I have never been a huge fan of dates – I find the crackly skin and the cloying sweetness just a little too much. So I hesitated trying Anita Bean’s bar recipes containing this dried fruit. In the spirit of trying new things and given that her first two recipes which I tried were scrumptious (see Nut Bar & Recovery Bar), I ventured to try Cocoa Energy Bars.
Anita says that these make perfect pre- and post-run snacks. They are made with 3 main ingredients: dates, nuts & seeds, so are extremely easy to make. They contain no added sugar (only what is found in the dates), are rich in fibre, essential fats, vitamins, iron, magnesium & zinc.
They are extremely easy to make: throw everything in a food processor, press into a pan, stick into the fridge, and viola! bars you can take with you on your next workout. And the best part, I hardly notice the dates; they are just the right amount of sweet, and the texture is very brownie-like. Road-tested them: no problems at all. Definite success!
Cocoa Energy Bars
- 250g ready-to-eat soft or Medjool dates
- 250g nuts (I used walnuts & cashews)
- 50g seeds (I used pumpkin)
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 2-3 Tbsp water
- Put the dates, nuts, seeds & cocoa powder into a food processor and blends for about a minute until crumbly and evenly combined. You may have to stop the motor and scrape down the sides once or twice.
- Add 2-3 Tbsp of water if the dates don’t break down easily.
- Continue to process until the ingredients clump together to form a ball.
- Turn the sticky ball out onto parchment paper or cling film, cover with another piece of parchment or clingfilm and roll until about 1cm thick. Alternatively, press into a 7inch square panned with parchment or clingfilm.
- Refrigerate for an hour or so until firm before peeling off the clingfilm or parchment and cutting into 16 rectangular squares.
- Wrap each bar in clingfilm. They will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Nutrition per bar (16 bars total): 167 kcal, 5g protein, 11g fat (1g saturated), 12g carbs (11g total sugars), 2g fibre