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Monday, January 19, 2015

Raw Chocolate Coconut Date Bars

Seeing as it's January, the season of getting back into good habits and all, I've been loosely following along with Bon Appetit's Food Lovers Cleanse. These bars, although not from the food lover's cleanse, are from January's issue of Bon Appetit, and they are amazing.  They are also, dare I say, wicked-fast to make.

I made these as an alternative to having sweet treats or packaged granola bars around the house. They've been the perfect snack as a before or after gym pick-me-up or lunch snack at work.
I have to say, having them each individually wrapped really helps me to not each 6 at once standing over the kitchen sink like I tend to do with baking. I'll have to try that with other things, like cookies. And slices of pie...

The bars are sweetened with soft and chewy Medjool dates and a touch of maple syrup. Because they are made with pure cocoa powder, they are intensely chocolatly and rich and coconut adds a bit more texture than flavour, you just gotta try them! These bars are so easily customized too, imagine them with pistachios stirred in! or topped with almonds... 

RECIPE & INGREDIENTS
adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine
Makes 12 bars
  • 2 cups pitted Medjool dates
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut - divided
  • 1/4 chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of water
Coat the bottom and sides of a 8x8 inch pan (or 4x8 for thicker bars) with non-stick cooking spray, then line pan with parchment paper.
Process the dates, cocoa powder, 3/4 cup of coconut, pecans, maple syrup, sea salt and water in a high-power food processor until it forms a smooth, thick consistency. You may need to scrape the sides occasionally or add a touch more water.
press this mixture firmly into your baking pan and top with additional coconut, pressing this in as well.
cut into bars and individually saran-wrap so they will keep for up to 2 weeks.

* If you do not have soft, squishy dates (like Medjool dates) to start out with, soak your dates in warm water for an hour then drain them before using them in this recipe. Trust me, neglecting this step in recipes past, partnered with my own stubborn impatience, is how I destroyed my last food processor.


What kind of healthier treats have you been making lately?


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