Banana Lime Magic Bars


These delicious bars are so creamy.  They are also no bake.  So if you are looking for a healthy, no bake bar recipe this is your ticket.  This recipe comes from our fabulous team member, Fauzia, who lives in Hawaii.  How jealous are we of that… don’t we all day dream about Hawaiian beaches this time of year?! Make these bars for a tropical holiday treat!


 

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It seems like my five year old is always on the lookout for a frozen treat, and I love being able to satisfy his sweet tooth with healthy, homemade goodies.  Made from wholesome ingredients and sweetened only with fruit, these tangy freezer bars really fit the bill, and they are so easy to whip up.  They also happen to be gluten free, dairy free, and vegan, and they rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats!  My Banana Lime Magic Bars have become our favorite offering at get togethers, and my husband loves them so much that he calls them “magic.”  I think you’ll feel the same!

INGREDIENTS

For the crust:

1 cup raw cashew meal (I bought mine at Trader Joe’s, but you can easily grind raw cashews in your food processor to make your own)

7 soft Medjool dates, pits removed

2 tbsp virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled, plus more to grease the pan

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

 

For the filling:

3/4 cup mashed ripe banana

2-3 tbsp fresh lime juice, to taste

1 tsp (packed) lime zest

1/2 cup raw coconut butter (not to be confused with coconut oil)

1 tbsp virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled

tiny pinch of fine sea salt

 

Substitutions and Tips: I buy my Medjool dates and my coconut oil at Costco, but you can find them at any health food store, too.  If you can’t find dates, or don’t care for them, I’d bet dried apricots would be very tasty in this recipe.  Feel free to use ground walnuts or pecans in place of the cashews, if you’d prefer.  Any type of coconut butter, or coconut manna, is perfect in this recipe, and I have found it at my local GNC store, as well as most health food stores.

PREPARE THE CRUST:

First, drizzle a little bit of coconut oil into a dry, 9×5 inch loaf pan.  Spread it around with your fingers, then line the pan with a piece of parchment paper, allowing for extra paper on the sides (you will use the excess to pull the frozen mixture out of the pan).  The coconut oil on the pan prevents the parchment from slipping around while you’re trying to line the pan.  Do your best to press the paper into the corners of the pan, making it as smooth as possible.  Don’t worry if it looks a little awkward.

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Place all of your crust ingredients, including the 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil, into a food processor fitted with an “S” blade, and pulse until the ingredients are all well incorporated and you have a sticky, crumbly looking “dough.”  If you are making your own cashew meal, first grind the cashews, measure out exactly one cup, then add that back into the food processor with the rest of your ingredients.

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Turn the dough out into your lined loaf pan, then use your fingers to press the dough into the bottom of the pan, creating your crust.  You want to get the crust as evenly thick as possible.  Put the pan into the freezer to allow to the crust to firm up, and get started on your filling.

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PREPARE THE FILLING:

Now, prepare your filling by first mashing the bananas with a fork until you reach a pureed consistency, then measure out 3/4 cup.

Lime8      Lime9Place all filling ingredients into a bowl and process with a hand immersion blender until smooth.  You can also use your regular blender to achieve the same result.

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Remove the crust from the freezer.  Pour the filling onto your prepared crust, then use a spatula to gently spread it out so that it’s evenly distributed over the crust, taking care to avoid thin or thick spots.  When you cut your bars after freezing, you want them to have a uniform thickness.

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Now put the pan into the freezer and let it all set up for at least 3 hours (it may take longer depending on how cold your freezer is).  If you are going to leave it to freeze overnight, I suggest covering the pan tightly with plastic wrap to avoid freezer burn.

These bars are best served straight from the freezer. When you are ready to indulge, remove the pan from the freezer and pull up on the sides of the parchment paper to remove the frozen slab onto a cutting board, keeping the parchment paper intact.

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Use a large, sharp knife to slice it into uniformly sized bars.  You can make them as big or as small as you’d like.  I cut mine into about 2X3 inch rectangles.  I think it would also be fun to make them into little 1 inch squares for smaller fingers.

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Store your Banana Lime Magic Bars in the freezer in an airtight container, and separate the bars with sheets of parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together.  For the best flavor and texture, allow them to sit at room temp a few minutes before serving.

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 These have been such a hit with my family – I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

With Aloha,

Fauzia


 

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Fauzia is a blogger, esthetician, mom of two, and a lover of healthy and delicious allergen-free food.  Fauzia has been an avid home cook since the age of twelve, and owes her grace in the kitchen and passion for cooking to her mom and grandmother.  She was raised on a mixture of her family’s traditional East Indian cuisine, and the standard American diet. After struggling for years from digestive problems and acne, she embarked on a journey to heal her body.  She transformed her health by learning to eat right, and found that gluten, dairy, eggs, and refined sugars needed to go.   Fauzia believes that knowing how to nourish herself and her family is the key to creating long lasting health and vitality, and from this grew a love for creating recipes that are easy, wholesome, and yummy.

Fauzia started her blog, The Masala Maven, to share her recipes and connect with others in their quest for health and good food. Her culinary creations are inspired by her East Indian and Tanzanian heritage, by life growing up in the Pacific Northwest, and by island life in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she currently lives with her husband, their two boys, and their two dogs. Fauzia is passionate about helping others to live their best, healthiest lives.

 

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