Raw Strawberry Shortcake Bars
It wouldn't be summertime without a batch of these raw strawb bars in my freezer! they're pretty much my ice cream bar of choice - without pesky hidden ingredients like refined sugars. Plus, they're so easy to make (no oven required), so it's very hard to mess them up! Recipe makes about 9-12 bars, depending on how large you slice 'em.
• ½ cup almond meal
• ¼ cup coconut flour
• 8-10 medjool dates, pitted, soaked in boiling water for a few minutes, and drained
• ½ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
• 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or water/coco milk for oil-free option)
• 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water overnight (or few hours) and drained
• ⅔ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
• 2 cups strawberries, chopped into bite sized pieces
• 3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk (cashew or almond milk could work too)
• 1-2 medjool dates, pitted, soaked in boiling water for a few minutes, and drained
• 1 tsp maple syrup
• juice of 1 lemon
• extra strawberries for topping, sliced like above (optional)
1. Line a 8x8 pyrex baking dish with parchment paper, and set aside.
2. In a food processor, add all crust ingredients and pulse for a few minutes, until sticky. Add crust to the pyrex, firmly pressing onto the parchment paper. Place in freezer, and start making the filling!
3. Quickly wash out the food processor, and reuse to make the filling. Add all filling ingredients (except strawberries) and pulse for 5 or so minutes. Mixture should be creamy at this point - if there are still a few lumps, add a few tablespoons more coconut milk and pulse again. Now you can add 1 cup strawberries in the mixture and blend - OR, if you want a white filling, add the 2 cups of strawberries to the next step instead. The option is yours!
**Depending on how long you soaked the cashews, you may need to add a couple more tablespoons of coconut milk until mixture is fully blended. Also, if you don't have a food processor, a high speed blender MAY work for this. I haven't tried it myself, but if you do and it works, please let me know!
4. Take the pyrex out of the freezer, add a layer of strawberries, and use a spatula to spread the cheesecake mixture over the crust The mixture should be thick, but still spreadable.
5. Place the pyrex in freezer for 1-2 hours and/or overnight. If you're overeager for sweets (like me) choose the first option. They have much more of a cheesecake like texture this way. ;)
6. Once bars are out of the freezer, leave out for about 45mins - 1hr, slice into bars, and enjoy the delicious creamy goodness. If you need to leave them in overnight, I would allow them to defrost in the fridge for 3-4 hours as they will be pretty firm at first!
PROTIP: If you froze the bars for a long time and are in a rush for them to defrost, pop 'em in the microwave for 5-10 seconds. This'll make them nice and creamy again!