Raw Strawberry Bars with Coconut Almond Cream

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Strawberries don’t ask for much – they are perfect just the way they are. However, I catch myself imagining them in the whole array of desserts, including pies, galettes, curds, and in a simple strawberry jam on a slice of toast or crêpe.

After a successful experiment with raw raspberry jam (in this Light Raspberry and Pistachio Cheesecake), I tried to do the same with strawberries and it turned out really nice. Still, it lacked some sweetness so I decided to combine it with something sweeter and ended with these raw bars. The amount I made, as you will see later in the recipe, suffices this dessert, but I suggest you double it and enjoy some of that jam in the next few days on a slice of toast or just added to your morning smoothie.

These raw bars are a perfect summer no-guilt-treat. They require no cooking or baking, and are done fast, especially if you make the jam in advance. They are cold and refreshing, with a tart jam being accompanied by the sweet raisins (in the bottom) and coconut flakes (in top layer).

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RAW STRAWBERRY BARS WITH COCONUT ALMOND CREAM

– makes 15 cubes –

Preparation time: 40 minutes (including waiting time)

Ingredients:

First (bottom) layer

1 cup oats (use GF certified if needed)

2 Tbsp chia seeds

2 Tbsp coconut oil (at room temperature)

1/2 cup raisins (or medjool dates – both works great) (+ some water for soaking if needed)

2 Tbsp almond milk (can be substituted with other milk you use)

 

Second layer

5 oz fresh strawberries (washed and hulled)

2 Tbsp chia seeds

*optional: if strawberries are not sweet at all, ad 1-2 medjool dates or 1 Tbsp of maple syrup or honey

 

Third (top) layer

1 cup grounded almonds

1/4 cup coconut flakes

1/3 cup almond milk (can be substituted with other milk you use)*

1 Tbsp maple syrup, honey or date molasses

* I also made a version with less milk (1/4 cup), which gave this layer a bit denser, sticky structure. If you do so, you will need to roll it out before laying on the second – jam – layer (see step 5 in instructions)

 

Instructions:

1. Start by making second layer – strawberry jam. Wash and hull strawberries, add chia seeds and pulse everything in blender until combined. Put in the fridge while preparing the rest – it needs to sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, why is even better if you do it in advance.

2. Line a small dish (approx. 6×8 inches) with parchment paper. Make the bottom layer by throwing all ingredients in the blender until they come together and form a ball. The “dough” will be sticky. by using your hands then put it in the freezer for 15 minutes.

3. Take the dish out of the freezer, arrange strawberry jam over it and put back in the freezer for another 10 minutes.

4. While waiting, make a third layer by combining grounded almonds with coconut flakes, milk and sweetener of your choice, using spatula. If you want a smoother structure, grind almonds and coconut together with milk and sweetener.

5. (after 10 minutes) Take the dish out of the freezer out and spread the coconut almond cream on top of strawberry jam. Put back in the freezer for 5 minutes until it hardens. Take it out, cut into cubes and serve. (If you go with less milk the cream will be thicker, and you will need to roll it out first (between two parchment papers or foil), then carefully place on top of second layer.

Whatever you do not eat, put back in the freezer. Take it out 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving. If cut while still frozen, small pieces of bottom layer might break off).

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