This delicious and easy to make dessert is a frozen variation of a traditional pecan pie. It is gluten-free and refined sugar-free. Combining cashews and dates for the filling makes it silky smooth and sweet, but not overly so, and using the pecans and salt for topping adds crunchiness and deepens the flavor. Definitely a must try.
Vegan Almost Raw Coconut-Pecan Pie Bars [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Coconut-Pecan Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups raw pecans
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Pinch of pink Himalayan salt
- 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil, melted (but not hot)
- 1-2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
For the Creamy Date Filling:
- 1/2 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked 4+ hours or overnight, drained and rinsed
- 14-16 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in hot water for 30 minutes and drained
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
- Heavy pinch of pink Himalayan salt
- 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted (but not hot)
For the Topping:
- 1 1/2 cups raw pecans, divided
- Unsweetened coconut flakes or shredded coconut
- Pink Himalayan salt
For the Crust:
- In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the pecans, shredded coconut, and sea salt into a fine meal. While the processor is running, slowly drizzle in the coconut oil – followed by 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup – and blend just until combined; about 15-20 seconds.
- Press the mixture between your fingers to make sure it sticks together, if not add the additional tablespoon of maple syrup and blend until combined.
- Firmly press the mixture into a square 8 inch pan (or two smaller pans) lined with parchment paper; set aside.
For the Filling:
- In a high-powered blender, blend the cashews, dates, almond milk, maple syrup, and sea salt on high speed until smooth and creamy; about 1-2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly drizzle in the coconut oil, then increase the speed to high and blend for 30-45 seconds (using the tamper as needed).
- Once you’re finished blending, the filling will likely be full of air bubbles so pulse the mixture 20-30 times to ensure most of those get removed.
- To assemble the bars, finely chop 1/4 cup of the pecans and sprinkle them over the crust. Cover with the creamy date filling then tap the pan on the countertop a few times to release any air bubbles. Top with remaining pecans, flaked or shredded coconut, and sea salt. Chill bars in the freezer for at least eight hours before serving.
- When you're ready to serve, use a sharp knife and quickly slice through the bar.
Will keep frozen, in an airtight container, for up to one month.