Cookies, Bars, + Treats/ Raw Dishes/ Vegan

Peanut Butter Fudge Slice

We spent the last couple of weeks visiting Portugal, Porto and Lisbon to be exact, by way of Spain. One of the first things I noticed upon arrival was the thriving food culture; hip cafes, and artisanal markets on every corner. To be honest, Lisbon felt like a little slice of Brooklyn located all the way in the Iberian Peninsula. Organic cafes and grocery stores were easy to find and served up the most delicious array of goodies and new and exciting products (like the tastiest vegan yogurt ever). Once the evening came rolling along, Adam and I would hit up an all-day (and pretty much all night) food market to sample sandwiches, rices, stews, and burgers – and probably one of our favourite Portuguese dishes so far, a sandwich on carob flat bread. Yes, that love-it or hate-it, not-quite-chocolate, chocolate impersonator. But first things first, carob isn’t chocolate and there’s no pretending it is

So what is Carob, exactly?

The powdered carob that many of you will be familiar with comes from the seed pods of the evergreen Mediterranean tree know as carob, St. John’s-beard, or locust bean (commonly found as a thickener or ‘gum’ in processed foods). Once the pods of the tree have been dried and roasted, they are ground into a ‘flour’ (that can be used to make delicious breads and buns) which is commonly known as carob powder. Although it may resemble cocoa in colour, carob powder has a unique earthy flavour, which is mildly sweet and caramel-like, and all-together its own. And guess what? It’s good for you! Carob is packed with soluble fibre which helps clean out your digestive tract of waste (hello natural detox). Beyond that, carob is low in fat, free of caffeine, and high in iron and calcium, which are pretty much always welcome.  

While carob has historically gotten a bad wrap as just another hippie food, those claims often come from people who either mistook it for chocolate, or tried to use it to replace chocolate. But to be fair, that’s like giving a carnivore tofu and saying it’s steak. Tofu is tofu, and carob is carob.   
Now that I’ve expounded on all the wonders of carob for carob’s sake, I’ll have to admit that this recipe can be made with cocoa, as well (although I still hope you give carob a chance!). For this recipe I combined the carob with peanut butter, but any nut butter would do (hazelnut would be amazing!).

Peanut Butter Fudge Slice
Recipe: (Makes 8-12) Print it Here

Base:
1 Cup Almonds
1/2 Cup Pitted Dates
2 Tbsp. Ground Flax
1 Tbsp. Water, or as needed
A Pinch of Sea Salt
1/4 tsp. Vanilla

Filling:
6 Tbsp. Natural Peanut Butter, or nut butter of choice (If you want your bars to be raw, be sure to choose a raw nut butter)
1 Cup Pitted Dates
2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil, melted 

Topping:
4 Tbsp. Coconut Oil, melted
4 Tbsp. Carob Powder (or Cacao Powder, if I didn’t sway you towards carob) 
1 Tbsp. Liquid Sweetener or Choice
A Pinch of Sea Salt

Procedure:

1. Firstly, pulse the dates, almonds, flax, salt, and vanilla until the mixture is ground. Add a splash of water if needed to help the base hold together. Press evenly into a parchment lined loaf pan. Set aside.

2. For the filling, puree the dates with the peanut butter until smooth. Add the melted oil and combine. Spread this mixture over the base, making it as smooth as possible.

3. Finally, melt the oil with the carob powder, sweetener, and salt, and pour over the filling. Set the pan in the freezer to set. Once firm, sliced the bars with a hot, dry, knife. They can be enjoyed right away or transferred to a airtight container and kept in the freezer for several weeks. If you can, let the bars soften up for a few minutes before digging in. The flavours come out so much more when room temp!

xox Sophie

31 Comments

  • Reply
    valentina - sweet kabocha
    October 16, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    These seem simply p-e-r-f-e-c-t *___* I love carob ^_^

  • Reply
    valentina - sweet kabocha
    October 16, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    These seem simply p-e-r-f-e-c-t *___* I love carob ^_^

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    October 17, 2014 at 5:26 am

    Peanut butter HEAVEN slice!!..sorry for that..totally geeking out here.

