Chia Bar Recipe

Jessica Blackman’s Creamy Vegan Raspberry Chia Bars

We’re not even close to being vegan, but I like variety and am all about moderation. Especially with kids. I make these vegan raspberry bars that are such a treat that no one in my family knows they are vegan, or even healthy. It’s not that they wouldn’t like it if they knew, but it just makes me feel better about them eating it. And then I can save the real sugar for when absolutely necessary. Like birthdays and holidays and Tuesdays. (oops)

This recipe is adapted, as all recipes are.
INGREDIENTS
Crust:
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup raw walnuts
pinch of salt
Filling:
3 cups soaked raw cashews
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tbs lemon zest
Raspberry-Chia Jam:
1.5 cups raspberries (or any berry of your choice)
1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1.5 tablespoons chia seeds
INSTRUCTIONS
Topping: If you are using frozen berries, let them come to room temperature first. Mash the berries with the chia seeds and syrup. Depending on how sweet you want it, add 1-2 tablespoons of syrup. Set aside to gel.
Crust: Add dates and walnuts to a processor and pulse a few times to break up the big chunks. Add the pinch of salt and process for 2-3 minutes, or until finely chopped. Mixture should hold together when pressed. If the mixture is too dry, add a few more dates and process until well combined. Press mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 8×8 or 9×9 pan lined with parchment paper that is hanging over the edges. 
Filling: Soak the cashews in water for 3-4 hours. After your cashews have soaked, drain and rinse. Add cashews to your cleaned food processor, along with lemon juice, coconut oil, maple syrup, and lemon zest. Blend until creamy. 
Assemble: Pour filling onto the crust and spread evenly. Now spread the chia jam over evenly. Cover the pan well and place into the freezer for 2-3 hours, or until mixture has firmed.
Using the parchment paper that is hanging over the edges, pick up and out the entire bar. Cut into bars and thaw for 10-15 minutes before serving. Best eaten when cold. 
Keep in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to serve. Stores for 4-5 days or in a sealed container in the freezer for 2-3 weeks.

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