Okay, it’s officially summer now. Yes, it has already been three weeks of the summer holidays for me, but the sun is finally out and has no permission to be leaving soon. And what better way to cool off on a hot day than with a sweet no-bake treat?
Cue these Vegan Coconut Slices. A caramel date-oat base (made with a secret healthy ingredient!) topped with a sweet and mellow coconut layer, cacao nibs and a thick slab of marbled diary-free chocolate. Because if your dessert (or breakfast, I don’t judge) doesn’t come with a thick slab of marbled dairy-free chocolate, I’m sorry, but you are living life wrong.
Those swirls are borderline hypnotic. In fact, they are completely hypnotic – that would explain why most of these are already gone hehe! And those tiny chocolate rocks sitting on top? They are one of my new faves: cacao nibs.
I get my cacao nibs from Superfood World, who sell on their website and on amazon. Cacao nibs are chocolate in its purest form: fermented nuggets of cacao beans. Whilst this may sound kinda weird, I can vouch that they taste absolutely amazing. They have a rich and bitter taste, so will go down well with die-hard chocolate fans such as myself. Cacao nibs have a myriad of health benefits:
- Natural happiness and energy
- High in antioxidants
- Naturally contains iron
And many more! Check out the Superfood World website for the full details so you can purchase some yourself.
(psst – want more cacao nibs recipes? Check out these vegan chocolate cupcakes!)
So let’s talk about this caramel base. Yes, that said CARAMEL. *silently squeals*
What makes it sweet? Dates. What makes it carb-y? Oats. What makes it firm? Coconut Oil. What makes it taste like caramel? Maca powder, aka my secret weapon.
I also get my maca powder from Superfood World and I love this stuff. Great in smoothies, pancakes, french toast, you name it. And it goes particularly great in this coconut slice. So what is Maca Powder, you ask? Maca is a root vegetable, related to the radish. (On a side note, am I the only person who finds it funny that plants are related?). Maca powder is made by grinding up the vegetable into a fine powder. Again, this product has many health benefits:
- Naturally balance energy levels
- A natural adaptogen
- Healthy radiant skin
- Hormonal health benefits
Nutrition intermission over (Sorry, I had to, it rhymes) and we are back to the coconut slices, with plenty of drool-worthy photography. This might have been one of my favourite things to shoot so far – those layers came out even better than expected!
Despite being my favourite thing to shoot so far, this as most definitely been my messiest shoot to date. Let’s just say that low camera battery, borderline 30 degree heat and quickly melting chocolate are not a good combination.
I mean, there was chocolate everywhere – on my camera, on the tablecloth, on my pyjamas. (Life rule #1: If I don’t need to leave the house, I ain’t taking my pyjamas off).
If you’re interested in learning more about photography, check out my list of five food photography essentials all beginners need – it’s not to be missed!
MOre chocolatey vegan recipes:
VEGAN COCONUT SLICE
For the base:
- 75 grams Pitted Dates
- 50 grams Rolled Oats
- 1 heaped teaspoon Coconut Oil
- 1 tablespoon Maca Powder
For the Coconut Layer:
- 40 grams Coconut Oil
- 30 grams Maple Syrup
- 80 grams Dessicated Coconut
For the Chocolatey Topping:
- 75 grams Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate
- 50 grams Dairy-Free White Chocolate
- 1 teaspoon Cacao Nibs
- Make the base: Add the base ingredients to a blender/food processor reserving 20 grams of the oats. Mix well until a sticky dough forms. Transfer to a bowl, and use your hands to mix in the remaining oats.
- Press the base mixture into a loaf tin lined with grease-proof paper. Chill in the freezer for 5 minutes whilst you prepare the next layer.
- Make the coconut layer: In a medium-sized microwaveable bowl, melt the coconut oil. Mix in the maple syrup and dessicated coconut and stir to combine. Press this mixture on top of the base layer and return to the freezer for a further 10 minutes.
- Make the chocolate layer: Melt both chocolates in separate small microwave-safe bowls. First spread the dark chocolate on top of the coconut layer, then dollop the white chocolate on and use a toothpick to quickly swirl the chocolates together creating a marbled effect. Sprinkle with the cacao nibs. Return to the freezer for a further 15 minutes or until firm.
- Remove from the freezer a few minutes before slicing into 8 squares with a flat-edged knife. Serve and enjoy!
- Store in the fridge in an air-tight container. I don’t know how long they will last, as they didn’t last long enough in my house for me to find out!
- If you cannot find dairy-free white chocolate, you can simply use 125 grams dark chocolate instead of 75 grams, and omit the white chocolate.
NUTRITIONServing size: 1/8 recipe Calories: 257 kcal | Fat: 17.7g | Saturated Fat: 14.1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 36mg | Carbohydrates: 26.7g | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 16.5g | Protein: 2.3g