerated.
  • You can most likely double this recipe and bake in an 8x8 pan. Baking time may increase slightly. A 9x5 pan will also work. Bars will be slightly thinner and bake time will decrease by a few minutes. If you don't have parchment paper, thoroughly grease the pan with softened coconut oil. Cool in the pan for 45 minutes, then loosen the edges with a butter knife. Cover the top of the pan with one hand and flip over. Place right side up on a cooling rack and let fully cool.

Dutch Chocolate Drizzle

  • 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons dutch processed cocoa, sifted (or unsweetened cocoa/cacao powder)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)

Melt the coconut oil and pour into a small mixing bowl. Whisk in all other ingredients until smooth. Pour into a small ziploc bag and seal. Cut a tiny corner from the bottom of the bag and gently squeeze to drizzle over the bars. Refrigerate bars until chocolate has hardened. Eat or keep stored in a sealed container in the fridge. Chocolate softens quickly at room temp.

Thick and Chewy Maple Vanilla Oatmeal Bars |

Happy weekending. 


This post was sponsored by Rodelle. Opinions are always my own and products are thoroughly tested before sharing. Thank you for supporting the occasional sponsored post that helps fund all the deliciousness you find here!

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

I'm thinking we need to start off the week with something sweet. And I'm thinking this vegan chocolate mousse is just the thing. It's a simple dessert with five main ingredients and little risk for disaster. No oven necessary, just your blender and fridge. I promise you can make this happen! 

Vegan Chocolate Mousse |

A few weeks ago, the hardworking + generous staff at Fair Trade USA contacted me about a campaign they were working on and asked if I'd like to help spread the word. Of course! It's called, Moms Make A World of Difference. With Mother's Day just around the corner they thought it was the perfect time to honor and celebrate all of the moms out there and also bring awareness to the women working in agriculture in developing countries.

By choosing Fair Trade products you help support these hardworking women, their families, and communities. Did you know 50% of the world's food is produced by women, but women only own 2% of the land (source)? Fair Trade gives workers opportunities for things like education, microloans, maternity leave, fair pay, safe working conditions, and more. By purchasing Fair Trade you're not only getting a quality product, but most importantly, you're helping families and communities in developing countries thrive.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse |

Today I wanted to share a little snippet of Maria's story. Not only is she a hardworking mom who strives to improve the life of her family, but she is also committed to helping her community grow as well.

Maria Quishpe, 31, from Saquisili, harvests Fair Trade certified roses. Maria, who has been working at Agrocoex since 2003, is a mom of a 2 year old toddler and the president of the Fair Trade prize committee. Currently on her third term as president, she has been on the committee for five years. Maria, who finished her High School equivalent degree through a Fair Trade holarship for adult employees, states: "Our main focus right now is the housing project for 200 families [of Agrocoex employees] in Latacunga. I ask that you please continue to buy our flowers, as each rose represents a step towards our collective dream of improved housing. Each rose is gathered with lots of love. I want to end my presidency with the housing dream as a reality." The housing project consists of a track housing development on the outskirts of Latacunga city where Agrocoex employees will have favorable credits and other benefits in order to become homeowners. Many state that living in Latacunga will provide better health, education and income possibilities for their loved ones - children and spouses.

Maria Quishpe - Moms Make a Difference #FairMoms

In honor of Moms Make a World of Difference, I've created this vegan chocolate mousse with a handful of my favorite Fair Trade certified ingredients. And today you have the chance to win everything you see below! This is thanks to the lovely people at Fair Trade and the extremely hard workers around the world who strive to bring you the highest quality Fair Trade products possible.

For this mousse recipe I utilized the Lake Champlain drinking chocolates (they melted wondefully and are vegan!), Nutiva organic coconut oil, and the Wholesome Sweeteners organic blue agave. I don't use agave too frequently, but I must say the caramel flavor of this variety was outstanding. 