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    October 17, 2014 at 5:26 am

    Peanut butter HEAVEN slice!!..sorry for that..totally geeking out here.

  • Reply
    Medeja
    October 17, 2014 at 10:36 am

    These slices look so beautiful and delicious!

  • Reply
    Medeja
    October 17, 2014 at 10:36 am

    These slices look so beautiful and delicious!

  • Reply
    Ashley Wood
    October 17, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    This bar looks sooooo delicious and Portugal is one of my favourite places in the world!
    Hi, I'm Ashley, a dedicated reader 🙂 And I nominated you for a Liebster Award – http://www.raeofsunshinelife.com/sunshine-life2/2014/10/15/favourite-blog-friday-17102014 xo

  • Reply
    Ashley Wood
    October 17, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    This bar looks sooooo delicious and Portugal is one of my favourite places in the world!
    Hi, I'm Ashley, a dedicated reader 🙂 And I nominated you for a Liebster Award – http://www.raeofsunshinelife.com/sunshine-life2/2014/10/15/favourite-blog-friday-17102014 xo

  • Reply
    Christine // my natural kitchen
    October 17, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    I basically squealed when I read your description of Lisbon. I went to Portugal and Spain for my honeymoon, and loved that city so much. We found a really fantastic healthfood store which is where I found lots of unknown-to-me gluten free and vegan foods. I found a seriously amazing vegan yogurt too, I wonder if it was the same one? Do you have any tips for a good brand of carob? I purchased one from a good company, but I think it was rancid – it tasted and smelled horrible, but I've eaten carob cookies before that were really delicious. I think I just purchased a bad bag and these bars make me want to give it another go. Your photos have me reminiscing about my trip … so wonderful.

  • Reply
    Christine // my natural kitchen
    October 17, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    I basically squealed when I read your description of Lisbon. I went to Portugal and Spain for my honeymoon, and loved that city so much. We found a really fantastic healthfood store which is where I found lots of unknown-to-me gluten free and vegan foods. I found a seriously amazing vegan yogurt too, I wonder if it was the same one? Do you have any tips for a good brand of carob? I purchased one from a good company, but I think it was rancid – it tasted and smelled horrible, but I've eaten carob cookies before that were really delicious. I think I just purchased a bad bag and these bars make me want to give it another go. Your photos have me reminiscing about my trip … so wonderful.

  • Reply
    sophie
    October 17, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    I'm making this for my work friends!
    Do you think if I make it the night before, refrigerate overnight, and then bring it in…it can sit out (at room temperature for the whole day: 8am – 4pm?)
    Also…why do you look so sad in your picture? 🙁

  • Reply
    sophie
    October 17, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    I'm making this for my work friends!
    Do you think if I make it the night before, refrigerate overnight, and then bring it in…it can sit out (at room temperature for the whole day: 8am – 4pm?)
    Also…why do you look so sad in your picture? 🙁

  • Reply
    Thalia @ butter and brioche
    October 17, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Wish I had a couple of the fudge bars to devour right now – they looks seriously delicious. As a massive peanut butter fan, you can definitely consider I will be recreating the recipe. Pinned!

  • Reply
    Thalia @ butter and brioche
    October 17, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Wish I had a couple of the fudge bars to devour right now – they looks seriously delicious. As a massive peanut butter fan, you can definitely consider I will be recreating the recipe. Pinned!

  • Reply
    Sophie - Wholehearted Eats
    October 22, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Ah, that is like music to my ears! I'm sooo happy you're on carobs side 🙂

  • Reply
    Sophie - Wholehearted Eats
    October 22, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Ha ha, I'm convinced Peanut Butter is worth geeking out over, too 😉

  • Reply
    Sophie - Wholehearted Eats
    October 22, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Ha ha, I'm convinced Peanut Butter is worth geeking out over, too 😉

  • Reply
    Sophie - Wholehearted Eats
    October 22, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    <3 How lovely to hear! Thank you, Medeja.

