Raw Dried Cherry Walnut Cacao Healthy Energy Bars
I am always in need of a good portable snack. And I love healthy energy bars! I often find myself out and about and can’t find something to eat. Or I am hiking and need a bit of a pick me up. And lets not forget that mid-afternoon slump when you need a little boost.
These delicious bars get their protein from walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds. All “super foods” in their own right. To add to the delicious factor, I whipped up a batch of chocolate (cacao) ganache, using coconut nectar and cacao powder. A little drizzle is tossed in with the cherries. Perfection.
Why we love these bars.
They contain some nutritional power houses! Walnuts and chia seeds are high in omega 3’s, antioxidants, fiber and cancer fighting, heart healthy nutrients, dates are a great natural sweetener as they are not processed. They also are rich in potassium and magnesium, and fiber. Pumpkin seeds are packed with magnesium, and zinc. They also have omega 3’s, tryptophan to help regulate your sleep and they have shown anti-inflammatory properties. Cherries have been shown to help with arthritis, gout, and are full of powerful antioxidants. Even cacao is loaded with antioxidants!
These are super simple to throw together quickly. Just a whirl in the food processor and you are almost there. Make sure your ganache is pourable when you are about to use it. If it has firmed up, warm it up a bit and it will be just fine. Don’t want the cacao? You can easily leave it out.
- 1 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup dates
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon almond flavoring (optional)
- pinch himalayan salt (optional)
- 1/4 cup coconut nectar
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- Pulse walnuts and almonds in a food processor until very crumbly and will hold together when pressed.
- Add dates and pulse until dates are finely chopped and incorporated into the nuts.
- Add pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, cherries, water, vanilla, optional almond flavor and salt. Pulse until well combined.
- Make ganache. Whisk together all ingredients until smooth.
- Spread nut mixture in a tray on a piece of parchment paper (see photo).
- Drizzle ganache over the top.
- Lightly toss and press into a big rectangle, the thickness that you want the finished bars. You will have to wet your hands for this step as the dough is sticky. You can add more ganache on top if you like. Make sure you press firmly as these can be a little crumbly if you don’t.
- Freeze until set. Cut into bars. You can keep these in the freezer as they never get rock hard.
Misa wrote on June 14, 2015
These were AMAZING! So good that they kept me happily satisfied at a party where a luscious chocolate cake was being served. I bought coconut nectar so I could follow the recipe exactly and satisfy my curiosity about it. The nectar reminds me of molasses in consistency and color. The taste is a little like it too. I’ll be making these a lot so I’m glad I have the nectar especially since it’s nutrient dense, has a GI of 35 and has a nearly neutral PH (from the label). My husband, 16yo, 13yo and 6yo all loved this. I caught my 16yo eating the crumbs (She never does that!). Thanks for this fabulous recipe Susan!
PS: FYI – I shop Amazon all the time but, Amazon’s price for coconut nectar was twice what I paid at Natural Grocers in my area.
Tara wrote on March 25, 2015
I made these for my kids and they loved them! They called them Brownies and asked for another batch. Success!!
Natalie wrote on March 11, 2015
Can you use honey instead of coconut nectar?
Susan wrote on March 15, 2015
I haven’t tried it with honey as it isn’t vegan but it could work. It will definitely change the texture. Cheers!