Raw Vegan White Chocolate Trail Mix Bars and My Toronto Trip
Today I have a tasty snack recipe to share with you along with my latest travel adventures to Toronto and Thunder Bay, plus details on my upcoming raw food class in Kelowna, BC. Its been so long since I've traveled (normally I'm a travel bug) and this was exactly the trip I needed to refresh my soul. I'm excited to share it all with you!
First up, today's recipe. For these bars I've taken all my favourite trail mix ingredients and combined them into an easy-to-eat, portable snack. The raw white chocolate stays pretty stable once it has set so you can pop one into your bag as you head out the door to work, the gym, or a hike.
And fear not if you don't have a particular ingredient. You can easily sub what you have on hand. This recipe is supposed to be about convenience. For example, you could use sunflower seeds in place of the pumpkin, or use all mulberries in place of the goji berries. The only thing I do recommend you keep in the recipe is the dates. Its the main sweetener and binder here.
Raw Vegan White Chocolate Trail Mix Bars
Trail Mix Bars
3/4 cup almonds
3/4 cup cashews
1/3 cup pistachios
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup pitted packed dates
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup goji berries
1/3 cup hemp seeds
1/3 cup mulberries
1/4 cup chia seeds, ground in a coffee grinder
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons water
Grind the almonds, cashews, pistachios, and pumpkin seeds to flour in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients except the water and process until they're completely ground down. Add the water and blend briefly. The mixture should hold together easily when pressed in your hand, otherwise add a bit more water. Press into the bottom of an 8x8" pan. Chill in the freezer for 2-4 hours (or in the fridge for 6 hours) and then slice into bars and place in the freezer while making the chocolate.
Raw Vegan White Chocolate
2/3 cup melted cacao butter
1/2 cup melted coconut butter
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon raw cashew butter*
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon xylitol, powdered in a coffee grinder
Whisk all ingredients together until smooth in a bowl set over another bowl (or pot) of hot water, OR blend until smooth in a blender and pour into a bowl. Dip each bar into the liquid and then set on a parchment paper lined tray. It will be thin the first time. Place into the freezer to set and then coat all the bars a second (or even third time) and sprinkle with toppings of your choice. Set in the fridge.
*I've used Vivapura's stone ground cashew butter here. You may already know that I've done a lot of with Vivapura and I absolutely love their products. Their stone ground nut butters are sinfully delicious and they carry all the super foods that I like to use. In fact you can find most of the ingredients for this recipe on their website.
Now onto travel talk!
As I mentioned in a recent post, I had the opportunity to be on Breakfast Television Toronto making my raw vegan strawberry cheesecake (you can find the printed recipe in THIS POST). It was so much fun and a bit nerve wracking since its live tv and you only get one chance. The last time I did this was 2 years ago in Vancouver - also a fabulous experience!
Its a very early morning. I had to wake up at 2:45am to get ready along with all of my ingredients, tools, etc. I had 2 big bins of things to bring. My friend/fellow blogger Ella from Pure Ella picked me up at the ungodly hour of 4:30am and off we drove to the studio in downtown Toronto! She was kind enough to bring her platters and plates along for me to use as it would be been way too hard to cart them on the airplane. We quickly set things up and before I knew it, the host was introducing the segment. Let me tell you just how fast 4 minutes flies by when you're filming live!!!! It was actually supposed to be a 5 minute segment but I was notified that it had been cut down to 4 when I arrived. That meant some things needed to be cut out - moment of panic in my mind - but all went well.
I also had several of my other desserts featured which I touched on briefly. Raw chocolate brownies (recipe HERE), raw key lime pie bars (in my book Sweetly Raw Desserts), and raw chocolate chip cookie balls (also in Sweetly Raw Desserts).
Its amazing how much time and work goes into producing 4 minutes on air. I had to prepare the brownies, chocolate chip cookies, key lime pie bars, and a full strawberry cheesecake ahead of time. I stayed with my sister in law and her family and was able to use their kitchen to prepare all of these things. I packed my cheesecake pan, 8x8" glass pan, vitamix, measuring cups, spoons and all other little utensils I needed. My suitcase weighed a ton!! lol. I also had to prepare a finished cheesecake crust in its pan, and a batch of strawberry sauce, in addition to bringing all the measured out ingredients to make the cake on set.
You can check out the full segment here:
Going back a few days... I arrived in Toronto on the 13th and since my hubby wasn't with me I spent Valentine's Day with Ella! We've known each other from the blog community for about 4 years and we finally got to meet in person for the first time. She is fabulous!! Pure heart, creative, and full of energy. We went to Raw Aura in Port Credit for lunch/dinner. The food was amazing! We shared the burrito, pizza, and taco salad. We were such bloggers/instagramers snapping pics of the food and pulled out the selfie stick to get some instastories, lol. We had a ball.
Here's the burrito and the pizza, we dug into the taco salads before getting a photo.
As I mentioned, I stayed with my sister in law and her family. My 9 and 12 year old nieces love the raw desserts and have started making the recipes from my book! Together we made the snickers bars.
I also filmed for the City Line show but I'm going to save that for my next post as this is starting to get too long and I still have a few more things to cover.
After Toronto I flew to Thunder Bay to teach a class at my friend Helen's Bliss Cafe. Now, if you've been a long time reader you already know that I'm from a small town called Sioux Lookout that is near Thunder Bay so it was basically like going home (in fact I did live there for 6 months before moving out to BC). It brought back all kinds of memories and having left many boxes of things at Helen's, I got the chance to sort through it all. I had a blast teaching the class - sadly I don't have any photos of that but I think Helen's friend does so you may see those in the future.
My friend Pam drove from Sioux Lookout to come and visit me. I was over the moon thrilled to see her!! We spent one of the days together walking along the lake, having tea, and going out for dinner.
This is Lake Superior and its still covered with ice and snow. Yup, I come from the great white north!
Pam brought me a copy of the Sioux Bulletin where they featured an article about me and shared one of my recipes for Valentine's Day.
And on another note, I'll be teaching a raw food class in Kelowna BC on Sunday March 19th from 1-3pm at Glow Juicery. Come on out if you live in the area. It would be great to meet you!