Meka’s Nourished Nanaimo Bars
As a child, I always looked forward to our annual ‘cookie bake’ during the run-up to Christmas. My Great Aunt, Grandmother, Aunts, Mom, cousins and I would get together to bake treats for Christmas. Everyone exchanged their goods and went home with a beautiful array of treats to share and enjoy during the holiday season. One recipe that became a lifelong Christmas classic in our home was Meka’s Nanaimo Bars. Meka is the name we gave my Great Grandmother on my Mom’s side. She didn’t typically attend our bake parties, as she hailed from Sheridan, Montana and we were living in the greater Seattle area in Washington State, but those bars were famous. Pure decadence.
It is uncertain where she got her hands on this recipe from Nanaimo, British Columbia being a second generation American from Germany… but I can’t think of a Christmas where they weren’t part of the indulgence that often takes place.
I just learned a new and wonderful word from my lifelong friend, Morgan. Meraki. It means to do something with your soul, creativity, or love… anything where you leave a piece of your soul/self in your work.
Well tis the season. I gift you this beautiful family recipe twisted up with Meraki! Merry Christmas!
Traditional Nanimo bars with a health make-over. Raw. Gluten Free. Dairy Free. Refined Sugar free. Paleo. Vegan. Pure YUMM
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 2/3 cup medjool dates
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 2 small ripe avocados
- 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp pure mint extract
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 3 Tbsp cacao butter, melted
- 3 Tbsp cacao powder, sifted
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
Line the bottom of a loaf pan with baking paper. Leave an overhang so it is easier to remove the bars when finished. Set this aside.
Add almonds and walnuts to a food processor and pulse to reach a coarse meal. Add the dates and continue to pulse until broken down and well blended.
Add the cacao powder and salt and pulse again to combine. The mixture should be sticky when pressed between your fingers.
Press the mixture into the prepared pan and set in the fridge while you make the filling.
Blend the avocados, mint leaves, maple syrup, and mint extract in a blender until smooth.
Add the coconut oil and mix well. You should have a thick and creamy consistancy.
Remove the base from the fridge and pour the mixture on top smoothing it out with the back of a spoon. Place it in the freezer to firm.
Whisk together all the ingredients until smooth. It may be necessary to keep the cacao butter over a Bain-marie while whisking in other ingredients.
Remove the pan from the freezer insuring it is solid enough for the topping.
Pour the chocolate topping over the filling and smooth it out quickly with the back of a spoon.
Chill until the topping is set. Slice into small pieces and enjoy!!!