Strawberry Shortcake Bars

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2 min read
Summary

Love desserts but their sugary sweetness doesn’t love you back? You’re not alone. Sweet treats are often made with processed flour and sugar that are stripped of their nutrition, making them digest quickly — creating swings in blood sugar, a large release of insulin, and lots of calories without nutrients. But we understand, they taste good! Introducing Strawberry Shortcake Bars, a whole (raw!) plant-based dessert that is packed with nutrition AND flavor.

Yields8 ServingsPrep Time20 minsTotal Time20 mins

strawberry shortcake bars

Ingredients

Crust
 2 cups pecans
 8 medjool dates (pitted)
 2 tsp vanilla extract
 ¼ tsp salt (optional)
Filling
 1 cup cashews (don’t need to be soaked)
 1 cup water
 ½ cup shredded coconut (optional) unsweetened
 4 tbsp maple syrup (or date paste, link in Chef’s Notes)
 2 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  tsp salt (optional)
Topping
 1 organic strawberries (thinly sliced) +½ cup as desired
 mint (optional) chopped, garnish

Directions

1

Make the crust: Add all crust ingredients to a food processor. Blend until the pecans and dates are completely blended.

2

Line an 8x8” (or similar) baking dish with parchment paper. With a spatula, scoop the crust mixture into the baking dish. Press the mixture down firmly with clean hands or with the spatula until it covers the entire bottom of the dish. Set aside.

3

Make the filling: Add all of the filling ingredients to a food processor, immersion blender, or high-speed blender and blend until smooth. (See Chef’s Notes.)

4

Transfer the filling to the baking dish and spread out evenly.

5

Place the strawberries, cut side down on top. Start with one cup, and add more if you’d like an extra layer of berries!

6

Refrigerate for up to two hours or freeze for up to one hour.

7

Remove from the refrigerator or freezer. Lift the parchment paper and place the dessert and parchment paper on a cutting board. Cut into 2x2” squares.

8

Add some mint leaves on top for garnish and flavor, if desired.

Chef's Notes

Substitutions
Instead of pecans, use walnuts, or half walnuts and half pecans.

Substitute sunflower seeds for the cashews.

Substitute lime juice for lemon juice.

Instead of strawberries, try another berry or fruit like blueberries, raspberries, or sliced kiwi.

Making the filling creamy
You don’t necessarily need to soak the cashews for this recipe. However, if you’re using a food processor or immersion blender instead of a high-speed blender, consider soaking the cashews for 4 hours in room temperature water or 30 minutes in hot water to soften them before blending. This can help create a smooth consistency if not using a high-speed blender.

Whole food sweetener
Use date paste in place of maple syrup.

Prep Ahead
Make the crust ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days before making this recipe. If you have the room, press it into the parchment-lined baking dish and store it, covered, for up to 3 days.

Make the filling ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before making this dish.

Storage
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Ingredients

Crust
 2 cups pecans
 8 medjool dates (pitted)
 2 tsp vanilla extract
 ¼ tsp salt (optional)
Filling
 1 cup cashews (don’t need to be soaked)
 1 cup water
 ½ cup shredded coconut (optional) unsweetened
 4 tbsp maple syrup (or date paste, link in Chef’s Notes)
 2 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  tsp salt (optional)
Topping
 1 organic strawberries (thinly sliced) +½ cup as desired
 mint (optional) chopped, garnish

Directions

1

Make the crust: Add all crust ingredients to a food processor. Blend until the pecans and dates are completely blended.

2

Line an 8x8” (or similar) baking dish with parchment paper. With a spatula, scoop the crust mixture into the baking dish. Press the mixture down firmly with clean hands or with the spatula until it covers the entire bottom of the dish. Set aside.

3

Make the filling: Add all of the filling ingredients to a food processor, immersion blender, or high-speed blender and blend until smooth. (See Chef’s Notes.)

4

Transfer the filling to the baking dish and spread out evenly.

5

Place the strawberries, cut side down on top. Start with one cup, and add more if you’d like an extra layer of berries!

6

Refrigerate for up to two hours or freeze for up to one hour.

7

Remove from the refrigerator or freezer. Lift the parchment paper and place the dessert and parchment paper on a cutting board. Cut into 2x2” squares.

8

Add some mint leaves on top for garnish and flavor, if desired.

Strawberry Shortcake Bars