Mar 28, 2014

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Soy-free and Refined sugar-free NO BAKE Coconut Apricot Freezer Squares

As many of you know, I love me some dessert.
Like, a lot.
I have a major sweet tooth.

So when I was diagnosed on the Celiac spectrum, I was so sad that I would never get to indulge in cupcakes and cookies in the regular world.
Yes, I still can enjoy a cupcake and cookie if I want, it just now needs to be made without wheat.

But after time, I realized how much BETTER I felt without all that refined sugar and junk in my diet.

I learned fairly quickly that instead all swapping all my old faves, likes cookies, breads and cupcakes with gluten free versions, I could create yummy HEALTHIER treats that are free of all of the things that cause inflammation in many of our bodies (and most people don't even realize it's happening)…. things like grains, dairy, gluten and refined sugars.



(Flashback Friday photo. Gracie, age 3)



So today I'm sharing one of my favorite no-bake desserts that I am obsessed with.
I love no-bake options.
Especially in the spring and summer when I limit my oven use as much as possible due to a kitchen that gets HOT.

The recipe I'm sharing today is sooooooooo good.
I posted a photo on Facebook and Instagram the other day explaining that many of you may want to make-out with me after I share it with you…….

I call them  Coconut & Apricot Freezer Squares.

Keep these tucked away in your freezer to pull out whenever your sweet tooth strikes.
Packed with healthy fats from whole foods, just one square will satisfy even the peskiest of cravings.

*Note, if you are not a fan of coconut & apricot, you can make Cranberry & Almond Squares by simply replacing the sunflower seed butter with almond butter and use dried cranberries instead of the apricots.

Ok, here is what your cute self will need:

1/2 cup coconut butter, such as Artisana
1 T virgin coconut oil
3/4 cup (packed) pitted Medjool dates
3 T unsweetened sunflower seed butter (or any nut butter)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
pinch of sea salt
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup (packed) dried apricots, chopped small
1-2 T water as needed

Directions:
Line an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhand of at least 1 inch.  You'll use this overhand later as a handle to life the bars out of the pan.

In small pot, over VERY low heat, combine the coconut butter and coconut oil.  Stir constantly until melted and smooth.  Transfer to your food processor with steel blade in place.  Add the dates, sunflower seed butter, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and salt.  Process until the dates are finely chopped and mixture resembles a slightly oily dough.  Transfer to large bowl.

Add the coconut and chopped dried apricots to the bowl with dough and stir to combine.  The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers.  If it feels dry or crumbly, add the water 1 T at a time to achieve the right texture.  Do not use anymore water than necessary to make the dough stick together when you squeeze it.

Pat the dough firmly and evenly into the parchment-lined baking dish.
Freeze until firm, at least 30 minutes.  Using parchment paper overhang, remove the bar slab from the dish and cut into 25 (1 1/2 inch) squares with a sharp knife.
Store the squares in the freezer or refrigerator in an airtight container.

Try not to eat them all in one night.

*Tag us on Instagram (find me at @hausofgirls_fitfamily) or on Facebook using the hashtag #FourFitSisters.

Tell us what you think and share with us so we can virtually high five you for creating a yummy HEALTHY treat for your family.

Enjoy!

XOXO
-Marta




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