Vegan red velvet chocolate chip bars are gooey, rich, and get their pretty, subtle color from a vegetable! Made with just a few healthy ingredients, they’re gluten free and naturally sweet.
Happy February to all the other lovey dovey people out there! Personally, I totally get where people are coming from when they bash Valentine’s Day for being a silly holiday focused on buying things, and how we should love each other every day, and all that. I agree, it shouldn’t be about the commercialism and just buying things.
But I LOVE Valentine’s Day. Anybody that’s close to me knows I do not buy senseless things. I’m pretty frugal and would never buy something unnecessary just for the sake of buying it. What I love about Valentine’s Day is that it’s a fun, special occasion to celebrate my love for my guy, for us to get a little fancy and do something we both genuinely love, like going to see a movie or to a cool vegan restaurant if we can hunt one down in our area. In my opinion it’s not about loving “more” just on that day, it’s a fun reason to celebrate the amazing love we have all year long.
I have to admit, Valentine’s Day has other perks, too. All the pretty reds, pinks, and whites, the lovely flowers, and an emphasis on chocolate is NEVER a bad thing. I wanted to combine the signature colors of V-day and of course, I knew chocolate had to be involved. BUT obvi I wasn’t about to use some strange food coloring or gel, because a lot of food coloring is made from crushed up bugs – I know, what the hell?!
Fortunately there are some natural, vegan food dyes available now, which is so cool. But I wanted to go the natural route, which is why these vegan red velvet chocolate chip bars have a super subtle, pinkish reddish hue rather than a loud, neon vibe. If you want them more bright, feel free to grab one of the natural food colorings! Totally up to you.
The base of these bars is how I start all of my bar recipes – chickpeas and almond milk, blended together until totally smooth. This gives the bars their ooey, gooey texture, not to mention the incredible nutritional value beans have. Health and a gooey bar at the same time?! I’ll take 12. You think I’m joking, I’m not.
The only other ingredients are date paste for rich sweetness, and just a little bit of oat flour to bring the batter together. Then, we need the red! I used beet juice, and got this light, pretty color with about 3 tablespoons. You will NOT taste it at all, it’s just enough to tint the batter ever so slightly without any flavor coming through.
If we’re being honest, beets might be the one vegetable this vegan cannot stand! I don’t know what it is, the texture is weird to me and they smell like dirt. So, I guess I do know what it is. Just don’t like em! But I do love their gorgeous color, and it’s pretty easy to find small containers of beet juice at most big stores. Like I said before, feel free to use what you prefer to color them!
Fold in your vegan chocolate chips, and the bars are ready to bake! Mine took about 50 minutes, but you have to let them cool COMPLETELY before trying to cut or remove them. Promise?! I know waiting is no fun but seriously, these are SO gooey in the best way, but they will definitely fall apart and goo everywhere if you try to cut them too soon.
You can put them in the refrigerator or freezer to speed up the process, if you’re feeling really impatient! Not that I’ve ever felt that way before. Moving on!
These bars aren’t the traditional red velvet dessert, but they are a ridiculously easy, sweet treat, made with just a few healthy ingredients, that your sweetheart will totally appreciate on Valentine’s Day. And if you don’t have a sweetie, make yourself two batches because you’re amazing and deserve a vegan red velvet chocolate chip bar every damn day!
These vegan red velvet chocolate chip bars are soft, sweet, and so rich and gooey. The melty dark chocolate chips are the perfect contrast to the rich, sweet bars. These NEVER last more than a couple days at our house, and there’s only two of us here! They’re seriously that good.
Have a happy, healthy week, friends!
If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes/what you think! Take a picture and tag me @beamingbanana on Instagram. Happy baking!