1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
2 cups organic strawberries halved
Line an 8×8” pan with parchment paper and grease well with coconut oil. Set aside.
Add the cashews, almond flour, pitted dates, coconut oil and salt to a food processor or high-powered blender and pulverize until it comes together into a sort of sticky dough, with small bits remaining. Don’t over process, or it’ll turn into nut butter! Press the date dough evenly along the bottom of the prepared pan.
In the same food processor or high-powered blender (no need to wash between – I used my Vitamix, but most powerful blenders should do the job), combine all of the filling ingredients except the strawberries and blend for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture is silky smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides as necessary. You may need to add a bit more coconut milk or lemon juice to get it to blend smoothly if your blender isn’t super high-powered.
Once it’s smooth, taste the mixture and adjust the sweetness/tartness levels, if desired.
Pour the filling into the prepared pan over the crust. Smooth out the top and tap the pan hard against the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Press the strawberry halves into the bars.
Place in the freezer to firm up for at least 3 hours before cutting. I recommend running your knife under hot water to warm it up before cutting the bars with the still-hot (dried) knife. Let them thaw at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Store leftovers tightly wrapped in the freezer.
You can also pour boiling/very hot water over the cashews and let them sit for about an hour if you want to speed up the process – it won’t be quite as creamy as soaking for longer, but it will do the trick!