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RAW CRANBERRY RIPE SLICE

Dani VennPlant Based Vegan, Raw-Some, Sweet Treats

I made this slice recently for an Ovarian Cancer Afternoon Teal (I am a proud ambassador of OCA) and someone asked me why the slice was raw. I explained that it’s a different way of saying ‘no bake’ because you don’t have to cook it but also because the ingredients in the slice have not been treated with high heat. This means they retain their natural nutrient value and yes that means that it’s a healthy slice, when eaten in moderation. Hurrah! 

Admittedly I was sceptical at the idea of making treaties without processed ingredients and refined sugar at first. In hindsight it now seems ridiculous that I would want to put these processed ingredients into my body. Perhaps that’s because I’ve grown up with traditional desserts that require soft flours and white sugars, and our bodies are wired to be comforted by those things. The glucose hits our blood stream faster and it’s like a drug. This may be why ‘traditional’ slices often leave you feeling sick or rushing off the sugar high after you’ve eaten them, which actually doesn’t sound very comforting at all!

It’s taken some time for me to get over my desire to cook and eat highly processed and refined sugary desserts – hot jam doughnuts are hard to shake! But recently its like my tastebuds have changed and when I taste something ‘traditional’ it seems too sweet and for some innate reason it doesn’t satisfy –I always seem to reach for another slice even though I know it will make me feel sick.

The great thing about raw treats is that you don’t need a very big portion to get your sweet fix and because they are packed with real wholefood ingredients they make you feel full, so you don’t end up binge eating or feeling guilty afterwards.

I’d like to just say that this doesn’t mean that I will never ever again have a slice of my mums homemade sponge cake or eat an ice cream again, putting those restrictions on myself would be just plain silly, but limiting these things means that you don’t actually want them as much because your body instead starts craving things that are good for it.

I was only going to write a few lines about this humble raw cranberry slice, but alas it’s turned into an essay! How about you try it for yourself and see… Dani x

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Serves: A morning tea for 12.

Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus setting

Number of ingredients: 6

WHAT YOU NEED

Base

1 cup almond meal or raw almonds

½ cup desiccated coconut

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

1 – 2 tablespoons raw sweetener (eg: maple or agave syrup, coconut nectar)

Filling

6 cups desiccated coconut

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

1 tablespoon raw sweetener

1 – 2 cups of dried cranberries (see tips)

Icing

¾ cup coconut oil, melted

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

1 tablespoon raw sweetener

HOW TO MAKE IT

Line a 20 x 20cm baking tray with baking paper – you can use a larger baking tray but just double the recipe.

To make the base, blitz raw almonds to a coarse powder in blender or food processor or alternatively use almond meal.

Add ground almonds, coconut, coconut oil, cacao and your choice of raw sweetener in a mixing bowl and stir to combine so that cocoa is evenly spread. Add mixture to the baking tray and using your fingers press out an even layer then place in the fridge to firm up.

To make the filling place coconut in a high powered blender or food processor. Blend on high for 30 seconds, then stop and scrape down sides and repeat this process until the coconut has turned to an almost wet consistency and is very smooth. Add coconut oil, raw sweetener and cranberries and process on high until well combined. Have a taste, if you think it needs a stronger cranberry flavour go ahead and add more.

Remove baking tray from fridge, add the cranberry filling on top of base layer, using your fingers or the back of a spoon press out an even layer. Place back in fridge to firm up.

To make icing, combine coconut oil, cocoa powder and raw sweetner and whisk well to combine. Remove baking tray from fridge, pour over icing and spread evenly to complete the slice. Place in fridge to firm up and set for at least an hour. (See note)

To serve, slice into individual square portions. You can keep slice in freezer in an air tight container and allow to defrost in fridge or at room temperature before serving. Or keep slice in fridge in an airtight container.

Tips:

  • To melt coconut oil easily you can place the whole jar in the microwave for about 60 – 120 seconds and measure quantities out easily when it has melted. Alternatively, scoop out coconut oil and melt gently in saucepan over low heat on stovetop. In summer, coconut oil will often be liquefied.
  • When selecting dried fruit ensure that there isn’t anything extra added like sugar, preservatives or anything that you can’t pronounce.
  • I like to make a raw chocolate layer for the icing with this recipe using 60g raw cocoa butter, 1 tablespoons raw cacao powder and some raw sweetener to taste, however raw cocoa butter is more expensive, although it does go a long way.