As summer tends to be for many, I have been completely MANIC between work, school, studying and growing a human, which is why there has been a marked lack of posting around here for which I am truly sorry. But this week’s recipe is my version of the best apology ever, cause let’s face it: nothing says I’m sorry better than chocolate. Or diamonds. But I don’t have any of the latter since unfortunately I wasn’t busy winning the lottery. So instead you will have to accept this ridiculous new recipe for my Raw Snickers Bars.
Snickers bars actually hold a special place in my childhood memories since my mom used to steal every single one out of my trick or treat bag each hallowe’en (in case they were “poisonous”, of course…) – and I suspect this version would be nicked by her peanut and chocolate loving fingers just as quick! The secret to their deliciousness lies in creating a delicious caramel center with creamy medjool dates and all-natural peanut butter instead of the chemical cocktail used to make the traditional version.
Now you may have noticed that dates are not something I use regularly in my baking since even though it’s natural they are still very high in sugar. But they also boast a ton of other nutritional benefits which makes them a great option to enjoy from time to time, particularly when looking to create a caramel-like texture and flavour.
First, they are crazy high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which makes them real miracle workers when it comes to keeping things regular and aiding detoxification/elimination (much like there geriatric shrivelled cousin, the prune – but tastier). They also contain good doses of vitamin A, which protects the eyes and maintains healthy skin and mucus membranes; and vitamin K, which is a blood coagulant that is also critical in maintaining bone health. Dates are also high in calming magnesium and stress busting B vitamins (which I guess is why I feel so zen after enjoying one of these Raw Snickers Bars….). And in case you need more motivation to get your butt to the kitchen, studies show that due to their broad mineral spectrum, eating dates in moderation can protect your cells from free radical damage and help prevent against stroke, coronary heart disease and the development of colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers.
And the best part about this recipe is that there is no cooking required, a key selling point for those who’d rather starve than turn their oven on during this Toronto heat wave. Or those who are cooking a baby and feel rather like an oven themselves but want, need, chocolate…
So bust out that food processor and whip up a batch of these incredibly rich and delicious Raw Snickers Bars. Unlike neglectful old me you will not be sorry!
The Natural Blonde
P.s. Even though not living together means my raw snickers bars are safe from my mama, they aren’t safe from my husband who hasn’t yet got the memo that stealing your pregnant wife’s chocolate is a terrible idea… (insert a million angry faced emojis).
Raw Snickers Bars
For the base:
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 1 cup raw pecans
- 1 Tbsp. coconut sugar or xylitol
- 1.5 Tbsp ground flax seeds
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. coarse sea salt
- 1 Tbsp. coconut nectar or brown rice syrup (honey or maple syrup could work too but may change the flavour)
- 1.5 tsp. coconut oil
For the Peanut Butter Caramel:
- 10 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked in hot water for 10 mins.
- ¼ cup natural peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp. non-dairy milk
- 1 Tbsp. coconut nectar or brown rice syrup
- ⅓ cup peanut halves, roasted or raw (I used roasted)
For the chocolate top:
- 125g 70% dark chocolate (preferably organic), chopped
Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil and place a strip of parchment paper along the bottom (this will allow you to easily lift out the bars when they are set).
Place all ingredients for the base in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Pour into the prepared loaf pan, pushing it down evenly along the bottom. Place in the freezer while you make the caramel layer.
Rinse the food processor bowl (sorry – added work, I know, but you gotta), and then place all caramel ingredients in the processor except the peanuts. Process until completely smooth, pushing down the sides as necessary. When finished, add in the peanut halves and stir to combine. Pour on top of the bottom layer, again evenly distributing, and place back in the freezer while you melt the chocolate.
Place the chocolate in a small saucepan and slowly melt over low heat (too hot and it will burn). When completely melted, remove the loaf pan from the freezer and pour the chocolate over the caramel layer, again distributing evenly. Place back in the freezer for at least 30 minutes but ideally an hour or more.
When ready, simply life out the finished product and cut into bars (no judgement on size!). Place any uneaten bars back in the freezer for storage until time to enjoy.