Raw Vegan Cherry & Almond Butter Caramel Bars

Despite their utterly decadent title, these mouth-watering bars are vitamin-rich and guilt-free sweet delights! Using coconut oil in place of butter, and almond milk, these bites are also dairy-free, making them the perfect treat for our vegan readers. Feel free to replace the almond butter with your favorite nut butter and replace the cherries with cranberries if they aren’t in season. These are so delicious, yummy and packed with protein they even make for an acceptable breakfast! Yields 12 bars.

ALMOND + COCONUT CRUST
1 1/2 cups raw almonds
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Pinch of fine sea salt
2 medjool dates, pitted
1-2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil, melted

ALMOND BUTTER CARAMEL
3/4 cup raw almond butter
10-12 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
Heavy pinch of fine sea salt
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted

YOU’LL ALSO NEED
Cherries, pitted and halved
Raw almonds, roughly chopped
Flaked coconut
Sea salt flakes

METHOD:
In a food processor blend the almonds, shredded coconut, and sea salt into a fine meal. Add the dates and 1 tablespoon of the almond milk, and process until just combined. While the processor is running, slowly drizzle in the coconut oil and blend for about 15-20 seconds.

Press the mixture between your fingers to make sure it sticks together. If it doesn’t hold well, add the additional tablespoon of almond milk and blend until combined. Firmly press the mixture into a 6″ square/round pan lined with parchment paper; set aside.

In a high powered blender blend the almond butter, dates, almond milk, and sea salt on high speed until smooth and creamy; about 1-2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly drizzle in the coconut oil, then increase the speed to high and blend for 30-45 seconds.

To assemble the bars, spread the almond butter caramel over the crust. Top with cherries, almonds, flaked coconut, and sea salt flakes. Chill bars in the freezer for at least eight hours before serving. Will keep frozen, in an airtight container, for up to one month.

Thaw for 10 minutes before slicing with a sharp knife and serving.