Raw Vegan Nanaimo Bars

RAW MEDICINAL MUSHROOM NANAIMO BARS

If you’re into chocolate, look no further! Root To Sky Kitchen devised this recipe for raw Nanaimo bars with medicinal mushrooms and cacao with a cashew based filling that’s slightly lemony. Just like the classic recipe found at snack bars, markets and coffee shops across the land, but way more powerful, I’d say.

 Raw Vegan Nanaimo bars

This recipe is a creamy, rich, satisfying and nourishing DREAM come true. What a gift to be able to indulge into a tasty dessert that nourishes our cells and uplifts the spirit. There is no room for guilt here! 

Our Wild Bloom Botanicals mushroom cacao milk blend is a total dream that meets an exceptionally stringent criteria. It’s made with only organic, mostly locally grown whole food ingredients as nature intended, and zero preservatives, gums, hidden fillers, manufactured flavours, and/or additives. No ingredients have been irradiated and all mushrooms have been properly dual extracted for optimal bioavailability, potency and efficacy. This blend is bursting with straight up life force, free of BS.

WHAT ARE MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS?!

When we say 'medicinal mushrooms' we're not talking about the psychedelic kind that alter your perception, we're talking about mushrooms with truly medicinal qualities that have been researched and backed by the scientific community, such as Chaga, Reishi, Cordyceps. Lions Mane and Turkey Tail.

Chaga: Chaga mushrooms are an antioxidant powerhouse, making them extremely useful for fighting free radicals and inflammation. Oxidative stress is linked to skin aging, memory issues, decreased eye sight, headaches and joint pain. The powerful antioxidants may prevent or slow the growth of cancer, and has been found to LDL the “bad” cholesterol. Most of the studies on chaga are done on human cells and mice, but the signs point to this shroom being good for you — inside and out.

Reishi: Often referred to as 'Natures Xanax' and for good reason. Reishi is an incredible anti-anxiety mushroom thanks to the compound triterpene, which has its fair share of mood-boosting compounds may alleviate anxiety, ease depression and promote deep sleep. But triterpenes’ positive effect on the nervous system doesn’t stop there, Reishi can also balance the adrenal glands and support heart health. 

Cordyceps: Known for being very stimulating thanks to its effect on oxygenation and opening the lungs. Cordyceps can help the body utilize more oxygen and increase ATB (energy) production.This can be especially helpful for athletes or those who regularly work out. This mushroom has been shown to not only improve exercise and athletic performance, but also speed up post-workout muscle recovery.

Lions Mane: Lions Mane is well known for its brain-nourishing properties. Brain fog or memory loss got you down? Lions Mane boosts myelin production (the protective barrier around nerve fibres) to protect the brain from oxidative stress and chemical pollution. 

Turkey Tail: Turkey Tail strengthens the immune system so well that its used as an anti-cancer drug in Japan. It has been reported to extend the survival rate for people with certain cancers.

Vegan Nanaimo bar Recipe

RAW VEGAN NANAIMO BAR RECIPE

EQUIPMENT

  • food processor
  • 8×8 or 10×10 inch baking pan lined with unbleached parchment paper
  • silicone spatula or spoon

INGREDIENTS

Base

  • 3/4 cup raw organic pecans, activated
  • 1/3 cup Wild Bloom Botanicals mushroom cacao milk powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded organic coconut
  • 1 tbsp ground organic flax seed
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cup organic medjool dates
  • 1/3 cup virgin cold pressed organic coconut oil, melted

Lemony cashew cream filling

  • 1 cup raw organic cashews, activated
  • 1/2 cup pure organic coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp organic vanilla bean
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded organic coconut
  • 2 tbsp organic cacao butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup spring water or filtered, restructured water

Chocolate topping

  • 1/2 cup organic cacao butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup organic coconut butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup organic virgin cold pressed coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp organic maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Line the baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on opposite sides to help lift the brownies out.
  • In a food processor fitted with the 'S' blade, add the pecans, Wild Bloom Botanicals mushroom cacao milk powder, shredded coconut, ground flax seed and sea salt. Blend to reduce into a crumbly texture, about a minute. Add in the medjool dates and coconut oil. Blend briefly to combine until a crumbly, uniform dough forms.
  • With a spatula, scrape out the dough into the bottom of the baking pan to make the base. Press the crumbly dough to evenly and firmly cover the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the freezer to firm it up, about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the cashew cream filling. Rinse out the food processor. Blend the cashews, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla bean, lemon juice, shredded coconut, cacao butter and water until the mixture turns into a smooth creamy texture, stopping to scrape down the sides when necessary. This may take several minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the freezer. Scrape out the cashew cream to create an even layer on top of the base. Using a spatula, spread it out evenly to create a flat surface. Set aside the pan on the counter at room temperature.
  • Make the chocolate topping. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, gently heat up the cacao butter, coconut butter, coconut oil, cacao powder, maple syrup and sea salt. Stir occasionally as to not burn the chocolate until the chunks of cacao butter and coconut butter melt and all ingredients are combined into a uniform liquid. You could also use a double boiler for this, but I find this method easier and quicker.
  • Pour the chocolate evenly over the cashew cream layer in the baking pan. Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes or until the bars are firm. Remove, thaw, cut evenly into 16 squares, and serve!

NOTES

  • These bars are best stored in the refrigerator or freezer for best texture. Thaw before serving.
  • For the chocolate topping layer, you could also opt for carob powder instead of the cacao powder.
  • My favourite brands of coconut butter include Nutiva and Artisana. You can always make your own with unsweetened shredded coconut. I recommend using this recipe here.
  • The chocolate topping is incredibly versatile. This is legit unprocessed chocolate, full of beneficial fats, nutrients and antioxidants. Don’t be afraid to use the topping recipe with other recipes, tempered in chocolate molds, almond butter cups, drizzles over ice cream or brownies, etc. or just eat it off the spoon. Go wild.
  • This batch serves 16 bars. Enjoy!