What You’ll Need Food processor or blender Spatula Glass or metal pan (8×8 or something similar) 2 cups fresh medjool dates, pitted 1 cup raw almonds 1 cup raw cashews 1 tbsp vanilla extract ⅓ cup cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder), can add more to taste ¼ cup maple syrup (optional)
Are you like me and crave something sweet after just about every meal? Guilty! I’m always grazing the pantry for something sweet and of course I’ve learned to not even have anything on hand because I can’t keep it in the house long. I’m all for a giant chocolate chip cookie or gelato once in awhile, but in between those splurges, I try to opt something a bit healthier.
This recipe is as EASY as it gets. There is no baking involved and if you really don’t want to, you don’t even have to measure anything. One of the most fun things about cooking for me is experimenting with ingredients and measurements- following a recipe to the tee (while sometimes necessary) is kind of boring IMO. In fact, I rarely measure. Only when I need to write up a recipe do I think through how much went into it. Woops! So if you ever find yourself wondering what a recipe would taste like if you just added ‘this’, or didn’t include ‘that’, DO IT. Why not? Especially when no baking is involved and you can only enhance a dish with, say…. chocolate chips 😉
Add dates, cashews and almonds to food processor. Blend until finely chopped. If it seems very nutty, add a couple more dates (pitted, of course).
Add vanilla and maple syrup if you choose. Blend.
Add cacao powder. This may need some assistance from a spatula to fold in the powder to the mix. Blend.
Scoop ‘dough’ into pan and flatten. Sprinkle with cacao powder. Cut and serve!
Store in an airtight container on the countertop (they’ll go fast!) or in the fridge for up to 5 days. You could try the freezer, too.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with these gooey healthy, raw bars that are essentially brownies. SO GOOD. My good friend who is vegan passed along this recipe and I am so thankful she did because I take them everywhere I go. As with all healthy treats, why not eat them at any time of day? Sometimes I grab one of these before a workout or breakfast as I’m running out the door, for a snack during the day, or an after dinner indulgence.
I’m not much for measuring, so make these your own like I did and use whatever you have available. You can’t go wrong!
2 cups Medjool dates, pitted
1 cup raw almonds
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 raw walnuts
3 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp group flax seed (optional)
2 Tbsp hemp seed (optional)
1/2 cup cacao nibs
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (to taste)
In a food processor or high power blender, blend all nuts and oats until dusty. The nuts may begin to make a butter, and that’s totally normal. Pour in mixing bowl. Add your seeds to mixture, wholely. With your hands (because it’s fun), squish dates until they become a smooth, sticky ball (this should be very easy to do with fresh Medjool dates). Place ball in mixing bowl. Knead the dry ingredients with dates until evenly combined. Press ‘dough’ into an ungreased 8×8 pan. Set in fridge.
In a small pot, heat coconut oil over medium/low heat. Add cocoa powder and stir with a spatula. Add cocoa powder until texture thickens and will make a frosting-type top layer. It will thicken more when it cools. Add honey to taste (unsweetened cocoa powder is not sweet). Let sauce cool slightly, for about 30 seconds, then pour over the bars that were in the refrigerator. Spread evenly. Sprinkle cacao nibs for an extra crunch. Let bars cool in the fridge for at least 30 min before cutting. Store in an airtight refrigerated space.
Tip: Coconut oil will melt at room temp and when touching the bars. Keep cool!