Scene: I'm sitting at the dining room table with my youngest sister, Kallie and her wife Kaitlyn. They moved out to Young Family Cabin in January and we call them our "landmates." We've all worked together to build them a tent home on our land which I will share more about below. I say, "Um ---- so I kinda want pudding." Kallie is so enthusiastic with her response of "YES ME TOO! PUDD-DING!" We burst into laughter and this recipe is born.
What started out as an idea for pudding turned into bars but that's how recipe creation goes sometimes. Because this is a raw dessert you could totally layer it into small ramekins and leave it in the fridge instead of the freezer which would create a more pudding consistency. We tried it both ways and it's delicious both ways. My directions below are for the frozen way.
RAW CHOCOLATE BANANA BARS
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 1/2 cups medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- pinch of sea salt
- 4 ripe bananas
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch sea salt
COCONUT CREAM INGREDIENTS
- 1 can coconut milk (be sure to get the full fat kind)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- maple syrup to taste
- Using a food processor pulse together nuts until they are crumb like.
- Then add dates, vanilla and salt and mix until the all is combined
- Using clean hands press the mixture into a 8x8 cake pan or dish and place in the freezer
- Blend 3 bananas (you're saving one to slice) and all other filling ingredients until smooth
- Smooth over the crust and add sliced bananas on top then smooth filling over the banana slices (so they don't get slimy)
- Place in freezer overnight
- Meanwhile, place coconut milk in the freezer overnight while the pie is freezing
- Before serving scoop off the thick coconut layer on top and place in mixer
- f you're using a hand mixer be sure to mix in a stainless steel bowl
- Whip all the ingredients together until thick
- I recommend you pre-cut the bars (it makes for a prettier presentation) and then spread the coconut cream on top before serving.
On having landmates
When I was a kid a big historic home went up for sale in our town. I begged my mom to buy it so that we could all live together as a family. I had visions of Mema living down stairs and Kayla, Derrick (he's really my cousin but might as well be our brother), Cody, Kallie and I having a siblings wing. I had places mapped out for all our family members in the main house or on the grounds in smaller cottages. That dream was not to be but it never quite left me and all these years later we have a little family compound happening here at Young Family Cabin.
Last year I received a distress call from Kaitlyn. I encouraged her to attend a Shift retreat and her heart said yes. She and Kallie road tripped from Texas to California so that Kaitlyn could attend the Calistoga retreat and her Shift happened. When they visited the cabin post retreat we showed them all the spots where we want to build out buildings and said, "you know.... you could come live out here if you wanted to." Kallie beamed with a full body and instant yes! and I could see Kaitlyn go into planning mode in her mind. Seven months later they road tripped back out but this time to stay with their two fur babies and a fish in a mason jar.
We built them a platform near the stream for their tent home to rest on complete with a little extra square footage for a proper bathroom and kitchen addition. Here's a look at our progression so far.