Inspired By A Raw Vegan Snickers Bar
Inspired by some particularly mouth-watering vegan snickers bar recreations on Instagram (Addicted To Dates are possibly the most impressive!), I thought it was high time I tried my hand at recreating this iconic chocolate bar too.
Not one to do things by halves, my aim for this recipe was to create a raw, vegan, snickers inspired dessert, that was also gluten, refined sugar and oil free, and ideally made solely with whole food sweeteners… Phew!
What ingredients did that leave me with then?
Surprisingly some pretty good ones when it comes to the flavours and textures of a snickers bar!
What’s A Whole Food Sweetener
To answer this question, first let’s look at what a “whole food” is.
Essentially, a whole food is simply that. Food that’s still in its whole, original, unaltered state. Whole foods ideally haven’t undergone any processing or refining at all, or have been processed and refined very little so that they still have all their nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fibre intact. Some examples of whole foods are fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, legumes, tubers and whole grains.
A whole food sweetener, is any food in it’s whole, original, unaltered state that can be used to sweeten another food. Some examples of whole food sweeteners are whole dates, date puree, whole fruits, (unsweetened) fruit puree, raw honey, and sweet vegetables such as carrots, sweet potato and beetroot.
What About Other Unrefined Sweeteners
There is, however, a slight grey area when it comes to what’s considered a whole food sweetener and what isn’t. For example, is beetroot powder still considered a whole food sweetener given all of its water content has been removed? How about date syrup which you can make yourself by blending dates and warm water, or buy a slightly more processed version?
Taking it one step further, there’s also the minimally processed unrefined sweeteners such as pure maple syrup, rice syrup or coconut nectar which technically aren’t considered whole foods, but many people on a whole foods plant based diet still choose to use them because of their minimal processing.
When it comes down to it, it really depends how far you want to take the whole food concept and the reason why you’re choosing to use whole food sweeteners in the first place.
In my opinion, all the unrefined sweeteners I’ve just mentioned can be great options depending on what you’re looking for. All of the above sweeteners have slightly different qualities and properties, and this will determine which you choose and how you use them.
This Slice Is Sweetened Solely With Dates
For this Raw Snickers Ice Cream Slice recipe I’ve kept it really simple by using pitted Medjool dates throughout. Medjool dates are larger and softer than the more common Deglet Noor variety, and have an amazing, rich caramel flavour with works perfectly for the caramel elements of this recipe. Medjool’s are also quite a bit stickier than regular dates which is a perfect for holding the biscuit base together in the absence of coconut oil.
If you can’t get your hands on Medjool dates (or don’t want to splash out for 16 of them), simply swap them for the smaller Deglet Noor variety at a ratio of around 2:1.
Alternatively, if you’re on a low fructose diet or would simply prefer to avoid dates entirely, you could substitute them for a liquid sweetener such as pure maple syrup, rice syrup or coconut nectar. If you do this you’ll also have to reduce some of the liquid quantities to ensure you end up with a good texture.
What About The High Fructose Content In Dates
Some people get worried when they see dates in a recipe due to their high fructose content. But as I discussed above, dates are a whole food that are in their original unprocessed state (aside from removing the pitts of course).
This means their very high fibre content will slow down the absorption of fructose into the blood stream and avoid unwanted blood sugar spikes. Fibre is also essential for a healthy digestion.
Dates are also packed with nutrients such as magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, B6 and iron, not to mention an abundance of antioxidants!
So as far as sweeteners go, dates are a very nutritionally dense choice and are far better than other high fructose liquid sweeteners such as agave or high fructose corn syrup.
What Else Is In This Gluten Free Vegan Snickers Slice
To create the chocolate biscuit base I used a mixture of almonds and cashews, bound together by Medjool dates, which also provide the sweetness. Raw cacao powder provides the chocolate flavour, coconut cream enhances the texture, and a touch of Himalayan pink salt rounds off the flavour.