  • Reply
    Sophie - Wholehearted Eats
    October 22, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    <3 How lovely to hear! Thank you, Medeja.

  • Reply
    Sophie - Wholehearted Eats
    October 22, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Hello Ashley! Thank you so much for this honour! I am thrilled to be a part of this and can't wait to sit down and answer your great questions <3 Your blog is beyond beautiful! I can't stop drooling over your photos.

    Much love,

    Sophie

  • Reply
    Sophie - Wholehearted Eats
    October 22, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Hello Ashley! Thank you so much for this honour! I am thrilled to be a part of this and can't wait to sit down and answer your great questions <3 Your blog is beyond beautiful! I can't stop drooling over your photos.

    Much love,

    Sophie

  • Reply
    Sophie - Wholehearted Eats
    October 22, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Hello Christine,

    I'm so happy I could bring back some warm memories – Lisbon is such a magical place, what a lovely honeymoon destination. The yogurt I had was a French brand called Sojada. It was head and shoulders above anything I can get at home. I don't know why we can't get it right in North America. As far as carob goes, I too have had some terrible batches. Firstly, carob comes in raw and toasted. I love the toasted version (nutty and sweet), but I don't care much for raw carob (I really wan't to like it, but to me it tastes, well, a little too earthy). As far as brands go, I like Bob's Mill for toasted or Foods Alive for a raw brand. To help extend the shelf life it should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place for up to twelve months. I hope your next bag of carob is better!
    All the best,
    Sophie

  • Reply
    Sophie - Wholehearted Eats
    October 22, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Hello Christine,

    I'm so happy I could bring back some warm memories – Lisbon is such a magical place, what a lovely honeymoon destination. The yogurt I had was a French brand called Sojada. It was head and shoulders above anything I can get at home. I don't know why we can't get it right in North America. As far as carob goes, I too have had some terrible batches. Firstly, carob comes in raw and toasted. I love the toasted version (nutty and sweet), but I don't care much for raw carob (I really wan't to like it, but to me it tastes, well, a little too earthy). As far as brands go, I like Bob's Mill for toasted or Foods Alive for a raw brand. To help extend the shelf life it should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place for up to twelve months. I hope your next bag of carob is better!
    All the best,
    Sophie

  • Reply
    Sophie - Wholehearted Eats
    October 22, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Hi Sophie! Sorry for the late reply. It should be perfectly fine to make it a day or two ahead of time. I suggest that you just don't leave it out of the fridge for too long, as the coconut oil might start to melt at room temperature. I would just serve them chilled, if possible.
    I'm short on snaps of myself, but I'm working on a new website, so hopefully there will be some new photos of my usual goofy smile.

  • Reply
    Sophie - Wholehearted Eats
    October 22, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Hi Sophie! Sorry for the late reply. It should be perfectly fine to make it a day or two ahead of time. I suggest that you just don't leave it out of the fridge for too long, as the coconut oil might start to melt at room temperature. I would just serve them chilled, if possible.
    I'm short on snaps of myself, but I'm working on a new website, so hopefully there will be some new photos of my usual goofy smile.

  • Reply
    Sophie - Wholehearted Eats
    October 22, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Hey Thalia! From one peanut butter fan to another, you won't be disappointed. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sophie - Wholehearted Eats
    October 22, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Hey Thalia! From one peanut butter fan to another, you won't be disappointed. 🙂

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    October 25, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    Thanks for replying 🙂
    -Sophie

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    October 25, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    Thanks for replying 🙂
    -Sophie

  • Reply
    Small Acorns
    February 2, 2015 at 9:04 am

    These look so delicious, I can't wait to make them and I will definitely be using carob!

  • Reply
    Small Acorns
    February 2, 2015 at 9:04 am

    These look so delicious, I can't wait to make them and I will definitely be using carob!

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