STRAWBERRY SQUARES - GLUTEN-FREE, GRAIN-FREE & REFINED SUGAR FREE
"Chia works as a great thickener on the strawberry fruit spread that surrounds these scrumptious dessert squares. You'll have a hard time reminding yourself that they're healthy!" ~ Leanne Vogel
Here's a little fact about me, I love to bake and cook! For me living an organic, dairy free, grain free, gluten free and refined sugar free lifestyle doesn't mean I have to give up great tasting desserts! Canada Day at the cottage definitely called for a yummy, delicious dessert and these Strawberry Squares fromDessert Freedom by Leanne Vogel of Healthful Pursuit were a hit at our get together!
I love recipes that offer you all the indulgence using the cleanest ingredients possible and low in sugar....with organic strawberries back in season, and it's grain-free ground raw walnut base, this recipe delivered!
I make every effort to select organic and non-GMO items when possible, a non-organic strawberry can possess up to sixty five different pesticides, fungicides and herbicides and some are known carcinogens! Coconut nectar is used as the sweetener in this recipe, coconut nectar is the low glycemic and nutrient rich sap of the coconut tree. Coconut nectar can be found in the health food isles of large chain grocery stores or local health food stores.
STRAWBERRY SQUARES RECIPE
MAKES: 9 Squares // SERVES: 9 // PREP TIME: 30 Minutes // CHILL TIME: 12 Hours
FOR THE BASE:
1. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper draped over each side for easy lifting. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine 2 cups ground walnuts, coconut oil and coconut nectar. Mash with a fork until well combined. Reserve 1/4 cup of this mixture and firmly press the rest into the prepared pan. Place in the fridge.
3. In a small bowl combine the reserved 1/4 cup walnut mixture with the remaining 2 tablespoons of ground walnuts. Place the bowl in the fridge.
4. To make the strawberry chia filling, place chopped strawberries and apple juice in a small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add chia seed, coconut nectar and vanilla and continue to boil for 15-20 minutes until the mixture has a jam consistency. Remove from the stove and allow to cool completely.
5. Once the strawberry filing has cooled, spread it over top of the walnut base. Sprinkle the reserved mixture over top. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and return back to the fridge to set overnight for at least 12 hours.
It's best to serve these cold right out of the fridge, or store in the freezer and serve for a longer period.
More about Leanne Vogel's Dessert Freedom Cookbook:
Dessert Freedom is a 76-page, full-colour PDF digital/ebook with twenty gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, grain-free corn-free, peanut-free, soy-free and vegan recipes, twenty secret techniques, and zero guilt. Trying to eat healthy doesn’t mean you’ve got to join the convent. When your sweet tooth is calling, but so is your health, Dessert Freedom will save the day.
Join me on the journey to nutritional knowledge and a healthier lifestyle!