Nanaimo bars: peanut butter (without graham crackers or flour).

…Having made a lot of sweet bread, I’m concerned about carb intakes… 

Getting back on track with my workout routine after a week of muscle fatigue, I got to make these small healthy treats for myself, friends, and family.  Inspired by the classic Nanaimo bar, a dessert originated in B.C. Canada, I went on to experiment with different flavours and whole food ingredients. 

With the classic bar, the base is slightly dense with a hint of coconut; the middle layer is soft and sweet; the top is just a firm texture of chocolate slab.  Having said that, my three layers of Nanaimo bar consisted of dried fruit, nut butter, and dark chocolate as the main component of the base, middle, and top respectively. 

(I intentionally made this Nanaimo bar without graham cracker crumbs or flour as I aimed for a high protein and fat dessert.)

Again, this recipe can also easily be made vegan by substitute butter with coconut oil and whole milk with any plant-based milk. 

I love it so much!  Because! I neither have a sugar crash, nor feel lethargic after eating it.

// ingredients: 16 bars //

base:

140 g figs (dried)

30 ml coconut oil (melted)

80 g walnuts (toasted)

pinch salt

50 g cacao powder

120 g pumpkin puree

90 g shredded coconut

middle:

95 g peanut butter

140 g coconut sugar icing

55 g butter (softened, use 44 g coconut oil for vegan)

40 g milk (add another 11 g if using coconut oil in place of butter)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

top:

114 g dark chocolate

35 g butter

salt (to taste)

 

// instructions //

base:

Grease 8” x 8” pan and line with parchment paper.  Blend figs and coconut oil in a food processor until paste is formed.  Add the rest of the ingredients (walnuts, salt, cacao powder, pumpkin puree, and shredded coconut) and blend in low speed for 5-10 seconds.  Spread the mixture on the prepared tray.  Press down evenly and chill in a fridge while preparing the middle layer.

middle:

Cream peanut butter, coconut sugar icing, and butter in a stand mixer.  Add milk, vanilla extract, and salt.  Mix from low to high speed until light and fluffy.  Spread  evenly on top of the base.  Chill for 30 minutes.

top:

Melt dark chocolate, butter, and salt.  Let it cool but still pourable.  Pour on top of the peanut butter mixture.  Chill until firm. 

Cut into 16 bars.  Decorate with melted white chocolate for fun!  Store in a fridge (up to a week) or in a freezer (up to a month).

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