After spending ten days with my sister in Vancouver, I was inspired to stretch my culinary muscles and experiment with more raw & vegan recipes. It blew my mind that she had an entire 'cook'book dedicated to raw desserts! In the last year or so, I have focused a lot on my health, starting with checking my portion sizes, alcohol consumption, sweet eating, and all around movement in my life. Since moving to California, it's been so easy to eat tons of great vegetables and fruit and incorporate them into our diet new ways too! I can't say that I'll ever give up baking with butter or eating cheese, bread & bacon, but I love the idea of enjoying those things 20% of the time, with the remaining 80% making healthy, well-rounded choices with new and interesting twists! I pulled from a few recipes I found, using what I had on hand, to give these energy bars a go.
Energy Bars} Raw, Vegan, Dairy & Gluten Free // Makes 16
1 c raw almonds, divided
5 T chia seeds, divided
1/3 ground flaxseed
4 T cacao nibs, divided
1/2 c + 2 T raw sunflower seeds, divided
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c pitted Medjool dates
1/2 c raisins
6 T raw applesauce
1/4 c raw shredded coconut
2 T raw sesame seeds
5 T raw hulled hemp hearts
Line an 8 x 8" dish with parchment paper and allow some to hang off the side for easy removal. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse 3/4 c of the almonds, 3 T chia seeds, ground flaxseed, 3 T cacao nibs, 1/2 c sunflower seeds, and cinnamon. Run until the mixture is fine; add dates, raisins, and applesauce. Process until it comes together in a sticky dough, scraping the sides as needed. Transfer almond mixture to a bowl. Chop remaining almonds and add them, along with the remaining ingredients, to the mixture; stir to combine well. Press into prepared pan and freeze for at least an hour.
Pull the parchment to remove the whole square and place on a cutting board. Cut into 16 equal pieces and store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. These are sweet, chewy, delicious, & filling! These would make a great little mid-afternoon treat to power through until dinner, or a pre-workout snack in the morning to get you going!
Try swapping in a different nut for the almonds or adding some pepitas or pistachios for color (when I started this, I thought I had pepitas, but no luck - next time!) Create & enjoy!
With a full heart and an empty plate,