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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.  Happy Year of the Snake!

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 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 fine unsweetened grated coconut
3 tablespoons melted vegan butter (try my homemade palm oil-free vegan Buttah)
FILLING:
10 tablespoons raw cashews, soaked in hot water for a few minutes and drained
12.3 oz box extra-firm SILKEN tofu, crumbled
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons) key lime juice 
      OR 5 tablespoons regular lime juice and 5 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh or organic bottled)
grated zest of one large lemon or lime, or 4 key limes
1 pinch salt
1 tsp agar powder
1/4 cup cold water
GARNISH:
Grated lime zest
Toasted grated coconut         

Mix the Crust ingredients well and press evenly into a parchment-lined 9 x 9-inch baking pan.   Bake at 325ºF for 10-12 minutes.  Cool thoroughly before filling.

Mix the drained cashews in a blender with the tofu, lime and/or lemon juice, zest, and salt. Process for several minutes (be patient!), 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 garnish of your choice. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before cutting into 9 squares.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 290.5 calories; 34% calories from fat; 11.5g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 193.7mg sodium; 154.7mg potassium; 44.3g carbohydrates; 1.2g fiber; 30.8g sugar; 5.9g protein.

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-- The following are vegan (without palm oil or high-fructose corn syrup):

Health Valley makes 3 kinds of vegan graham crackers (they contain soy):
and one that's gluten-free and vegan:  

Another option would be to make crumbs out of animal crackers:
Barbara's Bakery Snackanimals Animal Cookies (organic, whole grain, palm-oil-free, HF-corn syrup-free, but they do contain soy lecithin)
Kirkland Organic Animal Crackers [Costco brand] (I'm told that they are vegan, but I can't find an ingrdient list)
365 Organic Animal Cookies [Whole Foods brand]

Another option: There are numerous vegan (and vegan, 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.