These vegan nanaimo bars are a homemade, healthier take on the Canadian classic dessert that we all know and love! They start with a sweet coconut hazelnut crust layered with a creamy cashew filling, and are finally topped with smooth and silky rich chocolate. No bake, naturally vegan and gluten free, and made from just a handful of simple ingredients!
1 cup pitted medjool dates (soaked 10 mins if not soft)
1 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup cacoa powder
2-3 Tbsp water as needed to blend
1 cup soaked & drained cashews (soaked overnight or in hot water for 2 hours)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup thick full-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
Chocolate Topping Ingredients:
3/4 cup chocolate chips
2 tsp coconut oil
Add all crust ingredients to a high speed food processor and blend until smooth. Add water by the tbsp to blend as needed. Mixture should be slightly moist and stick together when pressed between fingers (add more water if too crumbly.)
Transfer batter to an 8x8 pan lined with two flaps of parchment paper sticking out the sides. Press firmly into an even layer.
Blend all filling ingredients in a food processor until completely smooth. Pour over top of crust and smooth to an even layer. Place entire pan in freezer for at least 2 hours to set until middle layer is frozen.
Melt chocolate chips with coconut oil in microwave until smooth. Pour quickly over filling layer and spread evenly.
Lift out entire bar using parchment paper flaps and cut into 12-16 squares (tip: dip knife in boiling water for clean cuts!) Store in the freezer for best texture and let thaw 10-15 minutes before enjoying!
Arisha is a plant-based enthusiast and athlete from Vancouver, Canada with a passion for promoting a healthy yet balanced lifestyle.