No Bake Blueberry Coconut Bars

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

INGREDIENTS
for the blueberry chia jam
  • 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)
for the shortbread
  • 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
    1. 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 shortbread
    1. 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.
    2. 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 make the coconut creme
    1. 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’.
    to assemble the bars
    1. Spread the coconut creme over the shortbread in a thin, even layer.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.

 

 

Healthy Banana Bread

INGREDIENTS

  • ⅓ cup (75 grams) melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil or high quality vegetable oil*
    ½ cup honey (168 grams) or maple syrup (155 grams)
    2 eggs
    1 cup (225 grams) mashed ripe bananas (about 2 ½ medium or 2 large bananas)
    ¼ cup (56 grams) milk of choice or water
    1 teaspoon bicarb
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
    1¾ cups (220 grams) whole wheat flour**
    greased loaf pan

  • Totally optional: ½ cup mix-ins like chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, raisins, chopped dried fruit, fresh banana slices…Preparation:  Preheat oven to 165 degrees Celsius) and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
    1. In a large bowl beat the oil & honey together with a whisk. Add eggs & beat well, whisk in bananas & milk. Add the bicarb, vanilla, salt & cinnamon;  whisk to blend.
      Switch to a big spoon and stir in the flour, just until combined. (some lumps are ok!).
      If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, gently fold them in now.Pour the batter into your loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. (for a pretty swirled effect, run tip of knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern.
    2. Bake for 55-60 minutes (depending on mix-ins) or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for at least 10 minutes.You may need to run a butter knife around the edges to loosen the bread from the pan. Carefully transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool before slicing.

    NOTES

    STORAGE: This bread is moist, so will keep for just 2-3 days at room temperature. Store in a fridge for 5-7 days or in freezer for up to three months (pre-sliced helps).

    OIL OPTIONS:
      Olive oil might lend an herbal note to the muffins, if you’re into that.
    Use cold-pressed sunflower oil or grapeseed oil if possible.

    **FLOUR ALTERNATIVES: In place of the whole wheat flour, you can use an equal amount of all purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, spelt flour, or gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.
    Or, substitute 2 ½ cups oat flour.

    MAKE MUFFINS: Here’s my banana muffin recipe.
    MAKE IT VEGAN: Use maple syrup instead of honey, replace the eggs with flax eggs and choose non-dairy milk (I used almond milk) or water. It might get gluggy though.
    MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: Use an equal amount of Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free blend or 2 ½ cups certified gluten-free oat flour. Do NOT substitute coconut flour.
    MAKE IT LOWER IN FAT: I would argue that this bread contains a healthy amount of fat, but you can replace the oil with applesauce if you’re following a low-fat diet.