This berry bar without milk will make you happy

Shutterstock.com/ Alexey Borodin

It is estimated that 65% of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy. The reality is that many people are lactose intolerant and don’t even realize it. They have been lactose intolerant for so long that they think that the strange way that their stomach behaves is the norm, it doesn’t have to be. If you consume something with lactose in it and between 30 minutes and two hours later are experiencing bloating, flatulence, nausea, or diarrhea then you are likely lactose intolerant. Often people can consume foods containing some elements of dairy but not strict dairy products like fresh milk. This is related to the fermentation process which can break down much of the lactose that is in milk. If you think this could be you then it is time to give lactose a break and see how you start to feel. We have a recipe to start you off with a sweet lactose-free treat. 

Milk is delicious and features in so many recipes. It is a useful ingredient for many reasons but the taste is probably the main one. Everyone loves milk. I am a sucker for milk and cookies at night in particular. Yet I have now realized that while I struggle to replace the milk with something equally as good to go with my cookies, I can replace milk easy in most recipes. There are many alternatives like coconut, soy, or almond milk that perform the same role and are delicious. 

When it comes to sweet treats, in particular, it can be hard to find anything nice that doesn’t contain dairy. Today I want to share one of my favorite recipes for dairy-free blueberry coconut cream bars. They are delicious, nutritious and won’t leave you bloated for the night. I use graham crackers for the crust and find that the combination of crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside makes a delightful taste explosion.

The following recipe is for eight bars so adjust based on your size requirements. You will need 20 graham crackers (the ones that are around 5 inches by 2.5 inches) and a ½ cup of vegan butter for the crust. For the filling, you will need 1 can of coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar or an alternative that you prefer,  1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, and a ½ pint of chopped blueberries.

Start by blending your crackers in a blender adding the butter as you go. Don’t over blend the butter you just want it mixed in. Transfer this to a pan that you have already lined with parchment paper. Pack the mix firmly into the pan ensuring it covers the bottom entirely. Set to one side.

Now take your coconut milk and using a spoon take all the thick cream and place in a medium-sized bowl. The water that is left behind is not useful for this recipe but can be great for other things like smoothies. Start to hand mix the coconut cream vigorously and add in the vanilla extract, sugar, and blueberries. Mix until the color of the entire mixture takes on the color of the berries. 

Pour the mixture in the pan on top of the graham crackers. If you like add some full berries and coconut shavings on top of the mixture as a topping. Set in the fridge for six hours to let it set. If you are in a hurry you could pop it in the freezer instead for two hours. Once your bars are ready simply divide into eight portions or whatever size you prefer. These bars are fantastic in taste and as they have no dairy they will last for five days in your fridge or six weeks in your freezer.