Everyone must have mango on their minds right now.
I definitely have a lot of recipes for mango and people have been bumping into some of my old mango treats lately: Raw Tropical Mango Pie, Thai Tempeh Lettuce Wraps with Mango Ginger Sauce, and Mango Shrikhand. If you have scurried to purchase dried mango for the Raw Tropical Pie, place some aside for these delicious bars.
Even before I got my own dehydrator, I knew not all dried fruit were equal.
Now with my dehydrator, I also know it isn’t always easy to dehydrate fruit.
Apple chips are super easy. I just slice and dehydrate at 135F overnight, around 8 hours. I prefer thin slices to get a crisp chip. Thicker slices are nice when you want something to chew on. I’ve added cinnamon, cardamom and pumpkin pie spices but still prefer the plain variety.
I experimented with homemade unsweetened and maple syrup-sweetened dried cranberries, but my efforts didn’t work out so well. I tried to split the skins by blanching them, but that worked only sporadically and thus, I ended up slicing each cranberry individually. Even then, I must have over dehydrated them because they were very dry… oops!
Dehydrated pineapple has such a concentrated flavour, packed with sugar, that it almost seemed like I was eating a chew candy.
And there are some fruits that never make it to the dehydrator, like mangoes. Why dehydrate them when you can eat them fresh?
Just as we have become picky about which fresh mangoes we prefer (Honey, Alphonso and Ataulfo), not all dried mangoes are created equal.
The best dried mangoes we’ve come across are the Philippine brand dried mangoes. They occasionally go on sale at Loblaws, T&T and can also be found at Costco. They are sweet and juicy. The dried mangoes at Better Bulk (as much as I love the store) and Bulk Barn are a shame next to them, as are the packs from Sunny’s. Sadly, the Philippine brand ain’t cheap.
With all that being said, if you find yourself with any dried mangoes at all, make these bars.
They are the best granola bar I have tried and eerily taste so good I could sell them. I am so glad that Lisa decided to share her recipe for Holy Delicious Mango Bars! I had been pining the recipe even before I had my dehydrator, actually. I’ve made granola bars before, but those had refined sugars and butter. I’ve also made oodles of raw energy treats, but they were usually more date-heavy.
I knew Rob would love them, but had to figure out when to make them to keep them as a surprise for him. I won’t give away my secret… A humming dehydrator is hard to conceal. But oh so totally worth it.. and trust me, these are so much better than those silly packaged bars. Do they even come in mango flavours, eh? Or the flavour of love? hahaha! ;)
These are incredibly flavourful, packed to the brim with goodies like nuts, seeds, oats, coconut and raisins and dates for sweetness. Oh, and dried mango, too. Dehydrating brings everything together, with a firm feeling. If you don’t have a dehydrator, try your hand at freezing it instead.
These are part of my recent crack obsession but they were very satisfying without being cloyingly sweet.
Raw Mango Energy Bars
Adapted from Vegan Lisa
2/3 cup dried mango, soaked for 1 hour and drained
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup raw almonds
3/4 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup rolled oats (fyi, these are not technically raw)
3/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/8 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 tsp sea salt
1. First of all, if you don’t have a big food processor, consider cutting the recipe in half, or work in two batches.
2. First, process the drained mango, dates, and vanilla in a food processor until you have a very smooth paste.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until everything is well combined but some texture in the nuts and seeds are retained (I had some real big almond chunks!).
4. On parchment paper or a Teflex sheet, press the mixture into a square or rectangle (mine was around 8×8″ but it depends how thick you would like your bars).
5. Dehydrate at 110F for 6 hours. Flip onto a mesh and continue to dehydrate for another 6 hours at 110F. Cut into bars. (If you don’t have a dehydrator place the bars in the freezer to firm up.)
6. Store at room temperature (will keep for 2 weeks if they even last that long!) or in the freezer.
Makes 28 bars.