Vegan Chocolate Mousse + Fair Trade | #befair

Now, onto the mousse.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse |

This velvety smooth, chocolate mousse is made possible by just a few ingredients:

  • silken tofu
  • coconut oil
  • coconut cream
  • melted chocolate
  • agave nectar

Once everything is blended together you're left with a lightly sweetened, chocolaty dream of a dessert. It needs a few hours in the fridge to fully chill and firm and then you can dive on in. As it firms in the fridge, the texture also lightens. It really has a true mousse-like texture. It's the coconut whipped cream that adds lightness and also helps to firm the ingredients together, along with the coconut oil.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse |

The coconut flavor is subtle and adds an extra layer of richness. You can definitely play around with adding more melted chocolate or more or less agave. It just depends on your taste buds. 

I originally tried adding a small amount of coconut flour (you'll notice in the ingredient photo) to the mix for added coconut flavor, but the flour also added a slight gritty texture that was not so pleasant for mousse. But without it, we were golden.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse |

Print Recipe!

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

gluten-free, vegan // yields: 4, 1/2-cup servings

  • 6 - 8 tablespoons vegan semi-sweet/dark chocolate chips (I used 54% cocoa - standard size chips)
  • 1, 13.5oz can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 2-4 tablespoons agave nectar, divided (or coconut syrup)
  • 1, 12oz block firm silken tofu
  • 3 tablespoons softened unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of fine grain sea salt
  • toasted flaked coconut

Melt the chocolate using a double-boiler over low heat or in 30-second increments in your microwave, stirring after each. Set aside to cool for 10-15 minutes (not in the fridge).

Open your fully chilled can of coconut milk. Scoop out only the solid coconut cream from the top of the can and place it in a mixing bowl. Add 1 tablespoon agave and beat until smooth with soft peaks, about 1 minute (yields appx. 3/4 cup). Transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge.

Place tofu, coconut oil, melted + cooled chocolate, 1 tablespoon agave, vanilla, and salt in your blender. Blend working to high speed until fully smooth. Scrape the sides as needed. Taste and add more melted chocolate and/or agave if desired. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Add a 1/2 cup of the coconut cream to the chocolate mixture and fold together until combined. Cover and refrigerate remaining coconut cream. Portion mousse into 4 dessert cups with plastic wrap draped lightly on the surface of the mousse. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and serve with a dollop of coconut cream and toasted coconut. Will keep in the fridge for about 3 days.


  • Be certain you buy "silken" tofu that typically comes in a cardboard container and is not refrigerated. Also look that the box says "firm." If there is only extra-firm that should also work. If you can only find soft, the pudding my not firm up as much. Adding a bit more whipped coconut cream and 1-2 tablespoons more coconut oil should help.
  • This can be made one day ahead. Cover the mousse and refrigerate, waiting to portion into cups until before serving. Give the mousse a quick whip with a whisk, portion into cups, top if desired and serve.
  • If you want a thick layer of coconut whipped cream over the mousse, refrigerate 2 cans of full fat coconut milk and whip the coconut cream from both cans with 2 tablespoons agave. Use 1/2 cup in the mousse mixture and reserve the rest for topping.
  • Feel free to sub honey instead of agave if not vegan.
  • The higher the cocoa content of your chocolate, the richer and less sweet this dessert will be. Add agave in small increments until it's to your liking.
Vegan Chocolate Mousse |


To enter: Leave a comment below about your favorite Fair Trade products or anything to do with Mother's Day (something about your mom, maybe your brunch menu, etc.)

Giveaway details: 1 winner will receive all of the Fair Trade certified items you see a few photos up. Giveaway ends Friday, May 8th at 5pm EST.

Good luck!!


A big thank you to Fair Trade USA and all of the wonderful companies who participated in this campaign. 

| just love coffee roasters | whole foods market | barkthins | lake champlain chocolates | | wholesome! | traditional medicinals | nutiva | numi organic tea | unreal | eco lips |
arrowhead mills | vosges haut-chocolat | simple truth | near east | cascadian farm | prana |

This giveaway was sponsored by Fair Trade USA and the companies mentioned above. I was not compensated for this post.