This morning was tough, initially. It snowed for the first time in weeks last night and I absolutely did NOT want to get out of bed. It was just too warm and cozy and the thought of the cold floors on my feet was dreadful. So when my alarm went off the first time, I said no and didn’t move. And then the second time it went off I was sure that at least one of the kids had to be awake which would force me to get up and at em. But no. So I had to make the choice of ‘do I wake up kids that I KNOW are completely exhausted from a long weekend and send them to school tired and cranky and then pick them up even more tired and cranky?’ OR ‘do I let them sleep in and take them in a little late and by doing so also get to sleep in a little and then pick up less tired and less cranky kids after school?’ If that doesn’t seem like a no-brainer, I went with the latter. And the morning got immediately more pleasant. But now here it is 2:15 and I’m just getting finished with this post and I haven’t even started on the blackened mahi tacos that are marinating in the fridge or the spring pea potato pancakes that I was hoping to get in today. So they’ll have to wait until after school now, but at least I’ll have little taste testers nearby when the time comes…
Recipes like this one give me even more reason to wish that my sister lived nearby. She inspires me to make all kinds of raw and vegetarian inspired dishes, not because either of us are or care to be vegetarians, but because there are so many creative ways to get more healthy and clean eats in our lives by eating that way. So when I made these bars I immediately wanted her to taste them, but seeing as they need to stay chilled, I’m not sure they’d make it to Montana properly without dry ice and that’s probably not happening this week. BUT! When she finally makes it home with her cute little baby due any day now, she can make these herself in her ‘spare time’ with a newborn and let me know what she thinks. *(hint-hint…Chad should make these)
So these bars!! These bars were inspired by every other raw ‘cheesecake’ type bar that people make. I couldn’t even tell you where I first saw something similar but I know versions of them are all over the place. They taste nothing like cheesecake to me but they are delicious! I’ve been making a date nut crust for years now and was planning on using it as the base for the topping, but when I opened up my fridge and saw my bag of figs, I thought I’d try them out instead for something different. What I love about the difference is that the crust isn’t quite as sweet which really allows for the flavors in the layers to come through. I used dark frozen cherries the first couple of times I made these and I’m thinking that a mix of sour and sweet cherries might add even more depth of flavor. I cut these into larger squares to share as a dessert but you could cut them even smaller and treat them like an after workout pick me up or afternoon snack when you need a little sweet treat. ENJOY!!
Raw Cashew, Cherry, and Raspberry Bars with Almond Fig Crust
Yield 16 bars
- 1 1/2 cups raw unsalted almonds, divided
- 1 cup dried figs
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup frozen dark cherries
- 3/4 cup fresh raspberries
- Place the cashews and 1/2 cup of the almonds in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for one hour and then drain, rinse, and set aside.
- Line an 8 inch by 8 inch baking pan with saran wrap or foil and set aside. In the bowl of a food processor, place the 1 cup of almonds, figs, coconut oil, and salt, and process for 1-2 minutes or until everything in ground up and starting to come together. Firmly press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Melt the coconut oil and honey in a small saucepan and set aside. In the same food processor bowl (you do not need to wash it out first), place the cashews, almonds, and lemon juice. Process for about one minute until the nuts are beginning to break down into small pieces. Pour in the melted honey and coconut oil with the vanilla and continue processing until smooth.
- Spoon 2/3 of the mixture over top of the almond crust and press down evenly across the crust.
- Add the cherries into the remaining mixture and process until smooth. Pour the mixture overtop the bars and spread out evenly. Sprinkle the raspberries evenly around the top layer and press down gently. Place the bars into the freezer and freeze for 1 hour until firm. Cut into bars and store chilled. ENJOY!