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Sunday, February 10, 2013

VEGAN KEY LIME OR LEMON-LIME BARS

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A friend of mine just asked me if this recipe was in one of my books, or if I'd ever posted it on my blog.  I answered no to both possibilities, and realized that, since this is one of our favorite family recipes, I should post it!  It is luscious but light, and very easy to make, and it would be a perfect ending to a Lunar New Year feast.

Printable Recipe
BRYANNA'S VEGAN KEY LIME OR LEMON-LIME BARS
(Can be GF)
Makes 9 bars
These are spectacular!  An easy summer dessert to serve to non-vegans, who "will never know there's tofu in it".  But, really, this dessert is excellent any time of the year as a light ending to an Asian meal (or Caribbean, or Indian, or Mediterranean....)

CRUMB CRUST:
1 1/2 cups vegan graham cracker crumbs (or vegan animal cracker crumbs)
(see notes below recipe)
1/4 cup granulated unbleached organic sugar
OPTIONAL:1/4 cup fine unsweetened grated coconut
6 tablespoons melted vegan butter (try my easy homemade palm oil-free vegan Butter-y Spread)
FILLING:
10 tablespoons raw cashews OR Brazil nuts (cut into chunks), soaked in hot water for a few minutes and drained
12.3 oz box extra-firm SILKEN tofu OR 12 oz. ordinary medium-firm tofu, drained and crumbled
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons total) key lime juice 
      OR 5 tablespoons ordinary lime juice + 5 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh or organic bottled)
grated zest of one large lime, or 4 key limes
1 pinch salt
1 tsp agar powder (NOT flakes!)
1/4 cup cold water
3/4 cup light organic granulated unbleached sugar
GARNISH:
Grated lime zest
Toasted grated or flake coconut         

Mix the Crust ingredients well and press evenly into a parchment-lined 9 x 9-inch baking pan.   Bake at 350ºF for 10-15 minutes.  Cool thoroughly before filling.

Mix the drained nuts in a good blender with the tofu, lime and/or lemon juice, lime zest, and salt. Process for several minutes (be patient!) at high speed, until it is very smooth.  Stop the blender and scrape the mixture down if necessary.

Soak the agar in the cold water for a few minutes, in a small pot or a microwave-proof bowl with plenty of room for boil-up. Cook it, stirring, over medium heat until dissolved, OR microwave it in two 30-second intervals (stir after first one).  Stir in sugar to dissolve. Scrape this carefully into the mixture in the blender (try to get it all with a rubber spatula). Process the mixture until well-blended.

Pour this immediately into the baked, cooled crust.  Sprinkle with the lime zest and coconut Garnish. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before cutting into 9 squares.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 295 calories, 123 calories from fat, 13.8g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 222.9mg sodium, 143.2mg potassium, 39g carbohydrates, less than 1g fiber, 27.8g sugar, 5.4g protein, 8.3 points.


COOKING TIPS: 
Some bulk graham cracker crumbs are vegan-- check the label on the bin (if it's visible) or ask your grocer to let you see the original bag. Otherwise, you will have to make your own crumbs (in a dry food processor or blender) from vegan graham crackers.

VEGAN GRAHAM CRACKERS (without palm oil): (Updated Nov. 27, 2016)

Some bulk graham cracker crumbs are vegan-- check the label on the bin (if it's visible) or ask your grocer to let you see the original bag.

The following crackers are "accidentally vegan" and not made with organic or whole foods ingredients (but no palm oil):
Nabisco Original Graham Crackers 
Keebler Original Graham Crackers
Keebler Cinnamon Graham Crackers
NOTE: Sweet & Sara's brand contain palm oil.


Another option I have used is to make crumbs out of "animal" crackers-- here are some vegan ones made with organic and/or healthful ingredients.  they are often easier to find than vegan Graham crackers and usually not expensive:
Barbara's Bakery Snackanimals Animal Cookies 
and
Trader Joe's Organic Animal Crackers
(Both of the above are organic, whole grain, palm-oil-free, HF-corn syrup-free, but they do contain soy lecithin)
Kirkland Organic Animal Crackers [Costco brand] (ingredient list: http://tinyurl.com/zk8kduq )
Annie's brand Bernie's Animal Farm Cookies

Another option: there are numerous vegan (including GF) graham cracker recipes on the 'Net, if you are into making your own.

Enjoy!


4 comments:

Mattheworbit said...

It looks so good! Creamy, puffy, and tangy. YUM!

urban vegan said...

One of my favorite flavors...I have a KL Pie in my upcoming cookbook. I love that you used cashews for part of the cream--nummilicious!

Becky said...

I made these yesterday and they were really great. Mine didn't set up very well though. I refrigerated them for four hours. I don't have much experience with agar powder so it may be user error. Should it have thickened before I added the sugar? It seemed clear and maybe a teeny bit thicker. I did it on the stove because my microwave doesn't seem to heat consistently, but I can try that next time if you think it's better. Thanks!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

The agar should be thickened, Becky. I find this small amount easier to do in the microwave than on the stove.