healthy snickers bars (vegan) + easy raw chocolate bark …

everyone loves snickers, right? well this is a healthier version made with all-natural ingredients and has plenty of fibre. this recipe is courtesy of the detoxinista – a blog i discovered through pinterest.

ingredients
for the nougat –
1/2 cup creamy almond butter
2  tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut flour (can substitute with gluten free flour)

for the caramel filling –
12 soft medjool dates, pitted (3/4 cup packed)
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon  vanilla extract
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup chopped peanuts, or other nuts/seeds of choice

for the dark chocolate coating –
1 cup dark chocolate chunks
1 teaspoon coconut oil

method
1) to create the nougat layer, combine the almond butter, coconut flour and maple syrup in a medium bowl and mix well to combine.

2) press the dough onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper, and use your hands to create a uniform rectangle shape that is about 1/2-inch thick.

3) place in the freezer to set.

while the nougat layer is setting in the freezer, prepare the caramel filling.

4) combine the pitted dates, salt, vanilla, and coconut oil, and and water in a high-speed blender, and blend until completely smooth and creamy. you may need to stop and scrape down the blender a couple of times to make sure the caramel is blended uniformly. be sure to taste the caramel and adjust the flavor or texture, as necessary.

now this is where i had the most fun. not. i put the ingredients in the food processor. that didn’t work. then i tried the juicer/blender. nope. no go. last resort was to use my stick blender. yay! thank goodness for that! except that i was left with a messy kitchen …

5) remove the nougat layer from the freezer and spread half of the caramel filling evenly over the top, using a spatula to smooth.

this recipe makes more caramel filling than you will need to prepare for the bars. the leftover filling could be used for another batch of bars or as a dip for fresh fruit slices.

6) sprinkle the 1/4 cup of chopped peanuts, or other chopped nuts of choice, over the top of the caramel layer, and use your hands to gently press the chopped nuts into the caramel filling.

imagine my horror when i discovered that the peanuts that i bought were ‘raw’ peanuts! could anything else go wrong? anyways, i used cashews (thanks mum!).

7) place in the freezer to set for at least 30 minutes.

8) for the chocolate coating, combine the dark chocolate chunks and coconut oil in a heat-safe bowl and melt in the oven, or microwave, until completely smooth and melted.

** if you want to make your own chocolate, like i did, see recipe at the end of this post.

9) remove the nougat bar from the freezer, and slice into 6 full-size bars. slice these full-size bars in half, to create a “fun size” version, if you prefer.

10) use a spoon to spread the melted dark chocolate over the tops and sides of each bar, then pick them up to coat the bottom, as well.

11) return the chocolate-coated bars to the baking paper, and allow to set in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before serving. the longer the bars set in the freezer, the firmer they get. these bars will melt quickly if left at room temperature. serve directly from the freezer for best results.

what can i say? these little bite size choc bars are to die for! soft, chewy and sweet. not too sweet but sweet enough to satisfy your sugar craving. i loved the ‘caramel’ filling. (i wasn’t a big fan of dates before i tried this recipe. i’ve converted. and that’s a good thing because i’ve pinned that many recipes that use medjool dates). you know what else? no baking involved! fyi, my brother rated the bars a 7.5 out of 10. the others liked them too.

** easy raw chocolate bark
this is guilt-free, incredibly fast and easy to prepare. it’s loaded with healthy fats from the coconut oil, antioxidant-rich cocoa powder, and lightly sweetened with honey. this rich, dark chocolate will melt-in-your-mouth and can be enjoyed in minutes. < that is dangerous!

ingredients
2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon honey

method
1) in a small bowl, combine all three ingredients and mix until well combined. taste the mixture, and adjust sweetness, to taste.
2) transfer the chocolate mixture to a dish lined with baking paper, and smooth with a spatula.
3) place in the freezer to set for 20 minutes, then use a knife to cut into bite-sized chunks.
4) serve directly from the freezer and enjoy!
note: it’s important that the coconut oil is not melted otherwise the coconut oil and cocoa powder will separate while setting. for a smooth texture, solid or softened coconut oil is best.

“life is too short not to eat raw and it’s even shorter if you don’t.” ~ marie sarantakis

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