They check all the boxes: easy/no-bake, gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free/not too sweet, fun to put together, and so so delicious. This is a lighter dessert that won’t weigh you down. They would be the perfect, easy yet impressive dessert to bring to a gathering. And they’ll keep well in the refrigerator. Serves: 16 square bars
- 3 cups frozen blueberries – thawed (do not use fresh, non-frozen blueberries for this recipe)
- juice of 1 small lemon
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons chia meal (ground chia seeds)
- ¾ cup GF rolled oats
- 12 Medjool dates – pitted and soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
- ¾ cup coconut flour
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- pinch of sea salt
for the coconut creme
1 can full fat Thai coconut milk – refrigerated overnight to separate fat from water
- ½ cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- splash of vanilla extract
to make the blueberry chia jam
to make the shortbread
- Thoroughly mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight, until the chia seeds have bloomed and the mixture resembles a jam-like consistency. Mash the berries partially with a potato masher, leaving plenty of them whole.
to make the coconut creme
- Put the oats in a food processor and grind them into a flour. Drain the dates and add them to the food processor, along with the rest of the ingredients. Process until you have a well-combined dough that sticks together when pressed between your fingers.
- Prepare an 8″ x 8″ baking dish by lining it with parchment paper, extending the paper up the sides of the dish. Press the shortbread into the bottom of the dish in an even layer. Set aside.
to assemble the bars
- Scoop the separated coconut fat from the top of the can of coconut milk into a food processor (use the leftover coconut water in smoothies, soups, porridges or lattes). Add the shredded coconut, maple syrup and vanilla extract to the food processor and process until well combined. Be careful not to over-process, as the coconut fat can separate and ‘curdle’.
- Spread the coconut creme over the shortbread in a thin, even layer.
- Take the blueberry jam our of the refrigerator and spread it on top of the coconut creme in another even layer. Place the dish into the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight, for the shortbread and coconut layer to set.
- Once the shortbread and the coconut layer have set, lift out the bar from the dish onto a cutting board, using the extended edges of the parchment paper. Cut into 16 squares or any size/shape of choice. Keep refrigerated.