Monday, August 22, 2011

Vegan Coconut Raspberry Bars

My mom gave me a new frilly apron for my birthday. The apron is so frilly and fun that I just had to put it on and bake something.

I had to. I had to bake something despite my valliant attempts to 'watch what I eat' since I am currently not 'allowed' to run. Not running means I have to be twice as careful about what I eat.

Oddly enough, my attempts have been successful. I was pleased to see that two pounds got lost somewhere between boot camp and home. However, much to my dismay, those pounds apparently have a great sense of direction because they made their way back to me.


I am at least forty-two percent sure it had nothing to do with these coconut raspberry bars. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself.

So for this recipe, I was really pleased to be able to use freshly picked raspberries. Most of the raspberry bars I have seen use jam. Good enough but the fresh aspect does two things: 1. it cuts down on the sugar content and 2. they just taste fresh.

I also had the opportunity to work with Earth Balance Coconut Spread for this recipe and I am happy to confirm that I am still in lurve with it! As I have mentioned before, my only problem with it is that I have to travel to Whole Foods in Bellevue to get it. Repeat: Bring it to La Ham.

These little experimental bars are my new easy treat. They aren't overly sweet which is nice, and the slightly crunchy texture paired with the amazing fresh taste of raspberries is addicting.


Need:
About 3/4 cup fresh raspberries
3 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup Earth Balance coconut spread
3/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup shaved almonds

Do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare baking pan by lightly spreading a bit more Earth Balance coconut spread.

In a medium bowl, lightly smash raspberries using the back of a large spoon or a potato masher. When raspberries are mostly crushed, add cornstarch and stir to combine, ensuring there aren't any cornstarch lumps. Set aside.

In a Kitchenaid or bowl with mixer, combine Earth Balance coconut spread, brown sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, oats, coconut flakes and almonds. Mix well to combine then gradually add to your sugar mixture, mixing until everything is fully incorporated.

Spread mixture (reserving about 1/2 cup) evenly onto the bottom of your pan. Press it down firm and make sure the corners are pressed and sturdy, creating a nice crust.

Now spread your fresh, crushed raspberries evenly on top of your crust. Top that with the leftover crust mix you set aside. Make sure when you sprinkle it on you are getting it as even as possible.

Note: spreading it once it is on top of the raspberries will be a bit more difficult.

Gently press down on the topping, to compress everything together.

Bake for 26 - 28 minutes then remove and let cool before cutting.


Serve:
Cut into about 2 to 3 inch cubes and serve all by themselves or with some irresistible So Delicious coconut ice cream. So good!

Enjoy!

7 comments:

  1. These look so yum.... Sorry to hear about your running "break". I hate when I'm told to NOT work out (okay, I might be happy for a minute, but then I realize that does in fact mean eating less).

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  2. These look SO GOOD, Ellen! I got some of EB's coconut spread too, so in between trying not to eat it with a spoon, I may just have to make these soon! Bookmarked.

    PS - Your posts make me crack up so often; I adore your dry sense of humor!

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  3. Coconut and raspberries....yummy. What adorable little bars.

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  4. Teri... Thank you! Yeah, I totally agree with you on the exercise thing! And not running is pretty much lame. :)

    Amber... Hi!! And thank you :) Isn't it the best! I love smelling it so I get the whole 'spoon' thing. And thank you for reading/liking my posts! It's nice to hear on days that I feel I have nothing hilarious to say :)

    Briarrose... Thank you! They are super easy and really yummy!

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  5. YUM! This is exactly what my So Delicious Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk ice cream has been waiting for! I cannot wait to make these coconut raspberry sweeties and enjoy them together!

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  6. Vegiegail... yes! they are so good with it. Dangerously good :)

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  7. These are delicious!

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