Healthy Candy Bars

My sister and her family are traveling from Idaho to stay with us this weekend which we’re all very excited about! In anticipation for their stay, we made these super yummy, gluten-free and vegan candy bars that are sweetened with pure maple syrup and dates. They truly are amazing! And you store them in the freezer which means they are cold and so the perfect summer treat!

2016-06-07 10.12.16I found this recipe in Gwyneth Paltrow’s cook book and made a couple of small changes. She has you store them in the fridge, but my kids will only eat them if they’re straight out of the freezer (otherwise the bottom is too soft and they don’t like that consistency when combined with the harder chocolate/carob shell on top). The one down side to these bars is that you can’t throw this together in half hour. You have to allow it time to chill. I either make them in the morning or early afternoon so that they’re ready for dinner, or I’ll put them together in the evening and let them sit in the freezer overnight to have another day. And because they’re a frozen treat, you can enjoy them for a long time…if you can stand the temptation of them sitting in your freezer, just waiting to be eaten, that is :).

In your food processor, grind the raw cashews to a very fine meal. Add the dates and process together. Add almond butter, maple syrup, coconut flour, shredded coconut(or in my case, I used all shredded coconut and no flour…kinda turns into a flour as you mix anyway), and extract and pulse until it is a sticky ball of dough. Line a 9×13 dish with parchment paper and press the mixture into the paper. You can put a little oil or water on your hands to keep it from sticking too much. Stick it in your fridge.

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While it’s chilling, combine the chocolate or carob chips and coconut oil in a stainless steel or glass bowl and set over a pot of simmering water (make sure the water does not touch the bowl…I just did this in my veggie steaming pan with a glass dish sitting on the steamer). You could alternately just warm it up in the microwave. When I warm it in the microwave I’ll warm it for about 30 seconds on normal power, stir, then back in for 30 seconds on HALF power, stir then repeat on half power for 30 seconds until completely melted.

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Stir the mixture until it’s just melted, remove the bowl from the heat and pour the chocolate mixture over the cold cashew mixture.

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Return to fridge and let it cool until the chocolate coating is set, about 1/2 hour. Cut into rectangles and then using the parchment paper, lift the bars out of the sheet pan.

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Put in airtight container, separated by sheets of parchment paper if stacking, and freeze overnight (or for at least 3 hours).

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THE RECIPE:

Healthy Candy Bars –  Vegan and Gluten-Free; lightly adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s, ‘Candy Bars!’ recipe
*makes about 20 bars

1 1/2 c raw cashews
1 1/2 c dates, pitted 11 dates
1/2 c almond butter
1/2 c pure maple syrup
1/2 c coconut flour (I just ground my dried coconut in blender…so really I just did 1 c unsweetened coconut flakes)
1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 tsp almond (or vanilla) extract

1 1/2 c dark chocolate chips or carob chips
1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil

Grind the cashews to a very fine meal in a food processor. Add the dates and process together. Add almond butter, maple syrup, coconut flour, shredded coconut, and extract and pulse until it is a sticky ball of dough. Line a 9×13 dish with parchment paper and press the mixture into the paper. You can put a little oil or water on your hands to keep it from sticking too much. Put in the refrigerator.While that’s chilling, combine the chocolate or carob chips and coconut oil in a stainless steel or glass bowl and set over a pot of simmering water until just melted(make sure the water does not touch the bowl). You can alternately warm this up in the microwave; 30 seconds on normal power, stir, 30 seconds half power, stir then repeat at half power with stirring in between until completely melted. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cold cashew mixture. Return to fridge and let it cool until the chocolate coating is set, about 1/2 hour. Cut into rectangles and then using the parchment paper, lift the bars out of the sheet pan. Put in airtight container, separated by sheets of parchment paper if stacking, and freeze overnight (or for at least 3 hours).

*These bars need to set up in the freezer for at least 3 hours, so plan ahead.

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2 Comments

Filed under Desserts, gluten-free, vegan

2 responses to “Healthy Candy Bars

  1. Pingback: Daily Food Journal: 7 days | Real Foods Mom

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