No-Bake “Nutella” Zucchini Cream Pie Bars (Magazine Feature!)

No-Bake “Nutella” Zucchini Cream Pie Bars (Magazine Feature!)

Yup, you read that right. Crunchy “Nutella” Zucchini Cream Pie Bars. These will remind you of a smooth, luscious chocolate cream pie, but full of wholesome ingredients. We’ve all seen zucchini muffins, zucchini bread, cake, etc. but zucchini cream pie bars is a new one, and you will love it. These are one of my favorite creations, ever. Vegan, gluten-free, raw, dairy-free Nutella bars and all with just 8 easy ingredients, total, including the crust.

So, are you wondering why I came up with these perhaps? Well, my blog is being featured in the online magazine, Vegetarians In Paradise. I honestly was honored to even be asked, as only 11 chefs are featured and most of them are established chefs and/or cookbook authors. The only requirement was that it had to involve zucchini. I didn’t want to do the obvious, savory, and I didn’t want to do what would be expected in a dessert, such as muffins or bread. My first thought was a chocolate pie, but then I thought, pie bars sound a lot better, easier and they turned out more beautiful than I imagined. Seriously, one of my best creations so far. SO creamy and velvety.

If you don’t like zucchini, don’t worry, you cannot see, taste or will even have a clue there is zucchini in these. The key is using a fine grater to get the zucchini in tiny pieces, not shredded pieces.

These have the best of both worlds:

Crunch from all the chopped hazelnut and a luxuriously, smooth, creamy pie filling from melted chocolate, almond butter, coconut cream and ZUCCHINI!

Tastes like pie, but more rustic and easier to just grab a bar when the craving strikes. You can eat them by hand, or grab a plate and fork and slowly savor each bite.

If you make these, and you should, you know what to do….come back and leave me feedback here and if you are on Instagram, tag me with your photo because I love, love seeing your creations each week! Tag @thevegan8 and use hashtag #thevegan8, to make sure I don’t miss the notification! You can also tag me on Twitter too!

Crunchy “Nutella” Zucchini Cream Pie Bars

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 10 mini bars (make 8 larger bars)

Crunchy “Nutella” Zucchini Cream Pie Bars

Nutella gets a makeover with these crunchy, creamy zucchini bars. These bars have the Nutella flavors of hazlenut in both the crust and filling. The filling will remind you of a smooth chocolate cream pie, but with a textural crunch and flavor of hazelnuts. They will remind you of Nutella, but with much healthier, wholesome ingredients that still taste incredibly rich.

Ingredients

    Crust
  • 1 cup whole almonds (150 g)
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (64 g)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Filling
  • 1 cup mini dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips (190 g) (I used mini Enjoy Life brand b/c they melt easy)
  • 1/4 cup canned lowfat coconut milk, room temp!
  • 2 tablespoons creamy almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup finely grated, loosely packed zucchini (about 1/2 of a medium zucchini)
  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts (32 g)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

1. Line a 9X5 loaf pan with plastic wrap (not parchment) with it hanging over the sides for easy removal later. Add the almonds to a food processor and process until a fine flour forms. Add the hazelnuts and pulse again until the mixture resembles almond meal. Add the syrup and vanilla and pulse a few times, just until clumps form. Press the dough into the prepared pan, flat and hard, evenly out to the edges. Really pat down hard and flat. Set aside.

2. Add the chocolate chips to a cereal bowl and melt either over a double boiler or in 30 second intervals in the microwave until melted, stirring after each 15-30 seconds. Stir the chocolate until completely smooth and pour into the food processor.

3. Add the coconut milk, almond butter, vanilla and salt and process until completely smooth.

4. Finely grate 1/2 of a zucchini and measure a loosely packed 1/4 cup with the grated zucchini. Grating is different than shredding. Grating is using the smaller holes of a grater to get them into really small pieces, not shreds. Now, place the zucchini between 2 pieces of papertowel and squeeze all the excess water out really, really well. Add it to the food processor and process until it is blended and smooth.

5. Add the 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts and pulse a few times just until blended; you do not want them broken up. Pour the chocolate filling over the crust and smooth out evenly with a small spatula or back of a spoon. Sprinkle extra chopped hazelnuts over the top. Place in the fridge for about 4 hours to firm up. While still in the pan, slice into 8-10 bars, about 1 1/2 inches thick each. Keep stored in the fridge. These will totally hold their shape though for a party at room temperature, they are perfect!

