An exotic sweet n’ salty snack featuring antioxidant rich black rice! Toasted sesame and sweet cranberries pair perfectly with the nuttiness of the black rice, while roasted almonds add satisfying crunch. Vegan, gluten-free, and naturally sweetened, these snack bars will reignite your love of whole grains!
Thank you Village Harvest for sponsoring this post. Check out the product locator to find delicious, healthy products at Village Harvest stores near you!
My love of black rice started last year when I visited a local restaurant that is home to the only ‘black rice bar’ in the country. Whether that title is true or not, they make some pretty darn amazing vietnamese/thai/burmese dishes with black rice. After trying several of their dishes (including a curry that was SERVED IN A KABOCHA!!!) and even recreating one of them on my own, I had a whole new appreciation for rice. Specifically…black rice.Black rice is really incomparable to any other grain. Not only in its outer appearance and rich pigment, but in its taste and nutrient profile! Nutty and earthy in flavor, yet not overpowering when served alongside or in a recipe with other foods. It’s chewy, yet soft and I think it’s much more filling than basic white or brown rice varietals.I’ve been meaning to use it again in a recipe or months now, but I just never got around to it. Such is life as a blogger! Luckily, I was presented with the perfect opportunity to experiment with this deliciously, dark whole grain when I received a few bags of it from Village Harvest.Village Harvest is changing the game when it comes to whole grains. Their products are sourced through direct relationships with farmers and they are committed to supporting communities and sustainable harvesting. I love that they pledge a portion of their yearly profits to global programs that bolster education programs for children, build schools, and provide clothes and food to those in need.In 2016, Village Harvest is on a mission to introduce more people to whole grain goodness! Natural, unprocessed, and full of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, you really can’t get anything better in a food. I don’t need any convincing myself (whole grains are already a part of my everyday diet) but I love that they’re looking out for the health of others. You gotta love a company that promotes wellness through their business practices AND their products!
Black rice is so unique on its own that I thought it deserved an especially creative recipe to showcase it. No bowls or stirfries. No fillings for stuffed veggies or bland side dishes. This special grain called for something never been done before.Toasted Sesame & Cranberry Black Rice Bars. How’s that for different? 🙂
Luckily, it all worked out…for me and for you.
Toasted Sesame & Cranberry Black Rice Bars
Keywords: bake breakfast side snack gluten-free low-sodium sugar-free soy-free vegan vegetarian
Ingredients (9 bars)
- 1 cup cooked Village Harvest black rice
- ½ cup almond meal
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup roasted almonds, chopped
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
- ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 3 tbsp honey (maple syrup or agave if you are strict vegan)
- ½ cup natural tahini
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350. Blend rice, almond meal, rolled oats, ginger, and salt in a food processor. Add almonds, cranberries, and sesame seeds. On low, heat oil, honey, and tahini, stir until warm and combined. Pour over rice mixture. Use your hands to mix everything together thoroughly. Press down mixture into an 8×8 baking dish that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool on a wire wrack completely before slicing and serving.
Crumbly, dense, and full of different flavors and textures. I promise, you’ve never had a sweet n’ salty snack quite like these before.Vegan, gluten-free, and bursting with all sorts of flavor. These bars are the ultimate superfood snack! The black rice itself is full of iron and heart-healthy nutrients. In addition, sesame seeds, tahini, and almonds add healthy fats, oats contribute more whole grain fiber, and dried cranberries provide just the right amount of sweetness.Just like black rice itself, these bars may look intimidating, but in reality, they are so easy to make! No more difficult than a standard homemade granola bar. Speaking of granola? These bars make an EPIC granola topping! Crumble some over your favorite yogurt, non-dairy milk, or oatmeal bowl for a nice change. The possibilities with these creative bars are endless. Versatile, tasty, and not to mention nutritious!
So did I pique your interest? Are you ready to go out of your comfort zone with your whole grain consumption this year? Black rice is the place to start in my opinion! And now you have no excuses since I have the perfect recipe for you to use it in. Funny how that all works out. 😉
To find Village Harvest at a store near you, use their product locator!
Are you looking to branch out a little bit with your eats this year?
Have you ever had black rice?
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.