Blueberry Bliss Bars
I love this versatile recipe which I originally adapted from my dear friend Sarah B’s Raw Cashew Dreamcake at mynewroots.org. The nut and date base and silky cashew filling is ultra satisfying – like the best cheesecake ever – without all the dairy, wheat and refined sugar. Being nutrient dense and an excellent source of protein and healthy fats you can indulge and nourish at the same time. It’s a win-win!
- Use a 8×12″ brownie pan to yield bars or squares to feed a crowd (or stock your freezer). If you’d like to turn this into a cake you could alternatively use a 9″ round springform pan and decorate the top with extra blueberries… or chocolate.. or bee pollen.. or sliced mango… Just sayin’!
- 2 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
- 2 cups raw almonds or Brazil nuts (or combination of the two) – don’t soak these!
- 16-18 soft medjool dates, pits removed
- 1 cup unrefined virgin coconut oil, melted
- 3/4 cup blueberries
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- Juice of 1 medium lemon (about 1/4-1/3 cup)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lecithin granules (optional stabilizer)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Line an 8×12″ brownie pan with parchment paper (or line the bottom of a 9″ round springform pan).
- To a food processor with S blade add almonds and/or Brazil nuts plus 1/4 tsp sea salt and pulse until small chunks form. Don’t over process or you’ll end up with almond butter! At the chunky stage gradually add the pitted medjool dates a few at a time until all have been incorporated into the nuts to form a doughy consistency that holds its shape if pressed together. If too crumbly add a few more dates.
- Using clean hands press the nut/date mixture into the bottom of your pan to form a base for the bars. Optional: place pan in freezer while preparing the filling to allow it to set.
- Drain and rinse the cashews, discarding the water used for soaking. Add the drained cashews to a blender along with coconut oil, blueberries, maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla extract, remaining 1/4 tsp sea salt and optional lecithin granules. Blend for 1-2 minutes scraping down sides of blender until fully combined and silky smooth.
- Pour cashew/blueberry mixture into cake pan covering the base you prepared in step 3, smoothing with a spatula to form an even layer. Return to freezer for for 2-3 hours or longer until fully set. Overnight freezing is best especially if you use a smaller, deeper pan resulting in a thicker product (like a 9″ round cake).
- Remove from freezer and lift sheet of bars out of cake pan using parchment paper and place on a large cutting board. I find this combination is easy to cut right out of the freezer but if you find it too hard allow it to soften on your counter for a few minutes. Cut into bars or squares of any shape and size. Tip: this is a nutrient dense, protein and fat rich recipe so a small serving goes a long way to satisfy.
Tip: the optional lecithin granules act as a stabilizer so the bars hold their shape better when out of the freezer.
Storage: it’s best to store the bars in your freezer until serving. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one month.