Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Delicious and Healthy Something-or-other

Originally, this was an Australian recipe that Mom found. We made it, loved it, and have eaten way too many of them since. The original recipe was called "Raw Caramel Slice" but we quickly gave up on that name. We chose to officially call them the very sophisticated and intelligent name: "Bar Thingies."

Our slightly altered recipe goes as follows:

1 1/2 cups of dates
1 1/2 cups of almonds
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

1/2 cup coconut oil
2 TBSP coconut sugar
4 TBSP cacao powder

For base, process dates and almonds in food processor until fine-crumbed and holds together when pressed. Add vanilla extract and process a few more seconds. Press into greased 9X13 inch baking pan. 
My sister Sarah, with her lovely, manicured nails, obligingly allowed me to photograph the process.
 For the filling, gently melt coconut oil and stir in peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract and salt.

Pour over base and place in freezer for 20 minutes (or refrigerator for about 1 hour). 

For the topping, gently melt coconut oil and whisk in coconut sugar and cacao powder. Pour over chilled base and filling, then refrigerate for 10-15 minutes, until topping hardens. 

Cut into squares and enjoy! Store in refrigerator. 

A few notes about the alterations we made. First, we don't get the Medjool dates because they are more expensive and are not pitted. The other dates Whole Foods sells are cheaper and already pitted, so even though they aren't quite as sweet and juicy as the Medjool dates, we're happy with them. We increased the amount of dates to get a more sticky base, which may not be necessary with Medjool dates. We've made a very sticky base that holds together well by adding a little water, but we actually like it a little crumbly, like the picture above.

I substituted peanut butter originally because we didn't have tahini on hand, and we liked it so well, we've never tried tahini. The peanut butter certainly doesn't taste like caramel (which is obviously what this recipe is trying to replicate) but I'm not sure that the tahini really would either.

The carob powder was left out because we didn't have it, and I am not a fan of carob, so I have no intention of ever adding it.

My favorite thing about these "Bar Thingies" besides how delicious and healthy they are, is that my dad and brothers don't much like them, so Sarah, Mom and I have them all to ourselves! They still don't last long enough, though. The only problem with healthy treats is that I feel less restricted about eating them... and end up eating 1 or 2 too many!


  1. Mmm. Yummy! These look sinfully delicious, Lizzie. My mom makes these really good bars at Christmas time that have chocolate in them - though they aren't a "healthy" recipe.

    Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. Oh my gosh my sister! It LOOKS SO YUMMY!!!
    This is unique recipe I never know this before that Australian has amazing recipe :)
    and I bet your mom did amazing job. and I wish I was there. :)
    Thanks for sharing.
    Anyway, soon I will update about my presentation. :)thank you for the prayers, and I am here praying for you as well.