Summer desserts must be frozen. I just can't with the oven (although I admittedly occasionally make exceptions for summer berry and peach crisps). But, for the most part, I love to whip up easy, freezer-friendly desserts and keep the oven off as much as possible from June-August.
These raw, no-bake snack bars are the perfect hot weather healthy treat that double up as either a snack or dessert. If I had to pick a category I would have to go with snack since they are full of plant-based protein, whole grain fiber and even some hidden greens! Plus, they are refined sugar-free and sweetened naturally with dates and maple syrup. They honestly taste like a frozen chocolate pie though so they could also serve as a super duper healthy dessert.
Either way, this recipe could not be easier to make. You simply combine the crust ingredients in a food processor and put half of that mixture in a lined loaf pan. Then you whisk together the chocolate filling and pour over the crust. Finally you layer the other half of the crust on top and pop the whole thing in your freezer for a couple of hours. Done!
The silky chocolate filling is perfectly nestled between two layers of the seed-based crust. It is similar to an ice cream sandwich but way healthier.
Once frozen, you slice it up into snack bars and enjoy immediately or store in your freezer. These snack bars are best enjoyed directly out of the freezer as they will start to lose their shape as they thaw out.
So what is in these yummy looking bars? The crust is a combination of sunflower seeds, oats, dates and avocado oil. The chocolate filling is not melted chocolate - instead it is unsweetened cocoa powder (or you could use cacao powder) combined with maple syrup and vegan butter. I also included one of my favorite "sneak-in-my-greens" products: Barlean's Greens Chocolate Silk Powder. I usually throw it into my chocolate smoothies but in this recipe, I used it to make the chocolate filling. It is made with antioxidant-rich, fair trade cocoa and a concentration of fruits and vegetables. You could certainly leave it out and just use all cocoa powder or cacao powder in this recipe but I like to add it in to sneak some veggies into this snack. You really won't be able to tell the difference.
These healthy snack bars are the perfect frozen treat. No oven required! They are vegan, gluten-free, nut-free and refined sugar-free. They also contain hidden greens for added nutrients. The crust is perfectly sweetened with dates and the chocolate silky filling is sweetened with maple syrup. Together the layers combine to make an incredibly satisfying and nutritious snack/dessert!
Crust (bottom and top layers):
- 1 ½ cups raw, unsalted sunflower seeds*
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free quick cooking oats
- 12 Medjool dates, pitted
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- ⅛ teaspoon fine salt
Chocolate Filling (middle layer):
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- Prepare the crust: Pulse all ingredients for the crust in a food processor until well combined. Place half the crust mixture into an 8x4 loaf pan lined with parchment paper or wax paper. Set aside the other half of the crust mixture for the topping.
- Prepare the chocolate filling: Whisk the chocolate filling ingredients in a small mixing bowl until smooth and no clumps remain. Pour over crust in loaf pan and use a mini spatula to lightly spread the chocolate filling out evenly.
- Place remaining crust mixture on top and press gently to get it to stay put in the chocolate mixture.
- Place the loaf pan in the freezer and chill for 3-4 hours. Cut into bars and serve! Best enjoyed immediately out of the freezer. The bars will not hold their shape well if left out for longer than ten minutes.
* For better results (less crumbly bars), soak the sunflower seeds ahead of time in boiling water for 90 minutes.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Category: Snack
This recipe is brought to you in partnership with Barlean's. As always, all opinions are my own. I only share companies I love and trust, so thank you for continuing to support Eating by Elaine!