Lightly oil the sides of an 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Combine coconut, oats, seeds, carob powder, and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor. Process for about 30 seconds, or until ingredients are finely chopped. Add dates, vanilla, and salt. Process for 1 minute, or until mixture begins to stick together and starts to form a ball. Add a tablespoon of warm water if necessary to make the mixture stick together.
Transfer to the prepared pan and press evenly with the back of a wooden spoon. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
If using, spread icing evenly over and cut into 2-inch squares.
Bars will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. Store in a parchment-lined tin or plastic container with tight-fitting lid.
Makes 16 (2-Inch) Bars
3 ⁄ 4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 ⁄ 2 cup rolled oats
1 ⁄ 2 cup shelled raw sunflower seeds or hemp seeds
1 ⁄ 3 cup carob or cocoa powder
1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1 ⁄ 2 cups coarsely chopped dates
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 ⁄ 4 cup Chocolate Icing (page 207), or store-bought (optional)
From "The Reducetarian Solution: How The Surprisingly Simple Act of Reducing The Amount of Meat in Your Diet Can Transform Your Health and The Planet" edited by Brian Kateman (Penguin Random House). Recipe developed by Pat Crocker. Photo by Ashleigh Amoroso.