Salt and Paper: Cashew lime squares

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I will be the first to admit that I love cheese and am in no way a vegan. If you’ve ever read the arts section, you probably already know this, as I never tire of talking of my adoration of all things fromage.

I also have a major sweet-tooth, and sometimes it becomes detrimental to my health, in more ways than one. Craving cheesecake at 10:00 p.m., I once walked several blocks just to buy a little slice to satisfy my very specific desire. I’ve also been known to eat an entire bag of five-cent candies while binge-watching Gilmore Girls. Sometimes, my sweet-tooth takes the wheel.

Occasionally, a (moderate) intervention is needed, and while my sweet cravings will likely never dissipate — I pity the soul who has to supply me with pints of ice cream and almond croissants when I’m pregnant — there is a solution: healthy sweets.

And I’m not talking just fruit here, folks. I’m talking creamy, citrusy lime squares made entirely of healthy ingredients. So while I still love a classic lemon or lime tart or cheesecake square, the discovery of entirely vegan, raw treats has rocked my world a little.

These lime squares are so incredibly creamy and flavourful that you’d never know they were made from nuts. It’s kind of, well, nuts.

This recipe is also highly adaptable. Not a fan of lime? Try lemon with a blueberry compote, or add some chocolate and peanut butter to the mix and really get the party started.

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For the crust:

• 1 cup almonds

• 1/4 cup pitted dates

• Coconut oil (as much as is needed for the crust to be moist, around 3-4 tbsp)

Blend the almonds in a food processor until well chopped. Add the dates and coconut oil, a bit at a time, until the mixture is moist enough to press into the bottom of a pan. You can either use a circular pie pan or a small square one, depending on what you’ve got.

For the filling:

• 1 1/2 cups cashews, soaked four hours or overnight

• 1/2 cup lime juice

• 1/2 cup honey

• 1/2 cup coconut oil

• 1 tsp vanilla

• 1/4 tsp sea salt

Blend all ingredients in food processor until creamy, around five minutes. Add ingredients as you see fit: Not lime-y enough? Add some more juice or some zest. Not sweet enough? Add a bit more honey.

Pour the filling over the crust in the pan and add some zest to the top, if you’d like. Pop in the freezer and let set for around three hours. Store in the refrigerator, or consume all in one sitting — you know what I’d do.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I actively hate myself for even knowing this, let alone for posting it, but nonetheless: honey isn’t considered “vegan” for the most part because it is an animal byproduct and its cultivation is “stealing” (not my words) from the bees. HOWEVER you could replace that with agave nectar and it would likely turn out the same and officially be “vegan”. (Also, vegans who do eat honey call themselves “beegans”. I am the worst person ever.)