Lately, I've been experimenting with more natural ways to color foods and desserts. The results have been pretty spectacular! For instance, these Paleo Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. Not only are they one of my new favorite treats, but my children's as well.
These mint cookie bars have a lightly sweetened, raw brownie crust and a minty, coconut cream filling. They are Paleo and Vegan friendly and don't require any baking.
Natural Ways To Color Food
I'll be honest, I still have a couple packages of food coloring in my pantry that I use every now and then. However, that's slowly that's become less and less.
Because synthetic dyes have been linked to food allergies, hyperactivity and mood disorders, especially in children. Having kids myself, I'd rather not expose them to chemicals like this whether they experience reactions or not.
Plus, I'm all about eating "real food" and coloring my real food with synthetic dyes just doesn't seem right! You hear me?!
Beet powder is one of my favorite natural food dyes (if you're familiar with my recipe for Red Velvet Pancakes or Red Velvet Muffins then you know I speak the truth). I love the red-pink hue it naturally brings to foods.
Another powder I've been experimenting with recently is Spirulina. Spirulina is a nutrient-rich blue-green algae that grows in warm lakes and is rich in many nutrients such as iron, magnesium and protein. It does have a an earthy taste, but combining it with the right ingredients can make spirulina a superfood that even kids will enjoy! Trust me - I used it in these Paleo Mint Chocolate Chip Bars and my kids loved them.
Ingredients in No-Bake Mint Chip Cookie Bars
These mint bars have a soft, raw brownie crust made from a few simple ingredients. Best of all, this layer is grain free, egg free and doesn't require any baking.
The filling is made up of mostly coconut cream, almond butter and maple syrup. In addition, it's colored with BareOrganics Organic Spirulina Powder. Their spirulina is organic, raw, Vegan, Paleo, non-GMO and gluten free. Truly, the perfect solution for giving any recipe a natural green hue.
- coconut cream
- almond butter
- maple syrup
- BareOrganics Organic Spirulina Powder
- peppermint flavor**
- vanilla extract
- mini chocolate chips
How to Make a Creamy Filling Using Coconut Cream
Coconut cream can sometimes be difficult to work with. For instance, it has a tendency to clump when it's too cold. Also, when whipped or blended at high speeds it can separate.
Firstly, for a thick, creamy filling it is important to use only the cream from a can of full fat coconut milk. Most cans I open already have the cream separated from the milk. But, if this isn't the case, then place your can of full fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight. After a night in the fridge, the cream should have separated from the milk. Side note, I store leftover coconut milk in the fridge and use in in smoothies and my morning coffee.
Next, when making the filling, if your coconut cream is clumping then warm it up in the microwave. (On the stove top works too.) Warm it at 5-10 second intervals; just enough for it to warm.
When to Eat Raw Cookie Bars
These Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are the perfect no-bake treat.
In addition, they would make a fun, Paleo friendly St. Patrick's Day dessert.
They're also great for cooling down on a hot summer day or a quick no-bake minty treat for the Christmas holidays.
Basically, I can think of any excuse to eat them year round!
Storing No-Bake Mint Chip Bars
These bars can be stored in the fridge or freezer. They stay firm in the fridge and will last well up to one week.
If you keep them in the freezer, allow these peppermint cookie bars a few minutes to defrost before eating.
If you're looking for more no-bake treats take a look at these recipes:
Thank you BareOrganics for sponsoring this post! It means so much to me to work with brands that I love and who support Bake it Paleo.Print
These grain free, no-bake cookie bars are great for a refreshing treat. They're colored with spirulina, have a soft chocolate cookie base and a sweet mint chip filling.
- 1 cup blanched almond flour, packed (135 g)
- ⅓ cup cacao powder (36 g)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup melted coconut butter
- ¼ cup warm water
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Line an 8" x 8" baking pan with aluminum foil, set aside.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine all crust ingredients, mix well.
- Transfer the crust dough to the lined baking pan and press firmly into place making a level, even crust.
- For the filling, slightly melt the coconut cream in either your microwave or on the stove top so that it is soft and just barely melted*
- Add the melted coconut cream to a medium sized mixing bowl, along with all other filling ingredients (except chocolate chips) and mix with a hand held whisk or fork until batter is smooth.
- Add in chocolate chips, stir.
- Pour filling over crust. (You may add a few additional chocolate chips on top of the filling for decoration.)
- Place bars in freezer for at least an hour to properly set. Or place in fridge overnight.
- Remove cookie bars from pan and cut into 16 even squares.
- Store in fridge or freezer.
*Be sure to use just the the cream (not the milk) from a can of full fat coconut milk. It is important to slightly melt/soften the coconut cream prior to mixing with other ingredients or else the filling texture won't turn out quite right. Cold coconut cream likes to clump and separate, but mixes well when slightly warmed.
**I used peppermint flavor for this recipe, which is a mixture of organic sunflower oil and organic peppermint. If you're using a peppermint extract or essential oil then try adding a drop or two at a time until you get the right amount of mint flavor, as they have a much stronger taste.
Keywords: no bake, vegan, dessert, spirulina, summer recipes