As much as I want to eat clean and healthy, I could never shake the fact that I have a sweet tooth (nor do I want to)! Enjoying life is all about balance and treating yourself every once in a while, especially when it comes to food. I started the year like most people, getting back on track after too much bread and too many glasses of wine. But after the juicing, smoothies, salads and fish, there’s still room for a little treat.
I have a sweet tooth, but I don’t like overly sweet treats. They tend to be too overpowering and a little artificial tasting to me, kind of like it’s trying too hard)… except when it comes to caramel. Caramel is my everything, especially when combined with sea salt! Yum! So in order to satisfy this wicked addiction, substitutes must be made. Enter these chocolate walnut salted caramel slices (what a mouthful). They are made from natural ingredients, are raw, vegan, gluten free and absolutely amazing! Seriously, you’ll forget about the packaged crap you get at the store after one bite of these babies!
Vegan Chocolate Salted Caramel Walnut Squares
Makes 8 squares
1/2 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tbsp almond butter
6 Medjool dates, pitted
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1. In a food processor, add the 1/3 cup of the walnuts, the almond butter, Medjool dates, 1 tbsp maple syrup and salt. Pulse a few times to break into chunks, then process until the mixture is smooth.
2. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, then pour the caramel mixture evenly into the pan. Place in the freezer 5-10 minutes to set.
3. In the meantime, make the chocolate mixture. In a small bowl, combine the coconut oil, cocoa powder and remaining tablespoon of maple syrup and whisk until the mixture is combined and smooth.
4. Remove the pan from the freezer and pour the chocolate over the caramel, smoothing with a spatula. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts over the chocolate, gently pressing into the chocolate to set, then finish with a sprinkle of Maldon salt. Return to the freezer for at least 2 hours to set.
5. Remove from the freezer, lift the parchment paper from the pan and cut into 8 squares.
[All photos are my own and not to be used without permission]