Mint Chocolate Chip smoothies are one of my favorite breakfasts because they’re like starting the day off with a milkshake. I originally got the recipe from the Going Raw cookbook, but now I wing it when I make them–a little bit of mint, some banana, almond milk, a small handful of cacao nibs and maybe some unflavored protein powder too. Since mint leaves worked so well in smoothies, I thought I could make vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Dessert bars with them too, instead of using mint extract and food coloring.
I thought wrong. Terribly wrong. My bars tasted like creamy grass, with a hint of mint at the end. They were a Pyrex dish filled with disappointment and broken dreams. So I decided to enlist Meg’s help with this recipe. I gave her the idea, she made it better, then I tested it and made a few changes and now these bars are creamy, minty, chocolatey perfection.
When I emailed Meg about my bar conundrum, she mentioned that she was working on an experiment to make pistachio cream with raw pistachios. We agreed that would be perfect for this recipe because it would give the bars a hint of green without using food coloring. Since the mint leaves didn’t work out so well for me, Meg went ahead and used peppermint extract, which gives the bars a minty flavor without the leafy grassiness you sometimes get with actual mint leaves. The pistachio cream layer goes on top of a chewy chocolate crust made with dates, almonds, and cocoa powder, and then to make things extra delicious, we finish the whole thing with chocolate chips on top.
The thing I love about these creamy, nut-based vegan desserts is that they’re objectively good. Not “good for a vegan dessert” or “good for something made without dairy,” but just good good. If you were to serve them at a party, no one would give them a sideways glance or shake their fist at you for serving them hippie food. They’re a dessert that everyone can enjoy: vegans, non-vegans, young people, old people, mimes, centaurs, whatever. These Mint Chocolate Chip Bars are for all!
For the crust:
For the filling:
To make the crust:
To make the filling and topping:
If you happen to have raw cashews on hand, I've tested this recipe with them and it works out perfectly.
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