I promised the recipe, so here it is…
I whipped these up as a surprise treat for a presentation I gave today on “Holistic Nutrition for Shift Workers”, let me state for the record how honored I was to be able to share my learning over the years with this group!
Food is fuel, but it can also satisfy a sweet tooth and still provide nutritional value. Mind you, moderation as always…you don’t want to gobble down an entire batch of these in one sitting!
By nourishing your body with high nutritional value foods, you will find that your cravings for processed food will be minimized. These power bars are loaded with healthy fats, have no added sugar and are gluten and dairy free. The sweetness is derived from real whole foods and in my humble opinion is the absolute way to go!
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
½ cup chia seeds (see notes at the end)
¼ cup ground flax seeds
½ cup hemp seeds
2 Tbsp cacao nibs
½ cup shredded unsweetened grated coconut
1 cup unsalted raw pumpkin seeds
½ cup of unsweetened dried cherries
4 Tbsp coconut oil (reserve 1 Tsp for melting chocolate)
1 bar of dark chocolate 75% cacao, broken in pieces
Additional 2 Tbsp coconut for sprinkling
Bust out your food processor, and pulse the walnuts, chia, flax, hemp, cacao nibs, coconut and pumkin seeds. Set aside half of this mixture. Add in your remaining ingredients…dates, coconut oil & cherries. Continue to pulse until you have a somewhat sticky mass of deliciousness, then mix in the rest of the mixture by hand. Feel free to get your hands in there. If the mixture seems a little dry you can add a couple of teaspoons of water.
* Chia seeds – you can grind up a few tablespoons of chia seeds with your flax seeds in a coffee grinder or Vitamix dry container, as chia seeds will gel and aid in holding these bars together a bit better.
Spread the mixture evenly into a shallow pan lined with parchment, approximately 1/2 inch thick and place in the fridge for at least an hour or two to set.
Place a stainless steel bowl over a pot of boiling water and add your chocolate and a smidge of coconut oil and melt your chocolate. I’m not a huge fan of microwaving chocolate for an number of reasons. I feel the “double boiler method” reduces the risk overheating and burning the chcocolate., but I’ve leave that up to you…
Drizzle the chocolate over the mixture and sprinkle with shredded coconut. Place back in the fridge to allow the chocolate to set and then you can slice these up all pretty (go for the diamond shape) and serve!
Additional notes…Why should I be eating these foods?
Walnuts contain the highest amount of Omega 3’s than any other nut, which is supportive of brain function. Nutrient rich, a source of fiber, protein, calcium, magnesium, and half of the daily value or manganese which is supportive in the metabolism of sugars, insulin and cholesterol.
Dates are high in calories and sugar, so must be enjoyed in moderation. However is you are looking to add sweetness to recipes note that dates are a source of calcium, magnesium, potassium and fibre…a better option than sugar!
Coconut Oil is being touted as the next miracle food, here’s a quick why…Yes, it’s a saturated fat. We need fat in our diets, contrary to the age old dogma that has vilified it. Our bodies use fat as an energy source and increased the bioavailability of certain fat soluble vitamins. Coconuts are a medium chain triglyceride which makes them easier to absorb and our bodies use them for energy, rather than storing them as fat. Coconut contains lauric acid, which has anti microbial and anti viral properties.
Cacao contains the highest concentration of antioxidants by weight than any other food. Chocolate in its raw form is very good for us! High in magnesium, iron, chromium (which helps balance blood sugar, a rich source of manganese and an excellent source of zinc and a whole host of other compounds that are supportive of good health. Cacao nibs can be purchased in most natural health food stores.
I often add maca powder or lucuma to this recipe to add a super-food boost.
Maca is an adaptogen, balancing and stabilizing the body’s glandular -hormonal system, nervous system and cardiovascular system. It is known to increase both strength and stamina
Lucuma has a taste similar to maple, has high nutritional value and is packed with vitamins and minerals. Beta- carotene, zinc, iron, vitamin C, niacin and fiber. It also contains 14 essential trace minerals!
You can add these together or mix them into your favorite smoothie recipe!