Salted Caramel and Roasted Nut Bars

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I think most people know the American favourite pecan pie; buttery pastry, gooey caramel filling and crunchy pecans, well this is my vegan and pimped-up take on the old classic.

These nutty salted caramel bars are the perfect festive treat; they are rich in toasty flavours, have a melt-in-the-mouth buckwheat base, and of course, the gooey refined sugar-free salted caramel, which you will be happy to hear, is a no-cook caramel!

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This recipe really requires little effort, the base is made in a food processor, and the caramel only requires basic ingredients that simply need blending; no burnt sugar or boiling for hours! Additionally, you can customise these bars any way that you want; use your favourite nuts, add a chocolate drizzle, spice it up with with some cinnamon or orange peel, you really can make them as festive and tasty as you want!

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I was inspired to make these bars by the traditional American dessert, I wanted to make a healthier, gluten-free and refined sugar-free treat that could be enjoyed by everyone, and even for breakfast, and I just say it was a huge success. Even my 11-year-old sister, who has very questionable dietary choices, dug into these bars and asked me to make more!

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Ingredients

For the base:

2 tablespoons milled linseed

60g almond and walnuts mixed

200g oats blended into flour

100g buckwheat flour

50g coconut sugar

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

 

For the caramel:

150g pitted dates

3 tablespoons almond butter

6 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

100g combination of almonds and walnuts


Method

Preheat the oven to 180℃.

Combine the linseed with 5 tablespoons of water and set aside to soak. Next, spread the nuts on a baking tray and bake until golden for 6 minutes.

Next, place 60g of the nuts in a food processor along with the oats and blend until a coarse breadcrumb-like consistency forms, then add the flour, coconut sugar, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt and pull until combined.

Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan and add to the blender along with the maple syrup and soaked linseed, then blend until everything s together into a dough, and chill for at least 30 minutes before pressing into a lined baking tray and baking for 15 minutes at 180℃.

While the base is baking soaked the dates in some boiling water, once the base has cooled begin to make the caramel by blending the soaked dates with almond butter, melted coconut oil, sea salt and a touch of water until it is smooth and silky. Spread the caramel evenly and top with the remaining toasted nuts (you can chop them or keep them whole) then place in the freezer to set for at least 20 minutes.

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