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These no-bake tart cherry bars are full of superfoods. The crust is made from dates and nuts, while the filling has peanut butter to give them a PB and J flavor. You’ll freeze the bars, but they don’t have an icy texture to them due to the chia seeds, which helps retain softness.
This recipe is sponsored by Montmorency Tart Cherries, a year long partner of Heartbeet Kitchen. For more of my Montmorency Tart Cherry recipes, click here.
Superfood may be a buzzword, but there’s truth there! Pretty sure when I eat food loaded with powerful nutrients, I feel on top of my game, armed with energy and positive vibes. The good news is, you don’t have to eat spoonfuls of flax, or raw kale salads to get in the good stuff.
Instead, let’s make these Tart Cherry Vegan Superfood Bars together. And even better news – they’re meant to be stashed in the freezer for a vibrant treat anytime you’re looking for a superfood boost.
With a good dose of peanut butter, they hit all sorts of familiar PB & J notes.
Here’s a look at the superfoods packed in these delicious, ruby-red squares:
The frozen tart cherries are whizzed in a food processor with several ingredients, but most notably the chia seeds and what gives them a PB&J flavor punch – peanut butter! In essence, the filling is something similar to a nice cream, that’s spread atop of raw date crust.
I kept the sweetener in the tart cherry mixture to two tablespoons of maple syrup, which allows for the tart, brightness of the cherries to shine through, and their wonderful fruit flavor.
So, what are Montmorency tart cherries?
You may know them as sour cherries! Montmorency tart cherries are the most common variety grown in the U.S. They’re available year-round in dried, juice, canned, and frozen, the latter of which I used in this recipe.
Traverse City, Michigan is considered the Cherry Capital of the World, with about 75% of the Montmorency tart cherry crop is grown in that state. Utah, Washington, New York, Wisconsin, Oregon and Pennsylvania are other prominent tart cherry-producing states.
What makes them a superfruit?
The distinctive sour-sweet taste and ruby red color of Montmorency tart cherries are due to the concentration of anthocyanins, a type of polyphenol in the flavonoid family. Studies have explored Montmorency tart cherries and heart health, exercise recovery, sleep, arthritis and gout.
What other things can you make with tart cherries besides pie?
There are so many possibilities! These ruby red orbs have broken out of the pie shell and with their versatility, are finding themselves within many recipes because of their unique flavor profile. Here are a few of my favorite recipes to make with sour cherries:
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Hey! Thanks for sharing your recipe! Can i ask if i can make the recipe with fresh cherries and not frozen ones? Thanks for your answer!
Hi Eliana! You’ll need to freeze the cherries so they create the right consistency for the bars to stay together.
Hi would I be able to substitute the coconut oil for applesauce?
Hi Steph! I don’t think applesauce would work as a replacement for coconut oil. They have very different properties when it comes to making a recipe and how they affect the outcome.
Would you be able to recommend a substitution for chia seeds? Could hemp seeds work? Thanks!
Hi Stephanie! You’ll need to use chia seeds because of its binding power. Hemp seeds will unfortunately not work.