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A Treat So Good You Won't Believe It's Vegan

Photo: Jenné Claiborne

Photo: Jenné Claiborne

A Treat So Good You Won't Believe It's Vegan

RECIPE FROM JENNÉ CLAIBORNE OF SWEET POTATO SOUL

Vegan chef Jenné Claiborne brings a healthy spin to traditional sweet potato pie.

It's hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is just around the corner. And for many dieting or health-conscious women out there, just thinking about the holiday's feast-til-you-bust expectations can be enough to throw you off your game. Even if you avoid gorging on turkey, stuffing, and rolls during the main courses, it may take Herculean strength to ignore what everyone brought for dessert. 

But it doesn't have to: Vegan chef Jenné Claiborne of Sweet Potato Soul offers up a delicious alternative to sweet potato pie that you won't feel too bad saving room for.

Sweet Potato Bars with Raw Gingerbread Crust

(This recipe is adapted from a no-bake pumpkin bar recipe on The Kitchn blog. Pumpkin can be used in place of the sweet potato if that’s what you’ve got. Serves 4-6)

Ingredients

Crust
1 cup almonds (or 1 cup dry almond pulp)
½ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 ½ cup Medjool dates
3 teaspoon molasses
1 1/2 inch ginger, minced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
pinch of black pepper
pinch of sea salt 
1 tablespoon coconut oil 

Filling
1 1/2 cups sweet potato puree (1 large baked sweet potato or canned)
1/3 cup maple syrup or coconut nectar
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon cardamom
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons coconut flour

Instructions

1. Line an 8×8” baking pan with parchment paper.

2. Place the crust ingredients in the food processor and blend until well combined.

3. Remove the lid and gather some of the crust into your hand, squeezing it to form a tight ball in your palm. If the crust crumbles, and doesn’t stick, you’ll need to blend it some more, or add another date.

4. Pour the crumble into the baking pan, and press it firmly to the bottom to create a tight crust. 

5. Now you can make the filling. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste, and add more maple syrup if necessary. Spoon the filling into the crust and smooth down with the back of a large spoon or rubber spatula.

6. You can eat it right away, but I recommend letting it firm up and set. Place it in the refrigerator overnight, or for about six hours. Pull the parchment paper out of the pan, and cut into squares. Any uneaten squares can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Sweet Potato Bars