Chocolate Cherry Date Bars (Paleo, Vegan)


I love the combination of cherries and almonds (as seen in my previous posts: Cherry Almond Smoothie and Almond Cherry Thumbprint Jam Cookies). These date bars are similar to a Lara Bar and are bursting with the flavours of cherries, almonds, and chocolate. Perfect for an afternoon power lift or grab and go snack.

Sansational!

 

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Makes about seven bars

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raw almonds
10 Medjool dates, pitted
½ cup dried cherries or cranberries
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tbsp cacao powder
¼ cup chocolate chips (I use dairy free, Enjoy Life brand)
dash or two of sea salt
¼ tsp almond extract or 1 tsp vanilla (optional)

 

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor (I used a Vitamix) until a sticky mixture is formed.

2. Grab a small handful and shape into small square bars or balls.

Enjoy!

 

Sansational Tips:

1. Any combination of dried fruits or nuts will work with this recipe. If you don’t have dried cherries, dried cranberries are delicious too!

2. Look for apple juice sweetened dried cranberries, cherries, and/or blueberries, instead of the one sweetened with sugar.  I recently bought a mixed bag at Costco and my local health food store always has apple juice sweetened dried cranberries.




Pecan Chocolate "Shortbread" Bars (Paleo, Vegan)


If you are looking for a nutty, sweet bar, then this is the bar for you. Perfect for that afternoon craving. They won’t last long as these are a taste explosion.

Sansational!

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FOR THE SHORTBREAD CRUST

6 tsp coconut oil
2 cups almond flour or almond meal
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt

FOR THE CARAMEL FILLING

1 and 1/4 cup Medjool dates, pitted
1 tbsp almond butter (or nut butter of choice)
1 tbsp almond milk, or more if needed
pinch of fine grain sea salt

FOR THE CHOCOLATE TOPPING

1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp maple syrup (or a little more if you like it sweeter)

AND

21 pecan halves (more/less depending on the number of your bars)

 

1. TO MAKE THE SHORTBREAD CRUST: Line a 8 x 10 baking dish with parchment paper.

2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the coconut oil. Remove from heat and add the almond flour/meal, maple syrup, and salt. Mix until well combined.

3. Pour in parchment-lined dish and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes until almost set (don’t worry if a little wet looking in the middle).

4. TO MAKE THE CARAMEL FILLING: Soak dates in water until soft (only if necessary) and drain. Place pitted dates, almond butter, milk, and salt in the food processor and process until almost smooth.

5. Spread the caramel layer over top of the crust until it’s as smooth and even as you can get it. Place back in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to set.

6. TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE TOPPING: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the coconut oil. Mix in the cocoa powder and maple syrup and stir until smooth.

7. Pour evenly over the caramel filling. Place back in freezer until set (about 10-15 minutes).

8. Once firm, pull the whole thing out by parchment paper and cut into desired size bars. Place a pecan half on each.

9.  Enjoy right out of the freezer.




Almond Butter Fudge with Chocolate Swirl (Paleo, Gluten-Fee, Vegan)


Adapted from Detoxinista.com

Makes 12 to 20 squares (depending how you divide it)

I had a craving for a nutty, chocolately fudge (due to post Valentine’s Day cravings and the cold weather). This fudge really fit the bill and took no more than 10 minutes to assemble.

Sansational!

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FOR THE FUDGE

1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup raw creamy almond butter (unsalted)
1 1/2 tbsp raw honey
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup finely shredded coconut

FOR THE CHOCOLATE SWIRL

1/4 coconut oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I like Giddy Yoyo)
2 tbsp maple syrup (or more if you like a sweeter taste)

1. TO MAKE THE FUDGE: Line a small container or loaf pan with parchment paper. (The smaller the container, the thicker the fudge.)

2. In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil over low heat. Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients and combine well.

3. Place the mixture in the lined container and spread out evenly.

4. TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE SWIRL: In the same small saucepan (don’t worry about washing it), melt the coconut oil over low heat. Remove from heat and add the cocoa powder and maple syrup and combine well.

5. Place the chocolate on top of the fudge mixture and swirl in with a knife.

6. Place the fudge in the freezer for about 2- 4 hours until set. Holding the parchment paper, remove from container and cut into pieces. Place the pieces back in the freezer.

7. Enjoy directly from the freezer as the fudge will melt at room temperature.




Chocolate Almond Gluten-Free Brownies (Paleo)


These are moist, chocolatey, cake-like brownies. Combining all the ingredients in one bowl makes for the quickest brownies ever. The dash of cayenne pepper adds an unexpected kick. Great for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of green tea.

Sansational!

 

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Makes 16 small squares

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2/3 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup raw cocoa
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 walnuts, chopped (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 in x 9 in pan with parchment paper.

2. Mix coconut oil, sugar, and vanilla. Stir well.

3. Add one egg at a time and stir well after each addition.

4. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well to ensure that there are no lumps.

5. Pour batter into pan and bake for 25 minutes or until centre springs back when gently touched.

6. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before cutting into squares.