No Meat Zone Recipes: Raw Almond Fudge Bars

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Bottom layer:
2 cup raw almonds, soaked for 8 hours
1 cup oat groats or raw oat flakes, finely ground in a spice grinder
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup flax meal
1 1/4 cup chopped dates + 1/4 cup soaking water
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

1. In a small bowl, soak the dates in warm water for about 10 minutes.
2. In a food processor, process the almonds to a coarse meal. Add the ground oat groats, coconut flakes and flax meal and process until well combined.
3. Add the soaked dates, soaking water, vanilla, cinnamon and salt to the food processor and process until well combined. You might need to scrap down the sides of the mixing bowl a few times. The mixture should look like wet cookie dough. If it seems too dry, add another tablespoon or two of water.
5. Line an 8 x 8-inch square pan with plastic wrap, making sure it hangs over the sides. Reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture for the top layer and press the remainder of the mixture in the bottom of the pan, using the back of a spoon to press it down firmly and evenly.
6. Carefully lift the pressed layer out of the pan by pulling up the sides of the plastic wrap and place it on a dehydrator tray. Remove the plastic wrap and dehydrate the layer at 110 degrees for about 1 hour.

Top layer:
1/2 cup reserved bottom layer mixture
1/4 cup raw oat flakes
2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes

1. In a medium bowl, combine the reserved mixture from the bottom layer with the raw oat flakes and coconut flakes. Crumble it using your fingers.
2. Spread the mixture evenly on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 110 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Middle layer:
1 1/2 cup raw almond butter
1/3 cup raw agave nectar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup raw carob powder, sifted
1/3 cup cocao powder, sifted
1/3 cup coconut oil
pinch of salt

1. In a food processor, process the almond butter, agave nectar and vanilla until smooth.
2. Add the carob powder, cocao powder, coconut oil and salt, and process just to combine. It should resemble a thick fudge consistency.
3. When the bottom and top layers have finished in the dehydrator, return the bottom layer to the pan and spread the fudge layer over top, carefully spreading it evenly with the back of a spoon. Then sprinkle the top layer over the fudge layer, pressing it firmly in place. Place the pan in the fridge for 1 hour to set before cutting into squares. Store the squares in a tightly covered container in the fridge.

Nicole Axworthy | @aDashofVegan
Nicole is a writer, editor, wife, and mother of two adorable rescue cats, Leola and Eli. She loves animals too much to eat them, and she's discovered that teaching others through food is a very effective vegan outreach tool. On her blog, A Dash of Compassion, Nicole aims to spread a positive message about healthy eating while celebrating all things sweet.

Photo credit: Nicole Axworthy

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