It’s not easy to find recipes that combine super healthy ingredients and a decadent, delicious flavor! These no-bake crispy caramel squares from the Clean Desserts cookbook by Karielyn Tillmann are a perfect on-the-go snack and the best after-dinner treat. Let’s dive into the delightful process of preparing these sweet vegan creations!
This recipe is fantastic for so many reasons. Using very few clean ingredients, we can make a healthy and nutritious treat without even using an oven! Yup! No baking required here. So convenient!
So what exactly do we need to whip these bars up? As the main ingredients, we have Medjool dates, which give it the caramel flavor and incredible sweetness, the creamy and beloved peanut butter which makes them rich and sticky, rice crispies to give it texture and crunch, and finally, coconut oil to bring it all together.
When you attempt to prepare no-bake (or raw) sweet vegan recipes, you’ll probably need some dates. But which dates are the best? There are several varieties of dates, like the dayri, deglet noor and the famous Medjool. Let’s start by saying that they are ALL incredibly delicious on their own, not all are soft and squishy enough to work well in recipes like this.
The king dates will always be the Medjool variety! It’s caramel consistency, and softness makes them such a heavenly treat but also so perfect for baking. But even these vary in quality and texture. If they’ve had their pits removed or have been sitting on shelves for ages, they dry out and will lose their soft and pliable consistency. The fresher, the better!
If you’ve been wondering how to make the easiest vegan caramel (or dulce de leche), then Medjool dates will show up big time. Add a cup of soft, fresh dates plus a bit of water and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter to your blender or food processor and blend until creamy. This is so good! I’ve used it to make vegan snickers or even as the filling for a vegan banoffee pie. Please try it!
Absolutely! Even if this recipe calls for peanut butter you can make substitutions in order to make it allergy-friendly. Instead of the nut butter, you can use sunflower butter (also known as sun butter). It’s super yummy and it will not change the consistency of the bars.
You can also try pumpkin seed butter which is full of important nutrients like zinc and magnesium. If you can’t find any of these alternatives you can always try to make your own! Buy some sunflower or pumpkin seeds in bulk and process them until you get a creamy butter consistency. Pretty awesome!
The Clean Desserts cookbook is truly a gem for those with gluten intolerances or those looking for healthy and clean sweet alternatives. It’s full of amazingly delicious recipes that require absolutely no baking! It’s definitely one of those must-have vegan cookbooks. If you have a friend with a gluten sensitivity then this would be such a great gift!
The author, Karielyn Tillmann, has a huge selection of guilt-free indulgences on her blog The Healthy Family & Home and has found a passion for creating unprocessed clean vegan recipes.
Excerpted from Clean Desserts: Delicious No-Bake Vegan & Gluten-Free Cookies, Bars, Balls, and More, with permission from Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. Copyright 2019 by Karielyn Tillman. Photographs by Karielyn Tillman.