The concept of raw vegan desserts can sound daunting and exotic. Or if you have never heard of raw vegan desserts, you might be thinking that something uncooked, without eggs, sugar, butter and flour surely wouldn’t taste like dessert. However, raw vegan desserts are super easy and fun and most importantly, taste like dessert! “Baking” with raw ingredients yields deep, fresh flavors that are healthy and satisfying.
There are 3 layers in these bars. First, there is a nutty, lightly sweetened crust, then a gooey caramel filling made of dates and finally a layer of simple and healthy dark chocolate. This dark chocolate is made of coconut oil, maple syrup and cacao.
Coconut oil has been getting a lot of attention lately in the health community. Some people think it’s a superfood, while others think it’s just an oil with high amounts of saturated fats. Coconut oil is high in saturated fats, but it’s the kind with “medium-length” fatty acid chains, instead of “long-length” fatty acid chains. These medium length chains metabolize differently and are healthier than the longer ones
Coconut is especially helpful during pregnancy. It is high in lauric acid (the second highest source after breast milk, according to Mother and Baby online), which helps yours and your baby’s immune system. A couple teaspoons can alleviate the symptoms of heartburn, morning sickness, and constipation. There has also been research to suggest that it helps with digestion, weight loss, and preventing a multitude of diseases. Coconut oil also has antimicrobial properties that can help with bacterial and fungal infections.
So it is a healthier choice than animal fats, but it still should be used mindfully. Coconut oil can also be used as a moisturizer for hair, skin, nails, and used as a shaving cream. Its vitamin E and moisturizing qualities are also said to fade and prevent stretch marks. Goodbye diaper rash and hello glowing skin (and delicious chocolate caramel bars of course!)
¾ - 1 cup nuts (pecans and almonds recommended)
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
¼ cup oats
1 and ¼ cup dates (medjool recommended)
½ inch piece of vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup coconut oil
⅜ cup cacao or cocoa powder
maple syrup to taste (start with 1 tablespoon)
Also: Extras for studding:
-Other nuts or anything you desire!
Pulse the crust ingredients in a food processor until you get a crumbly mixture. Take some of the crumbles and pinch and form it to see if it holds its shape. If it is too crumbly, pulse the mixture a little longer. When you are done pulsing and it is the right consistency, press the crumbles into an 8 inch x 8 inch pan. You can use the bottom of a flat measuring cup to press down firmly. Set in the freezer while you make the caramel.
Process the caramel ingredients until smooth and layer on crust. Put back into freezer while you make the chocolate.
Melt the coconut oil in a small bowl. Mix in the cacao and maple syrup. Pour evenly over the caramel layer and stud with pecans.
All Original Content. Copyright Athena Byers 2015, All Rights Reserved.