Every Saturday, I have coffee with two friends of mine and my little buddy, their one-year-old son. While he cruises around the coffee shop and tries very hard to steal my keys, my sunglasses, my phone and often my coffee mug (usually with coffee still in it), I get to giggle at his antics and enjoy the shop’s one Paleo offering — a delicious breakfast bar with a raspberry filling, a nutty-sweet crust, a crumbly topping and a delicious chocolate drizzle.
This week, it occurred to me that I could copy this bar and now would be the perfect time to do it, especially as it’s berry season. I believe the original bar that I fell in love with was constructed with some sort of raspberry jam (which may or may not actually be Paleo), a date and almond crust, coconut in there somewhere, and either cocoa powder with coconut oil drizzle or some sort of almost-paleo chocolate drizzle.
This bar is as Paleo as I could get it. But because of the chocolate chips, there is some added refined sugar, though I managed to find a brand that didn’t include dairy, soy, peanuts or anything else questionable. Anyway, the slight amount of extra sugar is a small price to pay for these bars, which are also vegan and gluten-free. The shortbread-type crust includes dates for a little extra sweetness, as does the topping, and the filling shows off fresh strawberries to an advantage while also working with frozen berries.
The effect is somewhere between strawberry shortcake and a chocolate-dipped strawberry. If you use frozen berries, it would be a great special snack for Valentine’s Day.
- 1 3/4 cups nut flour (almond or cashew)
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 5 dates, pitted
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 2 dates, pitted
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 cup extra-dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend together all crust ingredients in a food processor until well-combined; mixture will not be entirely smooth. Spread batter into a greased 8×8 baking pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. Place strawberries, syrup and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat and allow to simmer until berries are very tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Mash berries with a fork or potato masher; stir in chia seeds until very well incorporated, and allow to gel and cool for about 15 minutes.
- Place topping ingredients except for chocolate chips in a food processor and pulse until blended and sort of crumb-like in texture.
- Spread cooled filling over cooled bars; crumble topping on top of the filling. Bake in a 350 oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the topping begins to brown.
- Melt chocolate chips in microwave or double boiler; pipe over the top of the bars using a piping tool or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off. Allow to cool before serving.
- You can sub honey for the maple syrup if you are not vegan. You can also double the filling for a more berry-filled bar.