October 22, 2010

Recipe: Decadent Chocolate Layered Nut Bars


So there I was craving a decadent desert the other night... and since I am on my 100% grain free kick (usually just gluten free, and I'll eat corn, rice and quinoa, but I've eliminated those for 30 days) I had to come up with something delicious that would make me forget about the big fat gluten free cupcakes I wanted.

This is how the process works girls! You have to think of the ingredients you want, and find substitutes and stay within your range of eating style. Especially if you have dietary restrictions like I do, or are simply trying to lose that baby weight, keep from putting on the baby weight, or just want something you can devour without feeling guilty about it. =)

I was craving the flavors of chocolate, nuts and coconut. So here is what I came up with; mix, press, refrigerate, and enjoy!

1 Cup Organic Raw Cashews
1/2 Cup Organic Raw Almonds, slivered
1 Cup Organic Raw Coconut, shredded
1 Cup Organic Dates, chopped
2 Tbsp Organic Raw Coconut Oil
1 Tbsp Organic Raw Honey
1/4-1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Organic, Gluten Free Vanilla (or inside of 2 vanilla beans)
1 Heaping Scoop Raw Maca Powder

Chop ingredients in food processor (depending on size of food processor you may have to do it in two batches).
Spoon nut mixture into an 8x8 or 9x9 pan or glass baking dish greased with 1 tsp. raw coconut oil. Using a piece of parchment paper (or wax paper works too) press mixture firmly into the pan, pressing on the top and edges with the palm of your hand until solid. Set aside.

Using a double broiler (a glass bowl on top of a sauce pan with a cup or two of boiling water works), slowly melt approximately 1 1/2 - 2 cups organic raw cacao butter. You will need to shave the block of cacao butter so that it melts quicker and doesn't over-heat, losing it's raw properties.

Slowly stir in:

1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. stevia powder
1 Scoop (approx. 1 heaping tbsp) either Lacuma or Mesquite powder
3-4 Heaping Tbsp. of Raw Cacao Powder

I always have to play around a bit with the amounts of cacao and sweetener... Add the sweetener and cacao powder to your liking, there is no "wrong" with raw chocolate, unless it tastes awful, ha ha. But just keep playing around with your sweeteners! Sometimes I like to add a dash of cayenne pepper or cinnamon!

As soon as all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly and clumps are dissolved, remove from heat (as quickly as possible) and set aside. Allow to cool for about 3-5 minutes.

Pour chocolate evenly over the pressed nut mixture. Place in refrigerator and allow to cool for 45-90 minutes.

Some tasty twists include spreading Nutella on top of the cooled bars (if you have no milk allergies and aren't avoiding sugar) or sprinkling shredded coconut on top of the cacao prior to cooling. Both are fun and yummy, and the bars 'naked' are my fav. =)

Enjoy your raw, gluten free, superfood packed sweet treat with zero guilt, and share with family and friends to really impress ;)




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