In honour of our playgroup day falling on Valentines Day I have made these delicious Raspberry Streusel Bars. The original recipe I found HERE, and it was already a fabulous recipe because it is grain-free, egg-free and dairy-free. But of course I wanted to make it suitable for me to eat on the GAPS diet (no sugar), and I don’t like to use sugar substitutes other than a little honey. I thought about adding honey instead of the sugar, but then our vegan friends at playgroup wouldn’t be able to enjoy it, so I tweaked it a bit, added a bit more coconut and some dates and away we went.
I think that we don’t take advantage of the natural sweetness of many of the foods we use in baking. For a start the raspberries are sweet already, and coconut has a sweetness of its own. Dates can send my sugar-receptors through the roof! I didn’t think that sugar needed to be a part of each of the layers. If the middle bit was sweet enough the base and the topping could do without.
So here is my version of grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free and sugar-free Raspberry Streusel. Believe it or not it still tastes delicious!
Raspberry Streusel Bars
CRUST -2 cups coconut, 2 cups blanched almond flour (almond meal), 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 Tbs vanilla essence
FILLING – 2 cups raspberries, 1 Tsp vanilla or almond extract, 1/2 cup pureed dates, 4 Tbs almond flour, pinch of salt
STREUSEL TOPPING – 1/4 cups finely chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup almond flour, 2 Tbs coconut flakes, 2Tbs melted coconut oil
Combine ingredients for Crust in the food processor until crumbly and press out firmly onto a tray lined with parchment paper. Bake at 180C for 10 minutes.
To make filling, mix raspberries, pureed dates and almond flour together in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Stir a few minutes while it thickens and then remove from the heat. Spread on the crust once it is out of the oven.
Combine all the topping ingredients and sprinkle evenly over the raspberry filling. (I added a little extra coconut on top)
Place back in the oven and bake another 17 – 20 minutes until the topping becomes slightly golden. It turns dark fast, so watch it so that it doesn’t burn!
Remove from the oven and cook completely before cutting. You can put them in the freezer to hasten the setting and so they hold their structure when they are cut.
Slice and store in a sealed container at room temperature or freeze for another day.