These creamy and delicious Vegan Lemon Raspberry No-Bake Bars are free of eggs, grains, gluten, dairy, and refined sugar. They’re a wholesome treat you can enjoy all summer long. Post and photos updated July 2019.
We spent all of last week without AC. Both the upstairs and downstairs units shut down on one of the hottest days of the year so far. It seemed to be a city-wide problem, because all the HVAC service people we called were booked out at least a week. We settled on the nearest available appointment, which was the following Saturday (it went out on Sunday.)
I thought back to the early American settlers and I honestly don’t know how they survived the southern heat without so much as a fan…or little cold luxuries like ice or ice cream. They wore all those clothes too! I would’ve died wearing all of those long layered dresses.
I think I would have spent the summers high up in the mountains where the weather is much cooler in the summer. Or I would’ve liked to live with the Native Americans where wearing the bare minimum was perfectly acceptable!
A lot of places in the world still do without AC though. Many of the Airbnb’s we stayed in throughout Europe last year didn’t have AC. And because of the island breezes, lots of homes in Hawaii still don’t have central AC either. But, when you live down south and the summer temps average in the upper 90’s, AC is essential.
…unless the hot and sweaty look is your thing.
My sweet hubby watched YouTube videos and worked hard throughout the night to try and fix the units so we wouldn’t have to wait a whole week for the repair man. He finally got the upstairs AC back online, so all we camped out upstairs in the bonus room for the next few days. Luckily we have a spare bed and full bathroom up there, along with a tv, couch, and mini fridge, so it’s kind of like a mini apartment.
The only downside was we had family come to visit towards the end of the week, so we gave them the air conditioned upstairs and we moved back downstairs into the sauna.
Since it was so hot during the day, I tried my best to find meals and treats that didn’t require using the stove or oven. I mean, all we needed was to add even more heat to the house! Thankfully, these vegan lemon raspberry bars were the perfect treat. They’re kind of like a cross between cheesecake and a lemon bar. They’re wholesome, delicious, and fact that they don’t need to be cooked/baked is a plus!
They start off with a simple date and nut “crust,” which is blended and then pressed into a pan. Cashews are the base for the creamy filling. They’re full of vitamins and minerals, and contain healthy fats, similar to those found in olive oil. For the topping, I made use of one of my favorite super foods: Chia Seeds! These little seeds are full of fiber, protein, and are great source of omega-3s.
I love chia and add them to whatever I can, like drinks, smoothies, puddings, oatmeal, cookies, and popsicles, to name a few. They’re such a versatile ingredient and their super cool feature is that they absorb up to 10 times their weight in water. This means they make a good thickening agent, which is how I get mashed raspberries to become jam-like.
These bars are perfectly tart with a bit of sweetness. The sweet and fruity raspberry topping is a nice contrast to the lemon too. They’re stored in the fridge or the freezer, so it’s best to let them thaw a bit so that they’re more creamy, less popsicle-y.
These made the perfect little treat to cool us off during one of the hottest weeks we’ve experienced this year. I also like the fact that I don’t have to feel guilty about splurging on these since they’re made with such wholesome ingredients too. 🙂 I hope you enjoy them!
- 3 cups pre-soaked Raw Cashews
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup melted Coconut Oil
- ½ cup Pure Maple Syrup
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- In a bowl, cover the cashews with water and let soak for 3-4 hours. Nuts contain natural enzyme inhibitors. Soaking the nuts not only helps with blending, but it neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors and makes them more digestible. If you're in a pinch for time, you can put the cashews and water in a pot on the stove. Bring the water to a boil and then remove the pot from the heat and let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. You can prepare the other ingredients in the meantime.
- I like to make the topping in the beginning to give the chia seeds time to gel with the raspberries. To make the topping, mash together the raspberries, chia seeds, and maple syrup with a fork. Start with less maple syrup and add the extra half tablespoon, if you want it sweeter. Set aside to gel.
- Add dates and nuts to a processor and pulse a few times to break up the big chunks. Add the pinch of salt and process for 2-3 minutes, or until finely chopped. Mixture should hold together when pressed. If mixture is too dry, add in a few more dates and process until well combined. Press mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 8x8 or 9x9 pan. I recommend lining with parchment paper. It makes getting the bars out so much easier. Clean the processor to use for the filling.
- After your cashews have soaked, rinse and drain the dirty water. Add cashews to your food processor, along with lemon juice, coconut oil, maple syrup, and lemon zest. Blend until creamy. *If you like a mild lemon taste, you can start out with half the amount of lemon juice and zest called for. Taste and add the other half, if needed. If the mixture is too thick you may need to supplement an equal part of water for the lemon juice omitted.
- Pour filling onto the crust and spread across the pan evenly. Drop spoonfuls of raspberry sauce all over the filling and spread over the top, until evenly distributed. Cover the pan well with foil and place into the freezer for 2-3 hours, or until mixture has firmed.
- If you used the parchment paper, use a knife to separate the bars from the edge of the pan. Pick up the bars using both sides of the parchment paper and set on your counter top. Cut into bars and thaw for 10-15 minutes before serving. Best eaten when cold, but creamy. Keep in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to serve. Store leftover bars in the fridge for 4-5 days or in a sealed container in the freezer for 2-3 weeks. Enjoy!
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