Coconut-lovers raw energy bars

I’m often on the hunt for a great-tasting, gluten and dairy-free snack that delivers an energy boost. Something that lifts me but lets me down gently. Refined sugar and I are not good friends (not that we haven’t tried over the years). Many hard lessons have been learned … mostly through denial and error. I’ve found that I feel better and don’t experience drastic blood sugar crashes when I stay away from highly refined sources of sugar.

Recently, I had a hankering for some dark choco. And since I’m an even bigger fan when it’s paired with nuts and coconut, I decided to tweak my homemade Lara Bar recipe. With the addition of unsweetened coconut and coconut butter, this one’s for coconut fiends! A quick word about coconut butter vs coconut oil. Coconut butter is pureed, raw coconut meat.  Coconut oil is exclusively fat, extracted from the meat. So, just as peanut butter is to peanuts, coconut butter is to coconuts. One tablespoon of coconut butter provides 2 grams of fibre, 1 gram of protein, and small amounts of magnesium, potassium, folate and iron. I’ve made coconut butter before—it simply takes a good food processor and some patience! But for these bars, I snagged Nutiva Coconut Mana on sale for what it costs me to pump it out in my own kitchen. Artisana is another brand I love and use. In comparison, I find that when you first open the jar, the Nutiva product has more coconut oil resting on top. I just skim it off and use it later for cooking.

So—bars! All ingredients are placed in the food processor and whizzed until they stick together—about 5 minutes. I usually stop the processor 3-4 times and give things a quick stir. That slightly sticky goodness is pressed into a baking dish, and a blend of melted chocolate and coconut butter is spread on top. These bars use only 4 oz of choco, so use the best you can!. Then you refrigerate for 1 hour, bars are cut … and  … instant bliss!

coconut almond raw energy bars

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Coconut-Almond Raw Energy Bars

  • Servings: 14 large bars
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

Bars:

  • 3 cups dates
  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter
  • 2 tablespoons water

Topping:

  • 4 oz dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter

HOW TO

Line an 8″ square glass baking dish with parchment paper cut to fit the bottom. Lightly wipe sides with coconut oil (or oil of choice).

In a food processor, combine dates, almonds, cashews, coconut, coconut butter and water. Process all ingredients until the texture is coarse and a slightly sticky, moist dough is formed, about 5 minutes. You may need to stop the processor 3-4 times to scrape down sides.

Press dough into prepared baking dish, pressing down evenly.

Melt dark chocolate and coconut butter on stove top over medium heat, using a water bath. Stir to combine. Let cool 2-3 minutes. Pour on top of dough and spread to create a thin layer.

Chill dough for 1 hour and cut into bars.

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