Your whole food, plant-based life.

Cacao Dried Cherry Energy Bars

Cacao Cherry Energy BarsLast weekend, I had an incredible experience. Seriously incredible. I met a friend. Not so incredible? Well, wait until you hear the back story on this one.

18 years ago, many evenings after I would tuck my little girls into bed, I would get on the computer and head to a chat room on CompuServe. Does anyone remember CompuServe? It was one of the first on-line services that offered more than just a black and orange DOS screen. This was well before AOL. It was a new frontier and so fun to be able to chat “on-line” with other folks.

I made two friends in those early days. One, a woman from England, the other a hockey mom from Minnesota. We had many chats late at night and built an on-line friendship. Somehow the hockey mom dropped off but my friend from England and I carried on. In fact, we became quite close. As AOL hit the scene, we could actually have a quick person to person chat when ever we were on-line. Remember, this was completely new at that time.  And for the last 18 years, we have kept in touch. Raising my girls, boyfriends, marriage, the birth of her boys and life event after life event were all shared. She moved to the states years ago and I was invited to her wedding but couldn’t make it across the country to attend.

As circumstance would have it, the stars aligned last weekend and her husband was coming to San Francisco for a conference. “Come and stay with us!” I excitedly typed out. And somehow, it all worked out.

I can’t tell you how surreal it is to meet someone face to face that you have only spoken to once (years ago) but who’s life you know so much about. Someone who you have shared joy and heart break with, someone who you respect and yes, love. How could you not after all those years? I think we both had extreme moments of trying to wrap our heads around everything amongst just simply having a great time. She is wickedly funny, stunningly creative and simply a gas to be around.  It really was incredible.

We spent the day in the city (San Francisco) shopping, eating, running around and we even made a little movie. At one point, we found ourselves at the Fort Mason Farmer’s Market where I scored a huge bag of truly raw almonds. Those almonds, inspired these raw granola-type bars. That and the sweet friendship that now has a beautiful face.

They bars are full of goodies like almond butter, chia seeds, raw oats and pumpkin seeds. With the added cacao, these little bars will give you a ton of nutrients, fiber and energy!

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  1. Andreia wrote on January 18, 2014

    Hi Susan, great recipe!!!
    I have a friend who’s celiac and she’s allergic to oats. Can i use flax flour instead of oat flakes?

    Cheers 🙂

  2. Lisa Viger is Raw on $10 a Day (or Less!) wrote on January 18, 2014

    What an excellent story! I remember those days of AOL chat rooms and have also maintained a couple friendships through the years. It’s amazing how friendships can be nurtured in so many different ways 🙂

    The energy bars look awesome (and easy to make), too … !

  3. Nicole wrote on January 17, 2014

    Hey there! Love that there’s no dehydrating, but whats the storage then on these? Fridge ’em? Also, if I want less sticky: do I add less dates, almond butter or more oats? Id love any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Susan wrote on January 18, 2014

      The mixture is a little sticky when you mix it but once the bars are done, the texture if perfect. So, I wouldn’t do anything. :-). I keep them in a glass container on the counter but if it is hot where you are, you can certainly refrigerate them.

  4. Robyn wrote on January 17, 2014

    Love your story !
    Could I use quinoa flakes ? In Australia we gluten free bods don’t eat oats . Maybe a bit extra chia or some psyllium husks of quinoa does not firm the mix up enough.

    • Susan wrote on January 18, 2014

      You can try quinoa but you will have to work with the other ingredients to get the balance right. Quinoa flakes are much smaller and thinner than oats. Cheers!

  5. Maria wrote on January 17, 2014

    These look wonderful!

  6. Annette wrote on January 17, 2014

    I just ate a Larabar but wouldn’t it be better to make my own!

    Thanks for the recipe these look delicious!!!

    Great story by they way! I use to be a gamer a few years back and I met a few people in San Francisco and Vegas and it was really cool even though at one point I thought it was creepy. One of the guys who I went to his wedding in San Francisco came down to L.A. with his wife and we (BF and I) showed them around Pasadena.

  7. chere pafford wrote on January 17, 2014

    yummy recipe! Can you tell me – mine are pretty sticky and soft, what can I do to make them a bit more firm and portable so that I can send them with my husband who travels?

    @Judy – not sure if this was the correct way to address that problem, because I did not have a machine either, so I lightly ran them through the food processor.

    • Susan wrote on January 17, 2014

      You need your oats to be flaked so they can absorb the other ingredients and act as a binder. Just running oats through the food processor, breaks them up a little but does not flake them. Thus the reason why yours are not firm. If you don’t have a flaker, you can order them from the link I shared, or just use rolled oats. Cheers!

  8. Judy wrote on January 17, 2014

    what do you use if you cannot afford a machine to “flake” the oats?
    Thank you

  9. Faith wrote on January 17, 2014

    wow, amazing story! and the bars don’t need dehydrating????even more amazing, lol . I love the story. I was computer phobic in those days, ran my Chiropractic office out of my apt in Minneapolis without any employees or computer…. and when I finally gave up the practice feeling my heart was not in Chiropractic…and had to get a ‘real ‘ job, of course, immediately I had to learn how to use a computer…and now am addicted to the internet. And have discovered some very sweet people who I chat with almost daily, and yes, feel very close to them even though I’ve never met them in person. Some people might doubt the value of these ‘friends’….but I don’t! And often friends in the same town these days…are super busy, not available to actually get together that often due to family, classes, their jobs etc.


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