Jennifer’s Birthday Peanut Butter and Jam Bars

My roommate’s birthday is coming up and she’s been on an elimination diet for a few weeks now. I’ve been wanting to make her some kind of cake but it has to be gluten and dairy free- okay, got that. Simple, right? It also has to be soy free, egg free, corn free, and so many other frees, um…

Then it hit me: smoothies. Once upon a time, I dated a man that made a lot of smoothies. They tasted so good, were chock full of protein and freshness, and they were free of all the usual allergens (minus the nuts). This recipe was inspired by those: the fruit is the main source of sugar, there’s a nut butter for extra protein and umph, and darn it all if it isn’t paleo and whole food only. Plus it’s a good source of fat from the coconut and nuts. I made this for the lovely Jennifer on her birthday. And we like it. A lot. Components of this recipe are adapted from Elana’s Pantry’s Vegan Raspberry Streusel Bars .

For the base crust:
1 cup almonds
1 cup walnuts or pecans or a combination
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 350. Blend nuts in the food processor until fine. Add the vanilla and oil and pulse until it can be pressed into a dish. Press the crust into an 8×8 pyrex dish. Bake 10-12 minutes.

For the topping:
1 cup nuts, split into half cups (I used all walnuts)
1/4 cup (scant) coconut oil
1 Tablespoon agave (feel free to leave this out)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
pinch of salt

While the crust is baking, combine all of the ingredients (except half of the nuts) in the food processor. Add the remaining nuts and pulse just for a moment. That will leave you with some nice chunks that get crispy. Set aside.

For the Filling:
1/2 cup fruit jam
1 cup blueberries (any berry will do)
4 teaspoons peanut butter

When the bottom crust is done, spread the fruit jam over the crust. Then spread the berries evenly over the jam. Using a 1/2 teaspoon, drop little dollops of peanut butter evenly amongst the blueberries. Finally, sprinkle the topping all over. Return to the oven and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Turn up to 375 and bake for another 3-5 minutes.

It’s good hot, warm, with almond milk poured over it, or the next day for breakfast. You can cut it into bars, or do what we did: eat it right out of the dish.


About Salts Kitchen

I write. I eat. And I cook. I write about what I cook and eat. I love finding new foods, being inspired to make something I've never made, and most of all I love feeding other people things that they have never tried before. I like disproving myths about food and what it means to eat well, to eat healthy, often on a budget, and for some of us- to eat with a bunch of food allergies (and still eat well!).
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