My journey into veganism began when my friend became a health coach. She stopped eating meat and told me about juicing. I thought to myself, “Well, I don’t really eat a lot of meat and I love juice so maybe I could make theses changes too!” I called my friend the next day and I told her I wanted more information. That’s when I was introduced to The Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr. Inside was all the info I could ever want on beginning my new health lifestyle including a 21-day cleanse. Not a completely liquid juice cleanse, but a clean eating no processed foods, no alcohol, no coffee, and more difficult for me, no sweets cleanse. I was devasted. Sure I knew sugar wasn’t great for you, but everything in moderation right? I went on reading. There was a magical way to have your refined sugar free cake and eat it too. The magic my friends is found in a little gooey delicious fruit knoon as the date. My first no bake refined sugar free dessert was the raw brownie and I fell head over heels for its simplicity and deliciousness. I don’t think I’ve ever made “real” brownies since (although I did experiment with the black bean brownies once). Below is a delicious fall no bake dessert adapted from the raw brownie recipe from 3 years ago. All you need is a food processor, nuts, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, and the almighty date.
Fall Spiced Raw Vegan Oatmeal Squares
1 cups walnuts (or favorite nut but walnuts work the best in my opinion)
1 cup oats (quick or whole rolled- not steel cut)
2 cups dates (or raisins)
1 tbsp cinnamon or to taste
1 tsp nutmeg or to taste (I love nutmeg so it may be a bit spicy for some)
1. Begin by pulsing the nuts in the food processor. You want to get almost a floury texture – but be careful not to over process into nut butter! Add the oats, cinnamon, and nutmeg and pulse until just combined.
2. Now put the processor on and begin to drop the dates one at a time into the mixture so they break up completely. Some processors do not have this capability, so you can toss a few in at a time, blend, and repeat. Make note that some dates are gooeier than others so what you are looking for is the mixture to become “wet” and it begins to move around in a ball together. You should be able to stick it together with ease!
3. Take the mixture and press it directly into a square brownie pan making them as thin or thick as you like – I don’t have a square pan so I use this small pie pan…You can even roll them into balls for bite sized snacks. You have the option to use parchment paper, but they don’t stick so that’s really if you don’t want to clean the pan after.
4. Place the pan into the fridge for at least an hour or freezer for 30 minutes. Once they are hardened, cut into squares and place in an air tight container. They stay good and fresh for up to a week in the fridge, but longer if kept in he freezer. When you are ready to eat just take one out and wait 10 minutes for it to become room temperature. I personally love them cold so you can eat them right away too! Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon if you like and voilà! A little bite of fall…
Please let me know what you think of the squares and how you like to eat them! I think this would also make a great pie crust for pumpkin pie for the holidays. Let me know if you try that too!
Also by Marisa: Taking Yoga Off the Mat
More raw vegan treats: Raw Vegan Macaroons
Photo: Marisa DeFrancesco