Strawberry Matcha Cream Bars

Made from a medley of nuts and fruit, these gluten and refined sugar-free “ice cream” sticks will convince you there’s life beyond dairy. I have an obsession with Japan, and therefore thought to add matcha powder to the base, which serves as both a flavor and color complement to the strawberry. Pink peppercorns add a fun crunch (remember those Carvel ice cream cakes with the chocolate crunchies from back in the day?!), but if you don’t have any, feel free to omit.

| INGREDIENTS |

BASE:

½ cup Gluten-Free Oat Flour* (If you can’t find any, you can make your own by blending oats in a food processor.)

¼ cup Almond Flour

¼ cup Raw Almonds

½ cup Pitted Dates, sliced

1 tablespoon Water

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

¼ teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Matcha Powder

| ASSEMBLY |

1 | To make the base, line an 11-inch x 7-inch baking pan with parchment paper so that the parchment comes up and over the sides.

2 | Add oat flour, almond flour, almonds, dates, water, vanilla extract, salt and matcha powder to a food processor and process until mixture is finely ground, forming a dough and beginning to stick together (about 1 minute).

3 | Using your hands or the back of a spoon, press mixture into the bottom of the baking pan, forming a firmly packed even layer.

FILLING:

1 cup Raw Cashew Nuts (soaked in water overnight)

6 tablespoons Virgin Coconut Oil, melted

3 tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice

½ cup Honey

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

¼ teaspoon Salt

1 cup Fresh or Frozen Strawberries (about 8 ounces), divided

2½ tablespoons Pink Peppercorns, divided

Zest from 1 Orange

| ASSEMBLY |

4 | For the filling, drain cashews and transfer to food processor, along with coconut oil, lime juice, honey, vanilla extract and salt.

5 | Process until mixture is smooth and creamy (about 30 seconds).

6 | Scoop out half of the mixture and set aside in a separate bowl.

7 | Add ¼ cup strawberries (about 2 ounces) to the mixture and process until smooth (about 10 seconds).

8 | Pour this mixture over the base and smooth the top with a spatula to form an even later.

9 | Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of pink peppercorns on top.

10 | Transfer to freezer.

11 | Meanwhile, pour reserved cream mixture back into the processor and add remaining strawberries along with orange zest. Process until smooth and creamy (about 20 seconds).

12 | Remove baking pan from freezer and pour the remaining strawberry layer atop the frozen layer.

13 | Smooth top with spatula and sprinkle the remaining ½ tablespoon of pink peppercorns atop.

14 | Return to freezer for at least 4 hours until set.

15 | Slice into 3-inch x ½-inch thick sticks and serve immediately.

Kat Odell is the author of Day Drinking, and a longtime food and restaurant editor. After serving as the Editor of Eater LA for five years, she moved from Los Angeles to New York where she didn’t have as much access to clean eats as she did while living on the left coast. Therefore, she started making her own plant-based drinks and foods, which turned into Unicorn Food, her next book, slated for publish Spring 2018. Unicorn Food is a collection of vibrantly-hued, plant-based recipes devoid of gluten and refined sugar, that are as delicious as they are pretty. Kat Odell and Unicorn Food can be found at @kat_odell and @unicornfoods.

Comment