The vanilla “nougat” layer is a super smooth, vanilla custard creme which is extremely tempting to eat by the spoonful. The amazing creaminess comes from soaked cashews which are blended with coconut cream, plant milk, pure vanilla powder and a couple more Medjool dates for sweetness.
The peanut caramel layer is no doubt the richest part of this recipe, and is also the simplest. It’s made up of only 3 ingredients: smooth peanut butter, Medjool dates and coconut cream. Just like the vanilla layer, it’s all kinds of lick the spoon, crazy good.
Of course, no snickers bar is complete without some roasted salted peanuts, and these get pride of place on top of this decadent ice cream slice.
If you’re feeling extravagant you could drizzle the top with melted chocolate, or go one step further and cover each slice in chocolate for the full snickers experience!
One thing to note though, most chocolate is made with refined sugar so that’s something to consider if you want to ensure this dessert is made with as many “whole food” ingredients as possible.
This Slice Is Packed With Antioxidants, Vitamins, Minerals, Protein & Fibre
Because this Raw Snickers Bar Slice is made largely with whole food ingredients, it’s naturally packed full of nutrients!
Cashews, almonds and peanuts are all amazing sources of plant based protein as well as heathy plant based fats.
Raw cacao powder is packed full of antioxidants, particularly polyphenols. These have been linked to many health benefits such as reduced inflammation, lower blood pressure, improved blood flow, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Coconut cream is a source of vitamins and minerals such as manganese and copper, as well as MCT’s (medium chain triglycerides).
And lastly dates are a fantastic source of fibre, as well as vitamins, minerals and an abundance of anti-inflammatory antioxidants.
Other Peanut Butter Recipes You’ll Love
I’ve created quite a few peanut butter recipes to date, some of my favourites are this creamy Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Fudge, this super rich Peanut Butter Coconut Cream Pie, and this classic Chocolate Peanut Butter Avocado Mousse.
But I think the ultimate recipe (apart from this Raw Snickers Ice Cream slice of course) has to be my Ultimate Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake. It’s a super moist, deliciously fudgey, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate cake, with just a hint of peanut butter.
All these recipes are gluten/grain and refined sugar free, as well as plant based/vegan, but only this Raw Snickers Ice Cream Slice recipe is sweetened entirely with dates, aka whole food sweeteners.
I hope you love this new Raw Snickers Ice Cream Slice recipe, and when you make it let me know in the comments below.
Raw Snickers Ice Cream Slice (Gluten Free/Vegan)
Makes: 20 x 20cm square tin; approximately 16 squares
Prep time: 45 minutes Set time: 3 hours or overnight
1 cup (160g) almonds
1 cup (160g) cashews
6 Medjool dates, pitted
3 Tbsp (22g) raw cacao powder
1/4 cup (65g) coconut cream
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
2 cups (300g) cashews
1/2 cup (125g) coconut cream
1 cup (250g) plant milk
4 Medjool dates
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
Peanut Caramel Layer
1/2 cup (150g) smooth peanut butter
6 Medjool dates, pitted
3/4 cup (190g) plant milk
1/2 cup (80g) roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
Line a small brownie pan (18 cm x 30 cm or 20 cm x 20 cm) with baking paper.
Soak the cashews by placing in a bowl, cover with water and leave at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours. Drain and rinse well.
To make the base, place the almonds and cashews into a food processor and blend on high until they resemble coarse crumbs. Add the remaining base ingredients, blend until the dates are mixed in and the mix comes together.
Tip the base mixture into the prepared tin and press down until even and smooth. Place in the fridge to set.
To make the vanilla layer, place all the filling ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour over the base, smooth with a spatula and place in the freezer to set for an hour, or until just firm.
Roast the topping peanuts in a 160°C oven for 10 minutes or until golden, then roughly chop.
Make the caramel layer by placing all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour over the vanilla layer, smooth, sprinkle with peanuts and return to the freezer to set.
To serve, remove slice from the tin, cut into squares using a hot knife and serve semi-frozen.
Store slice in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 1 month.