My new secret ingredient is something very unsuspecting. Dates. I have been getting dates from the Lebanese store down the street, but it says that they are packaged in glucose. So I boil a pot of water and soak about a cup of whole pitted dates in around 3-4 cups of boiling water for a while (sometimes a few minutes, sometimes a few hours if I forget). Then I drain the water, rinse them again in hot water and put them in my food processor and process until smooth and paste like. And then you have date paste.
For the crust: (double this for a 9x13 pan)
1 1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 teaspoons date paste
1/3 cup melted butter or coconut oil
2 teaspoons ice water
Mix together flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Melt butter, add to flour mixture, mixing in date paste as well. Once combined, add in ice water and mix until a "gooey" dough forms. Press into pie plate and bake at 350 degrees for 10-20 minutes until golden brown on edges and top. Allow to cool
For the spread: (this is for a 9x13 pan)
1 8oz brick of cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or whatever milk) plus more if needed
1/3 cup date paste
Mix together with an electric hand mixer all of the ingredients, adding more milk as needed to the desired consistency. Spread over cooled crust.
Top with desired fruit (we used blueberries and cut up strawberries).
I recently discovered Larabars and decided that they would be really easy to make. I just take about a cup of date paste and mix together with a cup or so of pureed nuts. Some of my favorites are pecans and almonds for a pecan pie taste, and unsweetened shredded coconut with almonds and a tablespoon of cocoa for an almond joy. I put a piece of foil inside of a loaf pan and press the mixture of dates and nuts into the loaf pan. I freeze for a few hours, take out and cut into bars then put into ziploc bags and refrigerate. They are great to toss into my purse or bag for work.