I feel a bit strange posting a recipe on this blog. However, spending time in the kitchen is one way I bond with my kids. It is also how I show love – through cooking. I haven’t always loved being in the kitchen, and many times it stresses me out more than it should, so cooking for me really is an act of love. Giving of myself by doing something that isn’t easy for me, but necessary. I had to learn, so I did.
In my quest to eat healthy and avoid foods I have allergic reactions to, I found some great energy bars. Standing in the grocery aisle, I read the ingredient list – only four ingredients and I could easily read them all! I bought a few and really enjoyed them. However, they were over a dollar a bar. I realized I could replace them with a home-made version! I researched several recipes, finding the easiest way to make them, and made one that is “safe” for me.
With my One New Thing, I’m in the kitchen quite a bit. Some days it’s fun, others… not so much. The day I found this recipe, was a fun day in the kitchen. It is super easy and impressive.
- Dates – I use fresh (Medjool). You can use dried, but may have to let them sit in a little bit of water to soften before chopping them.
- Cashews – I prefer raw, unsalted nuts.
- A pinch of salt – sea salt, of course!
To make them, I used the same amount of dates and cashews with a pinch or two of salt.
- ½ Cup of Cashews – Chop in food processor (until pieces are really small, where some are fine like sand, but not too much, however, it’s all how you prefer them!) then dump into a bowl.
- ½ Cup of Dates – Chop in food processor until it forms a large ball. *I took one date out so it was less than ½ cup and preferred it this way – not as sticky or sweet.
- I add the salt to the nuts then dump them back into the food processor and pulse until it is all crumbly again. The first time I made the bars, I just added the dates to the bowl and kneaded it until it was all mixed, but the processor is faster and less work.
- Remove the mixture and form it into whatever shape you want! (You can even use cookie cutters, but my kids are older, so that just means more utensils to clean – balls are still lots of fun for kids!)
- Wrap each bar in plastic wrap and store in fridge. I made 3 bars out of this recipe. From now on, I will make much larger batches!
Tip: After wrapping a messily formed log/bar in the plastic wrap, you can then form it into a nice, perfectly formed bar shape.
There are tons of variations you can make, just keep the proportions similar. For example, if you want to make a fruit flavored bar, use half dates, half dried fruit (1/4 cup dates AND ¼ cup dried fruit) and the same ratio of nuts (1/2 cup cashews or ¼ cup cashews AND ¼ cup peanuts).
After making these a few times, I found this recipe – and it’s perfect for fall with added pumpkin seeds!!! http://fitviews.blogspot.com/2012/08/paleo-energy-bar-recipe.html
Keep in mind this is a high-calorie snack. I eat only half a bar.
Enjoy and have fun saving money while being healthy!