A new year rolls around, as does the guilt for potentially overdoing it between Christmas and New Years, even though it's probably worth the argument that it's really what you eat between New Years and Christmas that's more important.
But anyway, I digress. Once the sugar high from all your favourite end of year desserts comes to an end (personally, I'm a pavlova and trifle girl), here's a slightly more virtuous afternoon tea accompaniment that's vegan as well as gluten, refined sugar and dairy free...but be warned, they are called Crack Bars for a reason. There is zero baking involved and the base recipe is just 4 ingredients (I don't count salt), which you can add your favourite toppings or ingredients like pepitas and raw chocolate (pictured), cacao nibs, dried fruit, etc. Enjoy!
1 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 cup maple syrup (honey will work, but isn't vegan if that matters)
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch sea salt
Optional: a handful of pepitas, raw chocolate to drizzle.
Place the dessicated coconut into a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dessicated coconut, along with a good pinch of sea salt and combine well. At this stage, you can add any additional ingredients you like, for example, a handful of chopped nuts, cacao nibs, pepitas, or dried fruit.
Line a shallow baking tray with baking paper and press the mixture into a level rectangle shape, alternatively you can use silicon ice cube moulds. Freeze the pressed mixture for 10-20 minutes until set, then slice into portions, or pop out of the mould, if using. If you want to drizzle a little melted chocolate (raw or otherwise, I don't discriminate), this is when you'd do that (and let's be honest, when is a little extra chocolate a bad idea?).