salad grinds and bean plants

Almost Take5™-Incher

(Homemade Vegan Take5™)

WORDS: Johnny Lozano 

Almost Skateboard’s 2012 video 5-Incher is criminally underrated. While one might feasibly wonder how you could follow up Round 3’s madness from Mullen, Lutzka and a young Sheckler, 5-Incher came through with breakout gnarliness from Willow, flawless board control from Younness and a much-needed full part from Cooper Wilt (while it’s up for debate as to whether it trumps his Time to Shine part, any Wilt footage is a blessing).

Since Halloween is just around the bend, there was an enormous temptation to write about Creature or something more gruesome for this recipe, but something about Willow’s opening part puts me in the mood for fall cooking. Maybe it’s that he’s bundled up for half of it, maybe it’s that his Milagres song and Haslam’s Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson song just sound like a soundtrack to leaves changing colors. Whatever the reason, 5-Incher just feels like October.

 salad grinds and bean plants

Well, as is tradition, this week’s recipe is a sweet one in honor of Halloween.  Last year I replicated butterfingers; this year, I tackle a more layered candy: Take5. If you haven’t tried a Take5, it’s chocolate, peanuts, peanut butter, pretzels and caramel. With a few simple tweaks, this delectable combination is easy to veganize and can be made in just about any container or mold.  This recipe differs from Take5 in a few important ways, however (hence being Almost Take5-Inchers):

  • We’ll be using dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate (very difficult to find vegan milk chocolate);

  • We’ll be using a thicker layer of chocolate at the bottom and drizzling it on top, instead of just coating the other 4 ingredients;

  • We’ll be making the caramel out of dates. I could give you the standard rant about why dates are better than typical sugars, but with the thick coating of chocolate at the bottom, I’ll get off the high horse; and most importantly

  • This recipe uses the butteryass almond butter from last week’s recipe, instead of peanut butter, making this an actual Take5 (seriously, if you have both peanuts and peanut butter, that’s more of a take 4; ice water isn’t a take 2; mashed potatoes with the skins left in aren’t a take 2. I rest my case).

     salad grinds and bean plants

These layers of ingredients don’t have the complexity of an Almost impact deck (it’s 5 vs. 7), you’ll find that this recipe will satisfy your taste buds to the point that they become as delirious as Willow’s opening ramblings. 

What are you guys thinking? Thinking the ship is sinking? What are you thinking about? The ship is sinking.


  • 1 cup vegan dark chocolate chips

  • 2 tsp. coconut oil + extra for greasing

  • ½ cup dates (pitted and packed)

  • ½ cup hot water

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • ¼ cup peanuts

  • ½ cup Almond Butteryass Mondays Almond Butter (regular almond butter or peanut butter will work, too)

  • 1 cup pretzels

  • sea salt (optional)

  • Mold of some kind (can be granola bar molds—as I used—or a cupcake tray, a 9×9 baking dish or anything else; that said, if you use something that doesn’t divide the recipe into separate pieces, you’ll have to break it apart later, which can get a little messy)


  1. Start by melting the chocolate; you can do this using the homemade double boiler method I introduced last year, or you can microwave it in 30 second intervals. Once the chocolate is starting to melt, add the coconut oil to thin it up some and stir it in until it all melts together.  Once melted, grease your mold(s) with a little coconut oil and coat the bottom with chocolate. Freeze in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.  

  2. While that’s freezing, add the dates and hot water to a glass or jar and let them soak for 5 minutes or so, just long enough to soften the dates. Strain the water and preserve some of it for later, then blend the dates, adding a tablespoon of water at a time until you have a thick paste.  Add the vanilla extract and blend a little more to mix it in. Take the chocolate out of the freezer and add a layer of date caramel, then a layer of peanuts. Throw it in the freezer again for another 10-15 minutes.

  3. Once firm, slather on a layer of almond butter and press some pretzels on top.  Freeze for another 10 minutes, then drizzle a little more melted chocolate on top and sprinkle some sea salt.  Freeze for 5 more minutes. If you need to break them up into separate pieces, do so with a serrated knife to get through the bottom layer of chocolate.  

  4. Dig in! These will keep for a week in the freezer, just let them thaw for a few minutes before eating.

Happy Halloween,


For more recipes, check _or find us on Instagram at @salad_grinds_and_bean_plants.

salad grinds and bean plants

Load more