If you’ve been following the blog for a while now, you well know that “cheesecake-like” desserts are some of my absolute favorite to make, especially this time of year. With the temps over 100 degrees every day here in Austin, I’m avoiding turning on the oven at all costs.
For this latest no-bake treat, I came back to a long-time favorite dessert, Key Lime Pie, for a little inspiration. But luckily this version can be enjoyed by all as it’s gluten, dairy and refined-sugar free. But don’t worry – even those skeptical of healthy treats will be in love after one bite of these delicious bars. I have boyfriend approval on that front!
Let’s get cookin’
Perhaps my favorite part of this recipe is the crust, which is easy to throw together and made with simple, wholesome ingredients including, walnuts, almonds and dates. I likewise used this perfect combo for the base of my Mini Matcha Vegan Cheesecakes, which I highly recommend checking out while you’re at it.
Personally, I try to get in at least one serving of nuts per day both because I’m obsessed and due to the amazing nutrients they provide. Read up in my Why I’m Nuts About Nuts (& You Should be Too) post for all of the details about which nuts you should be incorporating into your daily diet and why.
While homemade is always best, you can likewise make a crust from your favorite granola and a little coconut oil if you’re in a pinch, as I did in my Red, White & Blue Vegan Cheesecake Cups, Vegan Pistachio Cherry Cheesecake Bars and Mocha Almond Fudge Bars.
Slipping in a secret ingredient…
In these treats, the dreamy key lime filling is the real star of the show, though, and includes an extra, special ingredient for more creamy goodness and impressive health benefits. It’s avocado, of course!
Avo gives these bars their signature green color and is one of my personal favorite, unexpectedly delicious additions to sweet treats. My Avocado Chocolate Truffles will be sure to convince you of that as well .
Plus, avocados contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals and provide tons of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. These fats are linked to improvements in heart health, reduced inflammation and gene health to ward off cancer.
Plus, the fat in avocados is necessary for the body to be able to absorb specific nutrients in other plant foods like fruits and vegetables. This powerful ingredient is also filled with digestive-boosting fiber, can lower cholesterol levels, protect your eyes and might even help maintain a healthy weight. They just never fail to amaze me!
I’ve personally been loving Mission Avocados, a company that brings together a global network of growers to consistently improve crop quality and yields to deliver perfect avocados year-round. Their avos are incredibly high-quality and delicious regardless of the season.
As for the other ingredients, coconut cream is another secret weapon. It makes just about anything creamy and delicious without relying on dairy, and you can get your hands on a can at most grocery stores these days (I typically use the Native Forest brand from Whole Foods, but you can buy online here as well).
Together with lime juice and lime zest, these ingredients make for the perfect, creamy “key lime” layer without any of the junk. I’m all about a treat that satisfies your sweet tooth and does your body some good, so these are the perfect example of that.
Time to give ’em a try!
And not only are these bars filled with amazing ingredients, but they also require zero baking, which is exactly what I want to hear this time of year. You’ll just need to blend everything up, and allow the freezer to do the work for you.
Be sure to save this recipe for your next summer cookout or whenever you’re in the mood for a refreshing, nutritious treat! Be sure to let me know if you give it a try by commenting below or tagging me on social media @goodness_with_g .
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup pitted dates
- ½ cup unsweetened, desiccated (or shredded) coconut
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 2 cans (5.4 oz each) coconut cream
- 1 large, ripe avocado (pitted)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- zest of 1 lime
- juice of 2 limes
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
*Note* If your dates are a little dry, soak in warm water for 10 minutes before blending.
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