It feels like it’s been awhile since I’ve last posted a recipe! We are currently riding into our second week of spring break and enjoying ever minute of it-the absence of rushing to get from point A to point B, not having to pack lunches or worry about who’s having what for breakfast or even eating it! Breaking from our busy schedule means I’ve with drawn form my work as well. As much as I love my job, my kids are my number one priority- we only have them for a small window of time before their adulting on their own (hopefully)…..I don’t know about you but my kids seem to grow at a rapid rate!! 😉
Enough of that, how about these bars??
The bits of cashew along with little bits of raspberry, all held together with sweet gooey dates….
I find these little energy bars to be very indulgent. Their packed with antioxidants, fibre, plant protein, vitamins and minerals. They are also cheaper than their store bought counter part!
These bars are fairly easy to make. If you have dates, nuts/seeds, you can turn it into a number of plant based desserts/snacks- energy bites, energy bars, pie crust, crumble, gooey filling, raw muesli…etc. Just add in a few extras to turn it into something fabulous!
To start the process, I like to grind the nuts/ seeds into a type of nut/seed meal until it looks like this…
Next, I add in the chewy/dried fruit such as dates and raisins along with the raspberry extract and a pinch of sea salt. Then, process until it forms a gooey dough.
I added in the freeze dried raspberries* last so that they wouldn’t turn to dust in the bars. I wanted keep some of their form so that you can see and taste the berries.
Once your mixture has come together nicely, place it in an 8X8 inch baking pan that is lined with parchment paper. Next, with clean/slightly damp hands, press the mixture out to the edges making sure that it is even.
You can cover the mixture with an extra piece of parchment paper to help smooth it out even more. Leave the mixture covered and place in the freezer for 4 hours or over night. These bars are better if kept in the freezer until they are ready to be eaten. If you want these bars to be “shelf stable” and lunch kit worthy, use less dates (3/4 cup of packed) instead of the full amount. And to make them nut free, you can use sunflower seeds or a mix of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds instead of the cashews.
Once the bars have firmed up, cut into 10 bars-feel free to cut them up smaller for younger children because these can be quite filling.
Don’t worry if yours don’t turn out perfectly formed……mine never do. I usually cut off the odd looking edges and they end up becoming samples for the kids that happen to be watching and drooling during the whole process 😉
A note about the berries….. if you’ve clicked on the highlighted area, you’ve probably noticed that they aren’t cheap! A bag will last for three to four batches of these bars though. Also, I’ve found that if you buy in multiples, they are cheaper.
Raspberry Bliss Bars
Serving: 10 bars
Time: 5 minutes plus freezing time
1 cup pitted dates, packed
3/4 cup raw unsalted cashews
1/2 cup raisins
1/8-1/4 cup freeze dried raspberries*
1 tsp pure raspberry extract*
Pinch of sea salt
1. Place cashews into a food processor and process until it turns into a crumbly mixture, about 30 seconds.
2. Add in your dates, raisins, raspberry extract and sea salt. Then, process until mixture forms a gooey dough, about 30-60 seconds.
3. Add in your freeze dried raspberries and pulse for 20 seconds. If there are bits of raspberries that haven’t made their way into the mixture, mix them in by hand when taking the “dough” out and into the lined baking dish.
4. With clean/ lightly damp hands, press the formed mixture in the middle, spreading it out evenly to the edges.
5. Cover and place in the freezer for 4 hours or leave in over night.
To make these bars nut free, sub the cashews with your favorite seeds or a combination of seeds. You can also add in 1/8- 1/4 cup of rolled oats for a firmer bar.
Thanks for stopping by!