by Antoniya Dzhadzheva, R.H.N. (www.nutritiousplants.com)

Vegan, gluten-free and free of refined sugar, these bars are so gooey and utterly delicious!

If you have a sweet tooth like me, you should definitely give this recipe a try! Nuts, oats, date caramel and dark chocolate combine together in the perfect bite. For all the Snickers lovers out there, these bars are such a nutritious and wholesome swap that tastes just as good. They are also super easy to make. It only takes some patience while waiting for them to set in the freezer. But isn’t patience the key to everything good in life? 🙂

CHOCOLATE SALTED DATE CARAMEL BARS

VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE & FREE OF REFINED SUGAR

YIELD: makes 10 bars

INGREDIENTS:

For the biscuit layer

  • 1 cup of mixed raw nuts

  • 1/2 cup of GF oats

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1 tbsp of maca

  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil

For the salted date caramel layer

  • 10 pitted Medjool dates

  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil

  • Pinch of salt

  • 3 tbsp of coconut milk

  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup

For the chocolate layer

  • 1/4 cup of cacao

  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil

  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup

TIPS AND COMMENTS:

  • Adding maca is optional. However, if you have it in your pantry, I highly recommend adding it, since it’s a superfood with hormone balancing properties.

  • Before you start making the recipe, place your coconut milk in the fridge or freezer so that it can harden up. Use only the thick part on the top of the can.

  • I highly recommend not swapping the Medjool dates for any other sort of dates. They are so juicy and have a caramel taste that is essential for making the salted date caramel layer.

  • The nut mixture I used contains hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds and cashews.

  • For these bars I used a silicon bar mold with the following dimensions for each separate bar department: 7.7cm length, 2.7cm width and 2cm depth. I ended up making 10 bars. Alternatively, you can use a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Make sure to line the sides of the pan as well so that the bars don’t stick to them.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a food processor, blend up all the biscuit layer ingredients (nuts, oats, salt, maca and coconut oil) into a wet crumbly dough consistency. Pause to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl if needed.

  2. Transfer the mixture evenly into 10 silicon bar molds or into a lined with parchment paper loaf pan.

  3. Firmly press down the dough using your fingers and place into the freezer while moving to the next step.

  4. Using a high speed blender or food processor, blend up all the salted date caramel layer ingredients (dates, salt, coconut oil, coconut milk and maple syrup) into a sticky consistency. Don’t worry if it’s not perfectly homogeneous.

  5. Again, transfer the caramel evenly into the silicon bar molds or into the loaf pan. Using a knife, make sure the caramel layer covers the whole biscuit layer. Transfer into the freezer again while preparing the chocolate layer.

  6. For the chocolate layer, over low heat in a saucepan, combine together the cacao with the coconut oil and maple syrup.

  7. Next, pour the chocolate layer evenly over the caramel layer and let the bars set in the freezer for another 2-3 hours.

  8. Once set, take the bars out of the silicon molds. If you’ve used a loaf pan, using the parchment paper on the sides, take the bar out of the pan and cut into slices.

  9. You can store the bars in the freezer to keep them firm and cold.

  10. Enjoy!

Hope you liked today’s recipe!

As always, sending you much love,

Antoniya