Notes

*Raw, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, oil-free

*Nutrition per bar (not including additional garnished chopped hazlenuts on top): 296.8 calories, 22.1 g fat, 19.3 carbs, 6.6 g protein, 15.1 g sugar

http://thevegan8.com/2014/07/04/crunchy-nutella-zucchini-cream-pie-bars/

37 Comments

  1. Hazelnut is one of my favorite snacks but with these? I’m thinking why settle for plain raw nuts when you can have Nutella pie? Duh!
    I love contrasting textures in food, especially dessert and this one has it all Girlfriend ♡
    Congrats on being featured too. You’re sure to make a bunch of people happy reading this one!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Haha! Right?! It does taste like Nutella pie, creamy and silky and with a little veggie in them, haha! :) Thanks Angela!!

  2. Brandi, there aren’t enough words to describe how blown away I am by this dessert. There is no way anyone would be able to tell that it’s healthy (zucchini for the win!) and only made with 8 ingredients. Congratulations on the magazine feature – you deserve to be amongst all the chefs and cookbook authors because you are amazing. I am going to buy some zucchini just so that I can make this and feel totally guilt-free devouring it myself. I love this, Brandi, and all of your gorgeous photos.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      I just love you Nancy, you are the best! Thank you so much for all of your kind words! You really do need to make these, I swear you would never know they were dairy/butter free! They are luscious!

  3. A HUGE congratulations on the feature in the magazine. Thats a great accomplishment and I hope you are very proud of yourself. You work hard and it shows. These bars are to die for, delicious and decadent and shhhh…. healthful too!! So creative incorporating the zucchini in these, I bet I could even get the picky no vegetable eater to have one or more of these.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      You are so sweet Suzanne! Thank you so much! They are so incredibly rich, you just have to taste them to believe it! You cannot taste any zucchini whatsoever!

  4. Congratulations on being selected for the magazine, you outdid yourself with this one!! I LOVE that there is zucchini in these!! They look AMAZING and so rich/decadent.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thanks so much Brittany!! :)

  5. I have to try and incorporate zucchini into my baking! So many people do it, I just never have zucchini on my hands! Well, this must change!!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Gigi, I know, that’s why I wanted to do something different. Most people bake with zucchini but these are totally RAW!! :)

  6. Brandi!!! You are a genius! I have never added zucchini into my sweets, but I should definitely start! These bars look delicious! So creamy and crunchy…yummy!!! I can’t believe there is no butter in them and it is great! You are great! Thank you for inspiring me so much Brandi!
    Un bacino!!!
    Ema

  7. How is it possible that these look so delicious AND contain zucchini? What a great idea. How did you think of it. I just had lentil brownies last night that a guest brought to my BBQ party and they are delicious too. Great to be able to add healthy ingredients and still have great taste.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Cindy-somehow I missed your comment! SO sorry, I’m a little behind lately being so busy. Anyways, the idea came to me because I was asked by the magazine to submit a zucchini recipe and I didn’t want to do the obvious choice, savory. I also didn’t want to do what had been done many times before…in bread or muffins…so I don’t know, this just popped in my head, haha! Thankfully it worked out on the first try and are truly decadent :)

  8. You deserve this feature my friend, I am SO proud of you :D
    Congratulations! And this cream pie… finger licking, lip smackingly awesome!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Uru, you are so sweet!

  9. wow what an interesting flavour combination. love the raw idea. definitely a recipe i will have to test out, thanks for the inspiration!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Thalia! Thank you for stopping by! Yes, I am big on combining unusual ingredients, but rest assured, these taste just like a silky chocolate cream pie. I had taste testers eat it before I told them what was in it and they were blown away BEFORE they knew what was in it, and then just shocked, haha! :)

  10. Girlfriend, you are amazing!!!! Congrats on being featured. That is so so awesome. These bars look absolutely incredible, but I would expect nothing less. You are genius!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Melanie-you are way too sweet!

