Peanut Caramel Slice|Vegan|Healthy|GF|RSF|

Dates, sea-salt, and vanilla make the perfect “caramel” to be used in a vegan caramel slice. The best part is, you could fool absolutely anyone with this no-bake recipe. All natural ingredients? Full of amazing healthy fats? No refined sugar? Yes, please!

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The chunky peanuts just make this slice so good.

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All the beautiful, natural ingredients you need.

Ingredients:

The crust:

  • 1 cup of desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup of blanched almond meal *
  • 115-125g of melted coconut oil **
  • 1/2 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of sea-salt

Peanut-caramel filling

  • 12-15 Medjool dates (softened for 10 minutes in hot water if you live in a cool climate)
  • Generous dash of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp of cracked sea-salt
  • 2 tsp of coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup (optional***)
  • 1/3 cup of unsalted roasted peanuts

Chocolate layer

  • 200g of 85% dark chocolate (RSF option featured below)
  • 1/3 cup of roughly chopped unsalted roasted peanuts
  • A pinch of sea-salt
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Organic dark chocolate by Pico, sweetened with Coconut Nectar.

Instructions:

The crust:

  • Line a 20 cm X 30 cm baking pan with baking paper.
  • Place all of the ingredients for the crust into a mixing bowl and mix together. Ensure that the coconut oil is thoroughly mixed through.
  • Take a small amount of the crust mixture and press it between your finger and thumb. If it holds, your mixture should be ready to press down into the pan. If not, add one tablespoon at a time of coconut oil into the mixture until it has reached the desired consistency.
  • Transfer the mixture to the baking pan and press down firmly with a spatula or a flat kitchen utensil to ensure that it is level across the pan. Keep pressing until there are as few loose crumbs as possible.
  • Place in the freezer for 15 minutes or the fridge for 30 minutes.
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This is how your mixture should look.
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Ooh, it’s so neat.

The peanut-caramel layer

  • Place dates, coconut oil, maple syrup*** and the sea salt into a food processor or blender. If your food processor/blender has a pulse setting, pulse on low to chop up the dates. Alternatively, you can chop the dates regularly before processing. Scrape down the sides and process/blend on low-medium until smooth. If your food processor/blender is having trouble blending the date mixture, add a dash or 2-3 tablespoons of boiling water, and keep scraping down the sides.
  • Once your date mixture is smooth, transfer to a bowl and fold in the roasted peanuts. Give the mixture a quick taste test to see if it needs another pinch of salt (depending on how salty you like your caramel).
  • Next, we will spread the mixture over the crust. Refer to the photo below. To prevent the peanuts from damaging the crust, dollop the date/peanut mixture in each corner of the crust, as well as the centre. Stretch the mixture delicately across the crust with the back of a clean tablespoon. Once complete, place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, or alternatively, the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Omit this step if you aren’t fussed about a neat chocolate layer.
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Spread your dolloped mixture with the back of a clean spoon or baking spatula.
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There was a gap in my peanut mixture, hence some out of place nuts.

The chocolate layer

  • Melt the chocolate in a glass casserole dish placed inside of a slightly bigger saucepan that is filled 1/3 of the way with boiling water. If you have a double boiler, unlike me, feel free to melt your chocolate using the double-boiler method. Place it on the stove on a low heat and constantly stir until the chocolate is just melted.
  • If you used the glass casserole dish and saucepan method, carefully remove the casserole dish from the pan and allow the casserole dish to cool slightly.
  • Evenly pour over the top of the date-peanut layer. Spread with a baking spatula or the back of a clean spoon. Sprinkle over the roughly chopped peanuts and lightly dust with cracked sea salt.
  • Place in the freezer for another 15 minutes, or alternatively, the fridge for 30 minutes. If you are not pressed for time, place the slice in the fridge to set over-night, or for at least 2-3 hours.
  • Once set, slice with a sharp, clean knife and enjoy.
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Your chocolate layer, with chopped peanuts and a pinch of salt.

Recipe footnotes:

*If you don’t have blanched almond meal, go ahead and use crushed almonds with the skin on, or another nut meal of choice. You can even blend your own almonds from scratch until the crumbs resemble the size of the desiccated coconut!

** If your mixture is a little dry, add one tablespoon at a time of coconut oil until the desired consistency is achieved.

*** If your mixture is too thick for your food processor or blender, and you would like to stretch out your mixture a bit more, add 2-4 tablespoons of maple syrup.

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Slice and enjoy!

As always, here’s to happy travels and happy stomachs.

Lots of love,

Cora B.

Easy Chunky Choc-chip Paleo Banana Bread | Nut-Free Option |Dairy-free|

This Chunky Paleo Banana Bread will not disappoint! It is gluten-free, refined sugar-free and super high protein! This can be made entirely nut free, just sub out the walnuts that feature in this recipe for some good, nut-free toasted granola/muesli clusters. When it comes to delicious sweet treats, I am all about texture. Hence, bare with me with the semi-long recipe list as I did some experimenting with some chunky bits in my recipe but it turned out wonderful! Please pay attention to the recipe footnotes, as this way you will avoid the mistakes I made. This recipe was inspired by Detoxinista.

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Ingredients:

  • 4-5 overripe bananas (4 if the bananas are medium, 5 if they are itty-bitty)
  • 3/4 of a cup of coconut flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of coconut sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup* (optional but I highly recommend)
  • A dash or two of almond milk **
  • 1/3 cup of dairy-free, paleo choc-chips ***
  • 1/3 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/3 a cup of chopped walnuts OR NFO: 1/2 of nut-free granola/muesli or extra chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg or allspice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

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Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/ 350ºF and line a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf (22-23 cm by 12-13 cm) pan with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Once mashed, add the walnuts or granola, cranberries, choc-chips, eggs, coconut sugar, cinnamon, allspice or nutmeg, salt, and vanilla. Use a whisk or a fork to stir the mixture well.
  3. Slowly whisk in the coconut flour and baking soda to avoid lumps. **If your mixture is looking grainy (which it probably will), add a dash or two of your milk of choice.
  4. Pour the batter into the lined loaf pan and bake until the centre of the loaf has risen and started to crack. about 45 to 55 minutes****.  Poke with a baking spear or fork and check if it comes out clean. If your bread is a bit on the brown side, do not fear, it will be super moist inside still. Cool completely before slicing and serving.
  5. This loaf is very moist and very dense. Trust me, it does not do well in hot and humid weather so save yourself the heartache and store it in the fridge in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap.
  6. Enjoy!

Footnotes:

*Honey or maple syrup will add another dimension of flavour to the banana bread and it helps with the consistency of the batter. If you are going for an even lower sugar option, feel free to omit.

** If your mixture looks grainy, as mentioned, add a few dashes of your milk of choice. Coconut flour is extremely absorbent, so do not fear if your batter appears a bit liquidy.

***If you aren’t too concerned about how paleo-friendly your choc chips are, look out for dark chocolate chips as they tend to be dairy free!

****If you have a super awesome oven like my partner’s mother does (she is the absolute best, she lets me take over her kitchen), then in the last 20 minutes, turn down your oven to 160ºC/320ºF.

Lots of love,

Cora B.