I went into this venture with a lot of trepidation. Nanaimo squares are one of the most popular Christmas desserts in Canada and everybody has their own version. The nainamo bars I’m used to are extra sweet and have a smooth creamy center. Personally, I am not the sweets lover I once was. I prefer dark chocolate to milk, black coffee to sweetened and fruit now tastes like candy. This didn’t happen overnight but as I decreased my processed sugar intake my taste buds changed. I set out to make a nainamo bar that had pleasing textures and was allergy friendly. What I ended up with was a delicious, not too sweet, dessert made entirely out of whole ingredients. The bars are gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. You cannot detect the avocado in the filling, it is completely masked by the fluffy coconut cream.
What You Will Need:
For the filling:
1 ripe Avocado
1/4+1/8 tsp of mint extract (sorry about the weird measurements 🙂
1/4+1/8 cup of coconut cream
1/8 cup coconut milk
2 TBSP coconut oil (melted)
For the base:
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 TBSP coconut oil (melted)
2 TBSP cocoa
3 TBSP maple syrup
For the top:
2/3 cup Dark Chocolate (if you want a sweeter dessert you can choose a lower percentage of chocolate)
1 tsp coconut oil
You are going to start by making the filling so that it has time to set in the fridge. Combine avocado, coconut milk, coconut oil and maple syrup until smooth. Fold in the coconut Cream (1/4+1/8) and add mint extract. You can add more or less until you achieve desired taste. Place in fridge for 30 minutes.
Next is the base. Combine all ingredients and press in to a 8×8 baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. The crust was not very sweet, which is how I like it, but you can add more syrup if desired. After it has finished baking, let it cool completely before adding the filling on top. If your base is too dry when you try to press it, you can add another TBSP of maple syrup to help you achieve the proper texture.
For the top layer melt dark chocolate and coconut oil together. Spread over the top of the middle layer and place in the freezer for a few minutes, to prevent the chocolate from melting the center, before transferring to the fridge. Once the chocolate has formed a hard layer on top it is ready to eat! If the chocolate is too hard, when you try to cut it, you need to let it thaw a few minutes before cutting.
Sorry about the poor lighting in these photos. The centre is actually a lovely mint colour!
If you decide to tackle one of my desserts please tag me and show me your creation! @charityelliottnutrition on Instagram and EatReal4Life on Facebook!