Raw Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars
St. Patrick's day is almost here! You know what that means. Shotgunning beers, taking JELL-O shots that have been dyed green with questionable food color, and stumbling around dive bars. Oh wait, sorry, I'm not in college anymore. Instead, I'm a 29-year old living in a 65-year old's body and I am perfectly content to pretend like St. Patrick's Day doesn't exist.
Except that I love to bake, so I suppose that if I'm baking in March, I may as well make my treats green. No weird food colorings here though!
I brought these mint chocolate chip bars to my office and they got rave reviews. It's possible that my coworkers were lying to me to make me feel better about myself, but I also tasted these bars, and they were delicious. And I have excellent taste.
Like most raw cheesecakes, these are super easy to make. However, unlike most raw cheesecakes that I have made, these ones held their own when stored in the fridge instead of the freezer, where I usually store them to keep them firm. You can cut these babies into slices or bars. I did both because I am borderline insane. They taste the same. Duh.
Happy St. Patrick's Day! I guess.
Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars
Raw Vegan, Gluten-Free
1 cup Medjool dates (soak in boiling water for 10 minutes if dates aren't soft)
1 1/2 cups walnuts and pecans
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons raw buckwheat groats
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons raw cacao powder
2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 8 hours
1/4 cup melted raw cacao butter
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1/3 cup Medjool dates
2 tablespoons raw coconut nectar
3/4 cup fresh mint leaves
3/4 teaspoon peppermint oil
3/4 teaspoon spirulina powder
Pinch sea salt
2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
Garnishes: melted dark chocolate, fresh mint leaves, and raw raw cacao nibs,
Line a 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.
For the crust, blend all the ingredients in a high-speed food processor until you have a slightly sticky dough. Press onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Place in the freezer while you make the filling.
For the filling, place the cashews in a food processor and blend until they start to mix together and are broken down.Add the remaining ingredients, starting with 1/4 teaspoon for the spirulina and peppermint extract and taste as you go. Both of these ingredients have strong flavors, so add slowly. Blend until you have a thick, creamy mixture.
Fold the 2 tablespoons of raw cacao nibs in the filling. Pour the filling on top of the crust. Freeze for 3-4 hours to set.
Once ready to serve, drizzle with melted dark chocolate, raw cacao nibs and fresh mint leaves. Slice into bars or squares. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.