RAW Energy Bars

I have been testing out lots of raw recipes that I can use on hikes, training runs & rides, and of course a big upcoming summer road trip I have planned. These were a huge hit at my ski group last night. Everyone wanted the recipe – so I just have to share! I could call them vegan, but I add honey instead of water for my added consistency. You can cut out the honey and add in water. The cashews and dates are part of what help raw bars and desserts stick together. You’ll find that it’s the basis for crust in many raw desserts. Let me tell you that the wonderful thing about making RAW energy balls, energy bars and desserts if that even when it goes “wrong,” it’s likely still going to taste pretty good (I’ve found this same concept with juicing). So bust out your dried fruits and nuts – and substitute whatever you don’t have, because these will likely turn out awesome anyway! This is by far better than and better for you than store bought energy bars, so welcome to the RAW world!

RAW Energy Bars

photo 1 photo 2

Ingredients:

  • 14-16 dates – pits removed
  • ¼ cup raw almonds
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • approx.. ¼ cup cacao powder (if you can’t find this, you can use cocoa powder)
  • 3 tablespoons cacao nibs (if you can’t find them, use dark chocolate nibs or chips)
  • 1 tablespoon chia, flax, or hemp seeds (I used chia in mine)
  • approx.. 1/2 cup mix of walnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds (or your favorite nuts/seeds)
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries (or your favorite dried fruit)
  • A couple of tablespoons of organic honey (if you use creamy honey, you need to melt it so it will blend well)

Directions:

  • Keep the honey, 1/2 cup mix of your favorite nuts/seeds and dried fruit to the side. Combine all other ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender (such as a Ninja). Grind all ingredients together in a food processer until a coarse dough has formed (this process may take a couple minutes).
  • Add in the honey a little at a time and continue to blend until you can pinch the dough between two fingers and it sticks together easily.  The bars should not be crumbly but not overly sticky. If the dough is still too dry, add a tiny amount of honey (or water if you are going vegan here) at a time until you get the desire consistency.
  • Add the remaining nuts/seeds and dried fruit and pulse several times until just coarsely chopped. This will give the bars a little bit of texture and some chunk. I also add in some raw shredded coconut during this process (optional).
  • Place a sheet of parchment/wax paper on a flat surface and spill out the dough on top (you can also spill onto a clean, flat surface if you want). Make sure the dough is in a ball in the center. Take another piece of parchment paper on top and use to flatten the dough out (you can use a rolling pin, but I use my hands). Form into a square (it makes about an 8×8 square). I use the parchment paper to manipulate the dough. Trust me, it works great.
  • Remove the wrap and cut into 7-8 bars one way and then cut across to make smaller bars.
  • I wrap them by using the same parchment paper and cutting it the width of the bars and folding them around each one (see picture). It makes it easy for storage and for eating.
  • Keep these in the fridge or freezer for long-term storage. These are great on a road trip, hiking or biking! Obviously, post-ski they are also an excellent protein/energy choice!

Other notes:

  • You can use melted coconut oil or water in place of honey.
  • Do you have allergies? You can cut and substitute anything in this recipe – that’s the wonderful thing about going RAW.
  • You can use any combination of nuts, seeds or dried fruit.
  • You can also roll these into small 1-inch bite size balls instead of bars!
  • If you are in Fairbanks, check the Co-op or Sunshine for Cacao powder and nibs. Otherwise, check your local health food store.
  • Shop for your nuts and dried fruit in the bulk section and get ‘raw’ whenever possible! It is cheaper and typically does not have added chemicals, salt, or sugars. In Fairbanks, both Fred Meyer and the Co-Op have bulk sections for a variety of nuts, dried fruit, grains, and pastas.

Happy RAW “cooking” and eating to all of you!

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