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Paleo Coconut Banana Cream Pie Bars

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I'm sorry that I have not been posting or sharing recipes.  Honestly, I haven't been cooking much, nor wanting to take pictures of the things I have been cooking.  It's been mainly eggs & smoothies.  Eggs in the morning as it's not too hot yet.  Smoothies for dinner as it's too hot to heat up the kitchen to even turn on the stove.  For lunch, I just graze.

My son's birthday is this month.   He'll be 9 and he also shares his birthday with another very special person. Today is my son's August Birthday Celebration Party in his 4th grade homeroom.  None of the parents are allowed, so I'm very sad as I love to be at those parties and take pictures.  Not taking pictures at my kids' schools will be another difference and change from their old school where I was allowed to do whatever I wanted (within normal, reasonable limits).

Not wanting to buy anything premade as things are loaded with awful ingredients, and not wanting to heat the kitchen up, I sort of prayed and asked God to help me as to what to make.  Yesterday sometime, as I was looking at the content of recipes I would like to make, and saw this recipe I had put on my list awhile back by Amy Layne, "Healthy Banana Coconut Cream Pie Squares".

As usual, I modified and will share why.  Got raw almonds for $2.99/lb at Sprouts last week, maybe 7-8 lbs and I already had maybe 4 lbs at home.  Raw cashews were not on sale (nor did I plan ahead) and they are regularly $8.99/lb.  I needed to make enough for 32 people.  When I made a raw cheesecake in July, though it tasted great, it was an expensive "cheesecake" using the raw cashews (but that was for about 10 people), and it wasn't as thick as I would've liked.  Honestly, I didn't want to buy 3 lbs of raw cashews, plus the organic dates.  This would've made these bars super expensive.

I believe these bars would be great with most any nuts you want to buy - walnuts, cashews, pecans, almonds, macadamia, hazelnuts.  I recommend bulkier, heartier nuts over sunflower seeds, pepitas, pinenuts. Soak your nuts either overnight or for at least 5 hours to release the enzymes that your body needs to process the nuts.

My kids said this tasted like banana ice cream and was very yummy.  You can make many variations on this and I thought maybe using peaches or blueberries the next time.  Pictures forthcoming.

Makes 24 Bars

Ingredients for Crust:
  • 2 cup raw nuts (after soaked)
  • 2 cup pitted organic dates (make sure to remove all pits from dates before blending)
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 Tbspn water
Ingredients for Filling:
  • 1 cup natural nut butter (I made my own almond butter - generally for 1 cup of nut butter, you need about 2 cups of raw nuts after they have been soaked, and some walnut oil)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tbspns vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut + extra coconut to sprinkle over everything
  • 2 Tbspns maple syrup
  • 3 ripe bananas
Directions for Crust:
  • Grease 9 x 13 baking dish (I used butter, but you can use coconut oil).
  • Place all ingredients in a blender.  I use a Blendtec, which is a high-powered blender.  Blend until all ingredients are still somewhat chunky.
  • "Pour" mixture into baking dish and press down, making sure the mixture is evenly distributed.  I used a wide flat spatula to press it down so I wouldn't get my hands sticky.
Directions for Filling:
  • Add all ingredients in a blender.  If you have a high powered blender, I would suggest using this or saving up to buy one.  They are invaluable.
  • Blend all ingredients until it looks very creamy.  I do not know how this would turn out in a non-high-powered blender, but with the Blendtec, I started at Speed 1 and increased it to Speed 7 and let it blend for about 45 sec.
  • Pour well-blended mixture over the crust.
  • Sprinkle with coconut.
  • Wrap baking dish in plastic wrap and put in freezer overnight.
  • Remove and cut.

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