Vegan. I know. This household is faaarrr from being Vegan, but we’re not opposed to it. Hell, we live in Portland, OR, we kind of have to not be opposed to it. Especially since two of our very good friends are vegan. But they’re not the crazy ones like the ones who balk at anything that may have even been in the near vicinity of butter or real eggs or who try to convert people around them to be vegan. They’re very relaxed about it and when they go out it’s more of a, “It’s cool, I’ll just eat around the other stuff,” Plus, when they went to Paris, Veganism was on hold because you cannot go to Paris and not eat cheese and charcuterie while sipping wine. Yeah, they’re my kind of Vegans.
Anyway, we were headed over there for dinner one night and I wanted to bring a dessert. Usually when we’d go over for dinner I would just stop at Back to Eden Bakery which is down the street from our house and who make the most wonderfully (non vegan tasting) vegan desserts. But this time I wanted to try my own. I was informed we were having not only a vegan but a Raw meal (it was a delicious ‘lasagna’ made from tons of fresh veggies and creamed cashews), which meant I was on the hunt for a vegan raw dessert.
Thank goodness for the Oh She Glows website that is a haven of vegan, raw, gluten free, nut free recipes that are all conveniently labeled. I decided to make her Elvis Bars. (Peanut butter and bananas, like Elvis’ favorite sandwich) Pretty simple, although I substituted almond butter for peanut and if I’d had enough time, I would have made my own almond butter from scratch, but I was on a time crunch. So I bought the smallest jar that I could find because that’ll be on my list of things to make!
First, the crust, which was pretty much just ground almonds held together with coconut oil and almond butter. I didn’t have a square pan, so I just used a pie dish.
Then the middle layer of bananas, coconut oil, and more almond butter.
All smoothed out and popped into the freezer to set for at least an hour and a half. I actually would have liked to have kept mine in the freezer longer, but I was running out of time.
Once they were all hardened, I cut them up into bar(esq) shapes, and with the parchment paper already underneath, it made this super easy to transfer. Also, the perfect “back-splash” for the chocolate drizzle! With a double boiler I just melted some semi-sweet baking chocolate.
Which I clearly needed. I really need to work on my chocolate drizzle skills.
Not too shabby. Although definitely lacking in the chocolate department.
They were quite delicious though. Had I eaten them without knowing they were vegan or raw, I wouldn’t have guessed! Super almondy with a hint of banana in the middle layer that was hardened by the freezing, but would instantly soften and go super creamy when you took a bite. Protein packed little dessert bars!
[recipe title=”Vegan No Bake Elvis Bars” Difficulty= “Easy”]
From Oh She Glows
FOR THE CRUST:
- 1.5 cup whole almonds
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup or coconut nectar (a natural sweetener)
- 1 tablespoon almond butter or peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of fine grain sea salt, to taste
FOR THE MIDDLE LAYER:
- 2 medium ripe bananas, peeled
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened slightly
- 2 tablespoons almond butter or peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of fine grain sea salt, to taste
FOR THE CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE:
- 4 semi-sweet baking chocolate bars
- Line an 8-inch square pan with two pieces of parchment paper (or a pie dish), one going each way. This makes it easy to lift out the bars later on.
- For the crust: Add the almonds into a food processor and process until a fine crumb forms, slightly larger than sand. Now add in the rest of the crust ingredients and process until the mixture comes together, scraping the side of the bowl as needed. The mixture should be a slightly tacky and should stick together when pressed with your fingers. If it’s not, add a very small splash of water and process again for a few seconds.
- Dump the crust mixture into the prepared pan. Smooth out evenly and then press down firmly and evenly into the pan. You can lightly wet your fingers if the crust sticks to them. Use a pastry roller to roll it very smooth, compacting it as much as possible. Place in freezer while you prepare the middle layer.
- Middle layer: Give the processor bowl a quick rinse. Add all the middle layer ingredients into the processor and process until smooth. Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the middle layer on top. Smooth out. Return to the freezer for at least 1-1.5 hours to set, until the middle layer is very firm to the touch.
- Chocolate drizzle: When the middle layer is completely solid, prepare the topping. In a small pot heat the chocolate and coconut oil on the lowest heat, stirring to combine. When half of the chips have melted, remove the pot from the heat and stir until completely melted. Remove the bars from the freezer. Lift slab out of the pan and slice into squares. Spread out the squares on a plate lined with parchment paper. Drizzle on the melted chocolate and return bars to the freezer until the chocolate is firm and the bars are solid.
- Enjoy these bars frozen, straight from the freezer. They melt very quickly so I don’t suggest leaving them out for more than a couple minutes. Wrap leftovers and store in the freezer.