I have half a bag of black sesame seeds sitting in my cupboard. You know how sometimes you buy something with the intent of making one recipe and then you have a whole bunch left over? Story of my life. I created a recipe to use just this one ingredient ... I think you’re going to love it. It has this gooey chocolate cherry top, sprinkled with crunchy nuts and cacao nibs, which is slathered on top of a soft and chewy crust studded with chia seeds and black sesame seeds. The base gets a slight sweetness from the coconut butter, while the tart cherries are complimented by the soft caramel-like dates.
Black Sesame and Chocolate Cherry Coconut Bars [Vegan, Raw, Gluten-Free]
For the Base:
- 3/4 cup large flake oats (gluten-free if preferred)
- 3 tablespoons black sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons coconut butter
- 2 tablespoons raw agave nectar
- 6 Medjool dates
For the Cherry Layer:
- 1 1/2 cups dates
- 1 cup frozen cherries, divided
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon maca powder
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
To Make the Base:
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until ground up and the mixture starts to stick together. Scrape regularly while blending.
- Once everything is ground up and dates are fully incorporated into the mixture, the whole thing will look crumbly, but you should be able to press it together with your hands.
- Line a square or rectangular baking dish, pour mixture into the dish and press down flat.
- Place the base in the fridge to harden.
To Make the Cherry Layer:
- In a food processor, add the dates, maca powder, cacao powder, ground flaxseed and half the cherries.
- Process until dates are mostly ground up – some chunky bits will remain.
- Thaw the remainder of your cherries, reserving the liquid (I put mine in the microwave for 30 seconds), and with the processor running, pour in the rest of the thawed cherries and their juice.
- Continue to process until a smooth, thick spreadable mixture forms. You can add a little bit of extra water if it doesn’t seem to be runny enough to go smooth. You want it to remain thick but easy to spread and with no large chunks of date left.
- Once smooth, remove the base from the fridge and spread the cherry mixture evenly over the top. Sprinkle with cacao nibs, hemp hearts and crushed peanuts if you prefer and then return to the fridge for 3 hours, or overnight, to harden.
- Slice into bars to serve and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.