2020 RECIPE & PHOTO UPDATE.
Among the many fun things about receiving a Vegan Cuts Snack Box each month is that it’s a treasure trove of inspiration. A lot of the goodies inside are not readily available to me if I want repeat snacking, so if I like something, I try to recreate my own version.
One such treat, an Earnest Eats Dark Choco Mint bar, was tucked inside the June box. Theirs is a baked bar packed with nuts, chocolate, and mint, but also contains brown rice syrup and cane syrup. The flavor was fantastic with a nice hit of real mint and a subtle chocolate taste, but I wasn’t thrilled about the sugar content. In recreating their bar, I decided to go raw and to bump up the mint flavor with a small amount of alcohol-free extract alongside a handful of fresh mint straight from the garden. Dates give these bars their sweetness. I also use a nut flour instead of going 100% whole nuts. This lightens the load on my food processor and helps the bars come together quickly.
A word of caution: these are not light in calories!
Recipe note: Instead of using a 9-inch x 9-inch pan, try making them in a silicone mold like this one as I did for these photos.
Great for breakfast-on-the-go, a mid-hike energy boost, or as a post-workout snack, these raw Double Chocolate Mint Bars are sugar-, oil-, and gluten-free. But they aren’t calorie-free! Go easy on these bad boys!
- 1 1/2 cups pitted & chopped dates
- generous 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/3 cup nut butter, creamy or crunchy
- 1 1/2 cups nut flour blend (I use Nature’s Earthly Choice Almond, Coconut, Pecan & Walnut Blend)
- 3 Tbsp. cacao powder
- 1/4 cup whole raw almonds
- 1/4 cup raw pecan halves
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp. pure peppermint oil
- 1/4 cup cacao nibs
- Line a 9-inch x 9-inch pan with parchment. Or use a silicone mold like this one.
- In the bowl of a food processor, grind the dates, mint leaves, and nut butter until finely chopped.
- Add the nut flour and cacao powder and process again. The mixture will be dry and crumbly at this stage.
- Now add the whole nuts and water and pulse to break down the nuts. You want to be able to see bits and pieces of nuts. Add the cacao nibs and pulse just enough times to incorporate them into the mix.
- If you are using silicone molds as I did, put the date mixture into a bowl to make it easier to work with. Divide the mixture between 9 molds and using wet fingers, press mixture into the molds. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours to set and the flavors meld. Gently remove the bars from the molds and store in an air-tight container.
- If you’re using a pan, dump the mixture straight from the food processor bowl into the pan. Using wet fingers, press the mixture firmly into the pan. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours to set and the flavors meld. Slice and store in an airtight container.
If you can’t find a nut flour blend, use your favorite nut flour instead.
Keywords: raw, chocolate, mint, gluten-free, sugar-free, oil-free, dessert, snacking, raw bars, cacao