Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Raw Mint Nanaimo Bars

For the base:
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw walnuts
2/3 cup pitted dates, soft or soaked
1/4 cup raw cacao or carob powder
pinch of salt

For the mint layer:
2 small avocados, peeled and pitted
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/2 cup raw agave nectar
1/2 tsp pure mint extract (or 15 drops peppermint essential oil--that's what I used!)
1/4 cup melted raw coconut oil

For the chocolate topping:
3 Tbsp melted cacao butter
3 Tbsp cacao powder, sifted
2 Tbsp raw agave nectar


For the base:
1)  Line the bottom of a 10x5 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper.  Be sure to leave an overhang, so it's easier to remove the finished bars.  Set aside.
2)  In a food processor, process the almonds and walnuts to a coarse meal.  Add the dates and continue to process until the dates are broken down.
3)  Add the cacao powder and salt and pulse to combine.  The mixture should stick together when pressed between two fingers.
4)  Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and set in the freezer while you make the filling.

For the mint filling:
5)  In a high speed blender, blend the avocados, mint leaves, agave and mint extract until smooth.  You may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times.
6)  Add the coconut oil and blend for a few seconds to combine.  The mixture should be thick and creamy.
7)  Remove the pan from the freezer and pour the mixture on top of the crust, smoothing it out with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.  Return to the freezer until firm, at least one hour.

For the chocolate topping:
8)  Whisk together all ingredients until smooth.  You may need to warm up the mixture if the cacao butter firms up too quickly.  You can do this by using a double boiler on a very low setting to keep it warm while whisking, or by putting the mixture in the dehydrator for a few minutes.
9)  Remove the pan from the freezer again and pour the chocolate topping on the top of the avocado filling, smoothing it out quickly with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.  Return to freezer one last time until the topping is set.

To cut:
10)  It takes some practice to cut any kind of Nanaimo bars without cracking the chocolate topping.  For best results, remove the bar from the pan by pulling it up on the parchment paper and set on a cutting board.   Place a sharp serrated knife in a jar of hot water for several minutes, wipe it on a kitchen towel and then use light sawing motions with the knife to cut into squares.  Warm the knife in the water as needed to cut all squares.  Store bars in an air-tight container in the freezer.

Copyright 2011 by Nicole Axworthy

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