What do you get when you cross your favourite summer treat with the warmth of the holidays? Vegan chai sweet potato s’mores bars of course!
I’ve always been a little bit confused about the sweet potato casserole served at Thanksgiving. It’s served as a side dish next to the brussel sprouts, gravy, and stuffing but then it’s also topped with marshmallows? Not sure how I feel about marshmallows getting mixed with the gravy or getting smeared over my green beans… For this reason, I think the sweet potato-marshmallow combo is more suitable in a dessert. And why shouldn’t it be on the dessert table? These vegan chai sweet potato bars are like pumpkin pie’s less traditional sister.
Come October, it’s like a switch inside of us flicks on our pumpkin pie cravings. Our classes this past semester allowed us to have dinner together 2 or 3 nights a week. And of course every dinner has to end with some dessert. One evening our pumpkin pie cravings were so strong we walked to 3 different grocery stores in search of pie. You would think that any basic store would carry pumpkin pie in the fall but nope, we were let down twice before we settled on a vegan pumpkin pie from Whole Foods. Totally worth the splurge because the texture of the crust, and more importantly the filling, is flawless. It also is made with simple ingredients, which baffles us because we’ve always struggled with making the perfect vegan pumpkin pie because it often comes out tasting like sweetened pumpkin puree instead of that custard-y, slice-able texture. We’re still on a mission to perfect a vegan pumpkin pie but today’s chai sweet potato bars are our most promising attempt so far!
These sweet potato bars are like three desserts in one. First, it’s like an upside-down crumble. The base is a crumbly mixture of cinnamon-y oats and pecans. Second, it’s like a custard-y sweet potato slab pie. Instead of using pumpkin pie spice, I ground up some chai tea and oh my goodness, it compliments the sweet potato perfectly. Can’t believe it took me this long to combine chai and sweet potato. And finally,these sweet potato bars are like winter s’mores. All s’mores require chocolate (check) and golden brown toasted marshmallows (check). But instead of just having graham crackers, we have an entire sweet potato bar. #Winning
Now that December is upon us, Christmas cheer is everywhere! Holiday baking and desserts are definitely some of my favourite parts of the holidays. These chai sweet potato bars are ideal for those that want to indulge in something sweet yet still healthy. Sweet potato is a root vegetable so that makes these bars totally healthy 😉 It’s also a fantastic alternative for those that want pie but find pie crusts daunting or cutting a pie into more than 8 pieces a headache (i.e. me). In come slab pies, ready to feed many mouths and save the bakers from pie crust disasters; I’ve seen a few too many “soggy bottoms” on The Great Canadian Baking Show. This coming Wednesday it’s the Christmas episode and I’m so excited to watch them build gingerbread houses!
Okay, enough of my tangents and blabbering, the vegan chai sweet potato bar recipe is down below!
TIP: Make this dessert the day before you intend to serve it as it needs to chill in the fridge before being sliced.
- ½ cup oat flour
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp organic cane sugar (or more coconut sugar)
- 2 tbsp chopped raw pecans
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 tbsp melted coconut oil
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk
- 2 chai tea bags, contents emptied and ground into a fine powder
- 2 cups sweet potato puree
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch or tapioca starch
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 9 vegan marshmallows, cut into quarters width-wise
- About 1 tbsp mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine all crust ingredients and press evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- In a blender, combine all the filling ingredients until very smooth. Pour filling mixture over crust and bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until edges are set and the middle is slightly jiggly. Remove from oven and allow it to cool completely before refrigerating for at least 4 hours.
- When ready to serve, top with marshmallows and chocolate chips and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Cut into squares and serve!