Almond Raisin Apple Bars (raw, vegan, gluten-free)
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Have you ever woke-up expecting to accomplish a certain task but the winds shift in your day and you end up doing something totally different? Or you go to the store on a mission to purchase just one item and you come home with bags of groceries and as you unpack the bags you realize that you forgot to buy that one item that you specifically went to the store for in the first place?
There is a Buddhist saying that I once heard that went something like this…”All pain comes from attachment to a certain outcome.” Today, I am not so sure I experienced pain but I sure had a different outcome in mind when I started playing in the kitchen.
I had these great intentions of creating a raw strawberry cake but instead these wonderful, lovely, unintentional Almond Raisin Apple Bars came into being. :) Though there was a smidgen of disappointment in my “cake making” I can smile with satisfaction knowing that not one ingredient went to waste and something new was born.
- 2 cups almond flour
- 2 medium zucchini, peeled and rough chopped
- 6 oz date paste
- 1 apple, organic! peeled and cored
- 3 Tbsp cold pressed raw coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Almond flour – you can purchase this or make this yourself. Simply put your almonds in the food processor and blend until it makes a mealy/powdery flour. It won’t be as fine flour as you might be used to with white flour but it shouldn’t have any large pieces in it. Be gentle with it, if you over process , you will be on your way to making a nut butter. Don’t use wet soaked almonds in this process. Your almonds should already have been soaked and dehydrated.
- In your food processor add all of the ingredients together except for the sunflower seeds and dried fruit (you will hand mix those in at the end). Blend until nice and smooth. Now this could your time to change things up a bit, you could make the batter more chunky by cutting back on the processing time, you could add different nuts or dried fruit. You could even process the dried fruits and nuts with the batter making it a well blended batter.
- Place the batter on the non-stick teflex sheet that comes with your dehydrator. (if you don’t have one you can use parchment paper, NOT wax paper)
- Score into desired shapes and sizes. I used a pizza cutter for this.
- Dehydrate at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, then reduce to 115 degrees (F) for 8-10 hours. I took mine out when they had a nice and chewy consistency.
- Once cooled, place in an air-tight container for freshness. I put mine in the fridge to extend their shelf life.
The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™
- Dates are an amazing ingredient for raw food recipes, click (here) to read why.
- Why do I specify Ceylon cinnamon? Click (here) to learn why.
- What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter? Click (here) to read more about it.
- Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F). Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
- When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe. Learn why (here).
One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage. Daily I get questions regarding substitutions. Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe. I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family. I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item. Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient. Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself. So have fun, don’t be afraid, and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.
As you can see, I sprinkled some extra dried fruit and pumpkin seeds on top,
lightly pressing them into the batter prior to dehydrating.