Gluten-Free Vegan Pecan Pie Bars {Paleo & Refined Sugar-Free}

Gluten-Free Vegan Pecan Pie Bars {Paleo & Refined Sugar-Free}

{Gluten-Free, Vegan, Paleo, Refined Sugar-Free}

A few weeks ago I set out to make some date pecan bars. I’ve been really in the mood for something like that lately and decided to finally figure out some sort of a healthy alternative and that is how I ended up with these absolutely scrummy gluten-free vegan pecan pie bars. Happy to report these came out delicious and actually taste a whole lot like pecan pie, only without the traditional wheat, sugar, and dairy overload. The best part is that they’re super easy to make, are full of wholesome ingredients, and can accommodate quite a range of alternative diets (they are gluten-free, vegan, paleo, and refined sugar-free). These may be my best cookie bars to date (though I can never have enough of these Gluten-Free Vegan Raspberry Almond Squares either!), and I couldn’t wait to share them with you!

Gluten-Free Vegan Pecan Pie Bars Recipe:

Crust Ingredients:

1 tbsp ground flax seeds
3 tbsp hot water

2 cups almond flour (you can use any nut flour instead. Pecan flour would be perfect, or some ground brazil nuts, etc.)
1/3 cup liquid sweetener of your choice (I used maple syrup)
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted or very soft
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

Date Filling Ingredients:

3 cups medjool dates, pre-soaked (I poured boiling water over mine and soaked them for 20 mins)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground chia seeds (optional)

1 1/2 cups pecan halves (for topping)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8 baking dish (or anything of a similar size) with some parchment paper and set aside.

2. Make a flax egg by mixing the ground flax in hot water in a small cup. Stir and set aside to gel for a few minutes.

3. Place all other crust ingredients in a food processor, adding the flax egg last. Process until the mixture is well-combined.

4. Pour the crust mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for 26 minutes until the base becomes slightly golden and springs back when touched lightly (though it will still be soft). Remove the pan from the oven but keep the oven running. {Note: the crust will still be rather delicate at this point and that’s normal. Don’t be tempted to over-bake. It’ll solidify well after cooking}

5. While the crust is baking, prepare the date filling by blending all the ingredients, except for the whole pecans, in a food processor and blend into a smooth mixture. Spread evenly (and carefully) over the baked crust. Top with pecans (either keeping them whole or chopping). Return back into the oven and bake for 10 more minutes.

6. Remove pan from oven and place pan onto a cooling rack. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for 1-2 hours to allow it to set. {Note: can eat them straight out of the oven but the crust will be soft. It hardens in the fridge. I liked them a lot soft and warm, but when I tasted them cold the next day they were way better!}

Gluten-Free Vegan Pecan Pie Bars {Paleo & Refined Sugar-Free}

Happy Baking!

xo Audrey

~~

This Gluten-Free Vegan Pecan Pie Bars recipe has been shared with Fat Tuesday, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesday, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Let’s Get Real Friday Party, #glutenfreefridays, Natural Family Friday, Natural Living Monday, and with Gluten-Free & DIY Tuesday.

** A big thanks to Tessa @ Tessa the Domestic Diva for featuring this recipe!

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14 Responses to Gluten-Free Vegan Pecan Pie Bars {Paleo & Refined Sugar-Free}

  1. sabrina July 11, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

    Oh goodness…these look unsinfully decadent…pinning it! Thanks!

    • Audrey July 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

      Thanks Sabrina! :) Hope you like them!

  2. Tessa@TessaDomesticDiva July 12, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

    These look so yummy!! I am eager to try them out! Thanks for sharing them, I am featuring them this week!

    • Audrey July 13, 2014 at 8:28 am #

      Thanks soooo much, Tessa! They are really yummy :) . Probably one of my all-time favorite recipes. Thanks a lot for the feature!

  3. Dee July 14, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

    Will be trying these out. Thank you. Signed up for newsletter too!

    • Audrey July 15, 2014 at 12:53 am #

      Thanks, Dee! I hope you like them :)

  4. Arlene July 14, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

    What could you use instead of the dates, we are low carbers and diabetic.

    • Audrey July 15, 2014 at 1:12 am #

      Hi Arlene, the closest thing I can think of that I would use would be a low glycemic caramel sauce — something like this recipe, or some sweet potato caramel sauce — like this recipe (I would thicken it a little with maybe a bit of extra nut flour). I think the first recipe would have a closer flavor/texture, but I think either will make a good and wholesome dessert. I’d love to hear how it went if you try it out with a low carb/diabetic substitute — I’m always curious what people do with the recipes :)

  5. Heather Howe July 15, 2014 at 2:59 am #

    Along with my need to be GF I also have a citrus fruit allergy. Is the lemon juice needed… or can I leave it out or is there something I can use instead?

    Thank you

    Heather

    • Audrey July 15, 2014 at 9:56 am #

      Hi Heather,

      You can definitely omit the lemon if your are sensitive to citrus, but I think the sourness of the lemon plays an important role in balancing the sweetness of this recipe so if there’s a suitable substitute I’d try that first.

      Here are some suggestions I would try out:

      – adding 2-3 tbsp concentrated pure cranberry juice.
      – adding a bit of cooked rhubarb or some sour cherries, cranberries, or any other sour fruit to the date mix to add that little bit of sourness.
      – if you just want to go with the dates and not add anything else in, I would add a tiny bit of salt (like 1/4 tsp or less) and a 2-3 tbsp water or fruit juice (for easier blending).
      – I’ve also heard of people adding straight citric acid to recipes for added sourness without the citrus, but I’ve never tried it myself. May be something worth exploring.

      If you try it out with any substitutes or without the lemon juice, I’d love to hear how it goes. I’m sure it’ll be helpful to anyone else who has citrus sensitivities.

  6. Jamie Miller July 15, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    Wow. This looks so delicious. I’m doing keto right now and this recipe totally has me salivating.

    faganeatspaleo.blogspot.com

    • Audrey July 15, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

      Thanks so much, Jamie :) Glad you like it. Hope you get to try it out!

  7. Vanessa July 16, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

    Hi there!
    Can a regular egg be used for the crust. I am so excited about trying out what seems to be fairly universal crust for all sorts of GF desert recipes! I’ve been trying so hard to get the rest of my family to go GF I know this recipe will have them believing! Thank you!

    • Audrey July 16, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

      Hi Vanessa. I think a regular egg would definitely work instead of the flax egg. I hope your family likes the treat! :) Enjoy!

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