  11. Congratulations on being featured! I couldn’t believe it at first when I saw Zucchini in the title but these look divine and I’m always excited to find a healthy dessert recipe! Thanks for sharing!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you much Mary! I don’t know if I would call these “healthy” haha, they still have chocolate and sugar in them, but they do have a “healthy” ingredient and are no bake, so more nutrients in that way, that is how I feel better about eating many of them. They definitely do NOT taste healthy and everybody I’ve served them too has been blown away!

  12. Oh my gosh, these were DELICIOUS….of course, since i have learned my lesson from making your previous desserts, i went ahead and just double everything….the chocolate part was so thick and rich….it was awesome…even my coworkers loved the bars… :)

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Woohoo!! Love hearing that Elilta…especially the coworkers, Score! Thanks for the awesome photo you shared on Facebook too, that makes my day hearing from you guys :)

  13. Our garden is about to EXPLODE with zucchini and I’m very happy to have something to make with them other than “noodles,” bread, and in salads. Looks so lush, girl!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Annie, they are so rich and totally undetectable of zucchini! Jealous of your garden!

  14. I made these bars yesterday and they are divine! They are pure chocolate decadence! I love the texture as well as the flavour. You would never know they have a vegetable in them AND my non-vegan family members agree they are delicious. :)

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Yay! That is so awesome to hear Nicole!!! I love that even your NON vegan family loved them, that is always the TRUE test! Thanks so much for the awesome feedback! :) All of the many people have had NO clue either, that I’ve served them to, just chocolatey goodness!

  15. This looks so delish, and I can’t wait to try it.

  16. Huge congrats on the magazine feature Brandi! Amazing news!
    These bars look flippng delicious too. I saw zucchini in a vegan cheesecake before and thought it sounded interesting. I guess it lightens up these bars just a tad? They still look super rich and chocolatey!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Emma! Wow! Zucchini totally works in raw desserts, as long as you can’t taste it and you definitely can’t taste it in this!

  17. I just kicked this out this morning – had the taste test and it is a BIG WINNER! Easy to make, and it looks exactly as it appears here. Creamy, delicious and easy – love that with baking. My question – what can I do with the left over coconut milk? Should I freeze it or will it last for a while in the fridge?

    Terri

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Yay!! Thank you so much Terri for the feedback, made my day!! :)
      For the leftover coconut milk, I usually use it for adding to smoothies or for baking other recipes. You could use the leftover for a wonderful reason to bake my World’s Best Blueberry Muffins. They are one of my most popular recipes! :) http://thevegan8.com/2014/06/03/jumbo-vanilla-blueberry-muffins-8-ingredients/

  18. Oh my, Brandi, these nutella zucchini cream pie bars are absolute heavens! Did you know that nutella is originated here and in northern Italy? They went crazy for hazelnuts because they didn’t have cocoa at that time. It’s also known as ‘hazelnut cream’, I found some vegan-friendly nutella and they are made with just few ingredients (hazelnuts and sweetener). Some contain dairy and eggs which I didn’t think was necessary. Btw congratulations on the feature in their online magazine, braaavvvooo! ❤

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you Rika! They have been a big hit with my readers, which makes me ecstatic! Yes, I knew about the Italy thing since Giada always talks about it on her show, haha! :)

  19. Ooh Brandi! I made thes etasty beauties with green courgettes & once with yellow courgettes! They were equally very fantastic!

    MMMMMM,…thanks again,…I also like your Facebook page! ;) x

  20. Hi, I am super excited to try these out this weekend. I’m not vegan, but I’m slowly integrating vegan dishes into my day to day meals. As well as slowly switching animal protein to plant based protein. I will most definitely tag you on my instagram page when I make these!!

    Your website is amazing, I’m ppppprobably gonna attempt every recipe of yours. Congrats on your feature and keep up the good work!!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Fatzlife!! Thank you so much for your sweet comment!! I am so thrilled you found me and I can’t wait to hear what you think of the Nutella bars..they’ve been such a huge hit, so I hope you love them and please come back and leave me feedback after you do on here! I love getting the feedback and enjoy my recipes!! xo

  21. [...] Go make this and come back and leave me feedback on here. Each time you guys make a recipe of mine and leave me feedback, it makes my day!! Also, tag me on Instagram @thevegan8 and also hashtag #thevegan8, so I don’t miss any notifications. Love seeing your photos. Thank you to everybody who has been making my Nutella Bars! [...]

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