The thing we love about these creamy, nut-based vegan desserts? They're 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!
Servings: 12 -16 bars
For the crust:
- ½ cup raw almonds
- 1 cup Medjool dates pitted and coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
For the filling:
- 1 ½ cups raw pistachios soaked overnight then drained and rinsed
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup cane sugar syrup or sweetener of choice to taste
- ¾-1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips Enjoy Life are gluten- and dairy-free
To make the crust:
- Line a 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper so that it overhangs on the sides like handles; set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S-blade, combine the almonds, dates, and cocoa powder. Process until all of the ingredients are finely chopped; when you squeeze a small clump of the “dough” in your hands, it should stick together. This can take between 1-2 minutes depending on the size and strength of your machine. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and gently press crust into the pan to form an even layer.
To make the filling and topping:
- Combine the pistachios, coconut oil, water, cane sugar syrup, and ¾ teaspoon of peppermint extract in a high speed blender. Run the blender, stopping to scrape the sides if needed, until the mixture is completely smooth like cashew cream, adding more water a tablespoon or two at a time if it seems like your machine is straining. Taste the filling and blend in additional extract if needed. (If you add more water, you may need more extract!)
- When the mixture is completely smooth, pour the filling over the crust and spread into an even layer with a spatula. Pour the chocolate chips over the filling layer, gently pushing them into the pistachio cream so that they stay in place but are still visible.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap or foil and place it in the freezer for about 8 hours or overnight until frozen solid. 15 minutes before you're ready to serve the bars, take the pan out of the freezer and let it sit at room temperature on the counter. To remove the bars from the pan, gently pull up on the parchment paper “handles” to release them. Slice into squares with a sharp knife and serve immediately. Store remaining bars in the freezer until ready to eat.
If you happen to have raw cashews on hand, I've tested this recipe with them and it works out perfectly.
Calories: 291kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 5gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 2mgPotassium: 362mgFiber: 4gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 88IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 2mg
Craving more veg-friendly recipes? Shop our collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, including our new Vegan Thanksgiving and Vegan Christmas cookbooks!
MY REVIEW! I just made these tonight an the only variations I made was I used avocado oil instead and for the cane syrup i used half Fains raw honey and half maple syrup and let me tell you this is absolutely amazing. I have a huge sweet tooth. I thought that even though the sweetness was toned down they are actually perfect. It is refreshing to not feel like your at risk of going into a sugar coma with every bite. But that's just it. just because it's not pure sugar, doesn't mean it didn't satisfy, the dessert just has more to bring to the table than typical sweets. It was nutty, chewy, fruity, minty, rich AND sweet but just the right amount of all of those things. Plus you have the bonus of knowing that your doing something good for your body, and not guiltily trying to get rid of an out of control craving. I'm really wanting to transition to the real food lifestyle and these kinds of recipes are really gonna help make it happen!!
Kiersten Frase says
I'm so glad you enjoyed them! While I still eat "traditional" sweets, I find that I often prefer ones like this because they keep me full and they're not overly sweet like a cupcake or brownie. 🙂
Do you think you could sub it for another nut?
Kiersten Frase says
Raw cashews work, but I haven't tested the recipe with any other nuts.
no hippie food, please! thank you for this recipe and the creative set of ingredients to make it creamy like pistachios