Healthy and delicious vegan Nanaimo bars that skip the icing sugar and butter and replace them with wholesome ingredients like nuts, dates, and cashews. Just as rich and delicious and the “real thing,” but with lots of healthy fat and minerals in place of the empty calories!
- 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup tightly packed pitted Medjool dates (6–8 dates- the fresher and softer, the better)
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked and drained*
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup melted cacao butter**
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp turmeric
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened plant milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp melted cacao butter
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- Line a 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, making sure to leave plenty of overhang for easy lift out.
- Make the filling: Place the walnuts, coconut, dates, cacao, and salt in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles grains of sand.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and press it into an even layer, making sure that it covers the entire pan.
- Prepare the filling: Blend together the cashews, maple syrup, melted cacao butter, vanilla, turmeric, salt, milk, and lemon juice in an upright blender on high until ultra smooth and silky. This might take a few minutes, so be patient and protect your ears!
- Pour the filling over the crust and place the pan on an even surface in the freezer. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or until firm.
- Prepare the topping: Whisk the cocoa powder and maple syrup into the melted cacao butter. Remove the pan from the freezer and pour the raw chocolate topping over top, spreading with a spoon to ensure that it reaches every corner of the bar. If the raw chocolate hasn’t firmed up already upon contact with the cold cashew filling, place it in the fridge for a couple of minutes. Lift the bar out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang and transfer to a cutting board.
- To slice the bar, run a sharp knife under hot water for a few seconds–this helps ensure smooth slicing with minimal mess. Slice into sixteen squares.
- Store in the freezer until ready to enjoy. If you like softer Nanaimo bars, take them out of the freezer 15 minutes before enjoying.
*Soak the cashews in boiling water for 1 hour or in room temperature water for at least 4 hours before proceeding with the recipe.
**The recipe calls for melted cacao butter. Melt cacao butter on the stove in the same way that you melt butter or coconut oil, over low heat. 1/3 cup finely chopped solid cacao butter equals about 1/3 cup melted cacao butter. You can also sub coconut oil if you do not have cacao butter.
If your dates are not very soft, you might need to add 1-2 tsp of coconut oil to the crust to help it stick together.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Category: vegan dessert
- Cuisine: vegan
Keywords: raw vegan Nanaimo bar recipe, healthy vegan Nanaimo bar recipe, naturally sweetened Nanaimo bar, maple syrup sweetened Nanaimo bar recipe