So let’s talk about legendary recipes. I’d say most families have them. Whether it’s grandma’s famous pie recipe passed down from generation to generation, dad’s special lasagna, or your uncle’s secret sauce recipe. It’s funny how the really good ones have a way of sticking around.
Well, after spending a few years now constantly trying new recipes and coming up with different combinations, I’d like to think I’ve created a few of those type. The ones that will be repeated over and over because they’re just that good. Of course, I’d be the first to admit that not all my recipe testing has been 5-star-restaurant worthy. There have definitely been some epic fails and if you don’t believe me you can just ask my family because clearly they don’t mind backing me up on this.
A few days ago I was trying to prove this point about smoothies and when I asked my 15-year-old brother to validate what I was saying he was more than willing to tell how many times I’ve made some really bad smoothies. Haha, I know I asked him to agree with me but I was also like “You could have hesitated just a little bit before agreeing so fast.” Hey, at least he’s honest, right?
But anyway, today isn’t about smoothies, it’s about these snickers bars that have had a healthy makeover. Out of all my best recipe creations, I’d say the homemade snickers bars I made a few years ago are still near the top of my family’s list. It’s just, I’ve been wondering if it were possible to create a healthy version of them and I’m so excited to share these because I was really happy with how they turned out. I think I nailed it with this one, guys, if I do say so myself.
Even my pickiest, “veggie-allergic” siblings said they liked them. I mean, let’s be real, my honest brothers admitted they would never be able to choose them over the originals but that they were surprised something healthy was that good.
So these bars don’t need any baking and there really are only a few ingredients in them. Now, I’m not a vegan, or a dietitian, or anything but, being in the food biz, I have read a little about different ways of eating so I at least know a little about the raw vegan thing. I’m not 100% sure what qualifies as “raw” but I’m pretty sure these do. In my book they’re raw. I mean, there’s no heat involved aside from melting the chocolate for the top and that should be done at the lowest temps possible anyway.
The main thing is that these are a much better option to eating candy bars no matter who you are. They’re gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and yata-yata-yata, you get the point -> “healthy”.
If you thought a healthified version of your favorite candy bar could never taste amazing, think again. These sneaky treats are quick and don't require any baking.
- 2 cups pitted dates (220g)
- 2 tablespoons(32g) natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup coconut cream (60ml) *see note
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup prepared date caramel (recipe above)
- 1/2 cup (65g) raw peanuts
- 1/2 cup (65g) raw cashews
- 1/3 cup (50g) gf oat flour
- 2/3 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut shreds
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate (vegan if needed)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- 1 tablespoon coconut cream *see note
- The first step is soaking the dates. They need at least 2 hours to blend well, but up to overnight is even better. Simply place them in a glass or metal bowl and pour boiling water (or very hot) over them and let them sit until softened.
- Drain the dates and add them to a blender or food processor along with the other ingredients for the date caramel. Pulse until completely smooth and blended.
- Scrape the caramel into a separate bowl and add about 1/4 cup of it back to the blender. Add the other ingredients for the crust layer to the blender and pulse until it comes together into a thick, slightly crumbly mixture (you'll most likely need to scrape the sides a few times between pulses).
- Line a medium sized pan (such as an 8x8 or a 9x11) with parchment and press the crust mixture into it tightly.
- Now add the rest of the prepared date caramel to the top and smooth into an even layer with a rubber spatula. Chill in the freezer for at least an hour.
- Melt the coconut oil and unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler over low heat, stirring gently. Once smoothly melted, stir in the maple or honey and pour out over the top of the chilled bars. Allow the chocolate to set before cutting into bars and serving slightly chilled.
- Store in the fridge in an airtight container.
Coconut cream can be purchased on it's own at stores like Trader Joe's or you can simply use a can of full-fat coconut milk. Chill the can and use the thick cream on the top of the can that separates from the liquid.