Happy Monday! Did you miss me? I missed you, but you would not have wanted to see what I was eating and cooking last week. After a week and a weekend full of helping pull together our school’s largest fundraising event of the year, I was wiped out — too tired to make anything apart from omelets, really, and the occasional slice of toast.
But this week is different. It seems like spring may have come to Idaho while I was otherwise occupied, and we’re suddenly on the cusp of Earth Day. Those two things have inspired me to jump on the “Green Week” bandwagon — hence this recipe, and the other green ones to follow.
Every Easter, my mom would make Grasshopper Pie, this amazing concoction made of melted mini marshmallows, creme de menthe, and creme de cacao poured into an Oreo cookie crust and chilled until solid. It was, hands down, my favorite part of the holiday, and I even wrote about a slightly fancied-up version in my food column.
There are obvious drawbacks to this dessert for the health-conscious, though, and those with gluten or other sensitivities. So when I found this recipe for Grasshopper Bars on Raia’s Recipes that was vegan, gluten-free, paleo and free of eggs and nuts, I had to see if it was any good.
The short answer — it is. The green color comes from avocado, the minty kick comes from peppermint extract and a little vanilla, and a dark chocolate topping takes the place of the cookie crust. For those of you who are skeptical, you can’t taste the avocado — the coconut and mint cover up any subtle flavor. And my chief taste-tester couldn’t tell there was anything strange about them.
I probably didn’t use as much honey as Raia called for — and if you are strict vegan, I assume you can use the liquid sweetener of your choice. I made these in a 9×9 square pan, but if you want thicker bars, I would make these in a 9×5 loaf pan instead and cut into only eight bars, rather than the 16 I made.
- 1 avocado
- 1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup honey or other liquid sweetener (this seemed like a lot to me…I might scale back to 3 Tbsp)
- 6 Tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp honey or other liquid sweetener
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Line a 9×9 (or 9×5) pan with parchment paper or waxed paper. Place all mint layer ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. It should look like an avocado mousse with bits of coconut. Pour mixture into the prepared pan, smooth, and put in freezer while you’re making the chocolate layer.
- Melt coconut oil and honey together in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat, and stir in remaining ingredients, using a whisk if you’re having trouble getting the sauce smoothed out.
- Pour chocolate over chilled mint layer. Put back in the freezer for 15 minutes, or until chocolate has hardened. Cut into squares, and either serve or store covered in the freezer.