Let's cut to the cold hard facts - no one doesn't like dried apricots and macadamia nuts. And when you put them together you're pretty much in heaven. Add a creamy cashew frosting and you're onto something really special.
This slice came to life after days of Summer heat when cravings divert from chocolate to something a little more refreshing. Something like the ever-popular Naturo Medico Lemon and Coconut Raw Balls was what I needed but I wanted to go one more and create something a little less 'ball-y' and a little more 'dessert-y'. Thanks needs to go to Be Good Organics who, at just the right moment shared their popular Lemon, Coconut and Apricot Fudge Slice recipe on Instagram causing the cravings to settle right on the tip of my tongue. Ten minutes later and I was at the shops collecting the ingredients for this Be Good Organic inspired slice.
Let's talk a little more about the old macadamia nut. Often coined as the fattiest nut out there, many avoid it due to it's high calorie content per serving. You wouldn't be recommended to gorge on macadamia nuts if you were trying to lose weight but for those who are not in need of a little light shedding, the macadamia nut is your friend. Yes the nut may be high in calories but not all calories are equal. When you eat around 10-12 macadamia nuts you are getting a number of nutrients including fibre, magnesium and copper as well as phytosterols, plant compounds that naturally lower cholesterol and have cardioprotective properties. That is far better than eating a calorie-comparable scoop of ice cream. When you eat foods that contribute to your body's requirements then your body utilises them more effectively. On the contrary, if you eat something that has little more to offer you than a good taste and quick buzz then your body is left with little else to do with it but convert it to fat and pray for the day it understands what good was in that food.
Dried apricots are just tasty. They have a tang that can be addictive. I like having the apricot in this slice with the macadamias as it provides the potassium to the macadamia's magnesium. When you put those two minerals together you get a nice mix of muscle-nourishing nutrients known for their relaxation effect, especially in cases of exacerbated tension. Of course this slice does not provide you with the therapeutic dose to feel these effects from first bite but incorporating these minerals on a daily basis is important for those doing large amounts of exercise and strenuous activity.
This slice is easy to prepare (with a little bit of time) and is a great one to give to friends who come over for drinks or tea. You don't need to keep it cool to keep it together making it a little less fussy than other raw treats that must be kept frozen. It's best to store it in the fridge while you're not eating it though to keep it nice and fresh.
2 cups organic dried apricots
2 cups macadamia nuts
1 cup shredded coconut
1 tspn ground cardamom
A pinch of salt
1 cup cashews, soaked overnight
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 tbsp brown rice syrup (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted but cool
2 tbsp plant-based milk or coconut water
1 tspn vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
Topping - shredded coconut toasted in coconut oil and coconut sugar.
1. Add the apricots to your food processor or blender and quickly blitz them to break them up into rough chunks.
2. Add the macadamia nuts, coconut, cardamom and salt to the apricots and blitz again until all the ingredients have come together. The mix should hold together nicely when pressed into a ball.
3. Line a square baking tray with baking paper, cling film or foil and pour the mixture in to it. Press down the mix into the pan evenly and ensure the edges are well filled to get a nice clean edge on your slice. Place in the freezer to set.
4. Prepare the cashew cream frosting by placing the soaked cashews, lemon juice and zest, sweetener, coconut oil, milk, vanilla and salt into your blender/processor and blitz until smooth and creamy. You may need to add some more liquid to it to get it nice and smooth depending on how good your blender is or how soft your cashews are.
5. Taste the icing and adjust as you need then spread it out onto the top of your slice (you can leave the icing to set slightly in the fridge if you feel like it needs it before you use it). Place your completed slice in the fridge to set overnight.
6. To create the topping, add a tablespoon of coconut oil, 1 teaspoon coconut sugar and a handful of shredded coconut to a pan and toast until golden. Remove from the heat and crumble the coconut into sand-like pieces. Sprinkle onto the top of the slice and press it down slightly so that it sticks.
- You can make the icing ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days before using it.
- If you don't have time to set the slice overnight then pop it into the freezer for 2-3 hours to set.
- If you forget to soak your cashews then soak them for 30 minutes or so in hot water while you are making the other components. This way you can still soften them slightly however you will end up with a chunkier icing...not always a bad thing.
- This recipe halves well if you're serving a smaller group or you don't have as much of the ingredients in your pantry.