I’m not a vegan. I could never be, a vegan. I think people who “GO VEGAN” are beautiful creatures. I mean, seriously, vegans have gorgeous skin, flowing hair and a peaceful way about them that is just so enticing. I’ve tossed around the idea of converting but I’m pretty sure my husband would suffocate me in my sleep with a pillow. He’s already having insurmountable troubles with what is currently inhabiting our cabinets. I received the coconut oil lecture last night and my response was: “That’s why my immune system is top notch and you currently have strep throat.” The past few months, I have really tried to incorporate some vegan principles into my diet and I have tried to focus on consuming more raw foods. Your diet naturally should be about 60% raw. Our bodies are not made to digest so much processed, cooked foods and once in a while, it’s worth it to give your colon a break. For real. The past week I have bit a little bit lazy in the salad department, eating mostly turkey sandwiches for lunch but generally a generous salad fills my body five days a week at noon with lots of fruits for snacking. Vegan inspired or raw desserts really let you have the best of both worlds, they are typically made with rich items such as raw cocoa, avocado and agave nectar so you get the sweet without all the sugar. This recipe surprised me with its authentic taste. I would have never guessed it wasn’t a snickers bar, outside of the slightly different texture. And the chocolate is so deep that half of one was more than enough for me to feel like I indulged.
A food processor is a must for this recipe as dates are really something to blend. My food processor fought me a little bit initially but in the end, the dates transformed into a rich, amazing “caramel”. I found Medjool dates on sale at Whole Foods last night so that was a plus, the first time I purchased them I almost fainted when I saw the price. Eating healthy is an investment, I will definitely say that. You have to be ready for that total at check out. You could certainly buy a cheaper kind and truthfully, I’m not sure there would be much of a difference.
I found assembly to be a dream. When my hands got sticky from the “nougat”, I simply washed them and kept them a little moist to help form the bottom later. For the “caramel” I spooned it into a piping bag and piped thin layers on top of the “nougat” layer. It had a beautiful texture that was easy to work with. Then, I sprinkled some raw peanuts on top to add some much needed texture. The amount you use is completely up to you, I just did enough to cover.
The only problem I ran into and I wouldn’t even really call it a problem, was with the chocolate. It came together like a dream, producing this silky product that tasted divine. However, when it came time for spreading the chocolate, I found that it was quite difficult. Patience is a must because it is pretty thick. Basically, you have to make sure your snickers bars (the nougat and the caramel/nuts) are pretty frozen, then one by one you have to carefully smooth this chocolate over the entire thing. Time consuming, a little, but the end result is completely worth it.
The finished product may not be the most perfect looking little guy but it sure was good and to me, that is what matters the most. These can be kept at room temperature but I like them a little on the cold side. I also used the freezer to speed up the hardening of the chocolate. Give these to your kids as a treat and don’t feel bad about it because the ingredients are top notch and good for you.
RAW & VEGAN SNICKERS BARS
1/2 cup almond flour
1/3 cup raw agave nectar
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup medjool dates and enough water to cover them
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
FOR THE PEANUT TOPPING
1 cup raw peanuts, divided (3/4 for topping on caramel, 1/4 for crushed on finished product)
FOR THE CHOCOLATE COATING
1/2 cup lite agave nectar
3/4 cup raw cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
To make the nougat: pulse the almond flour, agave nectar and sliced almonds in your food processor until relatively smooth. The almonds will remain a little chunky, that’s perfectly fine. Shape into small logs on parchment paper and put in the freezer.
To make the caramel: pulse all ingredients together in your food processor until creamy and thick, adding the least amount of water you can. Fill a piping bag with the caramel mixture, pipe onto the tops of each nougat log. Top with peanuts and place in the freezer.
To make the chocolate coating: pulse all ingredients together in your food processor until nice and smooth.
Spread chocolate over each one, place in the freezer to harden up and then enjoy!