|Raw Raspberry Bars|
Greetings everyone and I hope you all are enjoying the holiday season!
We had a lovely Christmas and I have to admit it included quite a bit of cooked food. I have actually started helping my elderly neighbors with some things and one of those has been meals. Although one of them eats quite a bit of raw food as in fruit and salads, which probably explains why she is so sprite at 83! the other is a big meat and potatoes guy who really misses being able to cook. She doesn't cook and his health is challenged. So it's been interesting.
We actually joined them for a Christmas Eve dinner that I prepared and while they both loved it, and it was one of Rich's all time favorite foods, we realized we can no longer eat this way and feel good. I stayed pretty much to my vegetable dishes, which surprisingly they also really loved but the whole process was a reminder of what all cooking entails. Its' a lot of work, ingredients and clean up. I have really come to appreciate raw food clean up because it's a snap! Not to mention the way cooked food makes us both feel- heavy, congested, sleepy, etc...
Plus I don't feel right preparing meat anymore. It's not appetizing to me and frankly I feel very uncomfortable working with it. Just being honest here because it surprised me more than I expected. My kitchen no longer feels clean to me from having meat in it, even though it was of course cleaned up.
Rich said to me as we left their home Christmas Eve, "Can get back to raw? I need it."
You don't know what a surprise this is to hear. He was the last person I expected would like raw food. We both agree that simper is better, instead of the complicated raw dishes.
With that said, after all the baking I did the last couple of weeks, I was really craving a raw treat. Since Rich loves raspberry I made up these simple raw raspberry bars. No cooking, easy clean up and they seem to get better everyday. Plus I love the color!
The color of raw fresh foods is so beautiful! When I see a colorful plate of pure fresh food, there is no question in my mind that this is how we are supposed to eat. It is so tantalizing!!
So enough rambling. On to the...
Raw Raspberry Bars
For crust and topping:
2 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup agave
Process coconut, cashews and salt in a food processor until fine and crummy, then add in the agave until well mixed.
Press the 2/3 mixture into a pan that has been lined with cling wrap. Make it thick enough that it will hold up as a cookie base when done. I used a 8 X 9 glass dish. You can also press into tart or small muffin tins, line first though with cling wrap.
Refrigerate while making the jam.
1 10 oz package of frozen raspberries thawed and drained or 1 carton fresh berries
3 TBSP date paste (medjool dates mixed with enough water to form a paste)
1/4 cup agave syrup or sweeten to taste.
Blend in small blender , a Magic Bullet is perfect but a regular blender will work as well, until nicely chopped and mixed. Taste for sweetness and add more agave if necessary.
Once the bottom crust is set, pour the jam over and spread. Best to let this set up in the fridge before adding top layer. I didn't wait and pressed out little balls and layered over the top to keep it floating on top of the jam (because it wasn't set yet) but you could just sprinkle the crumb topping over as well.
Best to let the whole thing sit a couple of hours in the fridge covered to set up. Then cut and use plastic wrap to help you get it out of the pan in one piece.
I think they tasted better the next day and the next....
Should keep for 5 days covered in the fridge, if they last that long.
Hope you try the recipe and enjoy!