How many time has the following situation happened to you – you are absolutely trying your best to lead a healthy lifestyle and to make an effort to eat as healthy as possible and then you end up leaving your house. What happens is next, you get hungry and little traps are all around you, starting from quick fix snacks like the processed energy bars which you end up eating and feeling guilty afterwards? I know, it happens to me as well – it happens all the time. Not only that – no, no – I personally get hungry again very soon afterwards. And let’s talk how expensive they are (especially the good ones), and let’s not even mention the most important thing – how packed with unnecessary sugars they are. Lucky me and you, I got inspired by Aimee Song and her recipe for healthy raw bars and decided to make my version of it.
Ingredients you will need to make energy bars:
- dates (200 g)
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup flax seeds
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- olive oil (coconut oil)
- shredded coconut
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 tbs peanut butter
- cup of water (optional)
- pinch of salt & pepper
First step is going to be making a granola (this is an optional step you can as well go all raw recipe, but this gives your bars warmer and richer taste. To make a granola you will have to mix dry ingredients first – oats, chia, flax and sunflower seeds all together in a bowl, you will season them with salt and pepper (a pinch of both – not more). You are probably wondering why salt and pepper? Well salt will balance out the sweetness later on when we add the dates and pepper increases the absorption of nutrients and it slightly boosts your metabolism. After that you will add two table spoons of olive oil or coconut oil (melt it down first) – I added olive oil since I have homemade, organic olive oil and I was going towards more saltier taste. Preheat the oven at low 120 – 150°C and spread your granola evenly on a parchment paper, Song recommends baking it for 15 minutes, but I would do it for 12 minutes, not a second longer and I would toss it around and mix it at 6 minutes. You will see your granola is getting golden and then you know it is done. Now, put it on a side to cool down and continue with a second step.
Secondly, you have to remove pits from the dates and then I would just transfer them to a food processor (oh, they make our lives so easy) and add few spoons of water (my dates were really dry), I also added a peanut butter, coconut and half of my baked granola and 1/2 cup of walnuts. I would blend this until this becomes a compact mixture. If it feels dry – feel free to add more water – mixture needs to be a bit sticky.
What you have to do next is the most annoying part of this recipe, you will have to mix the remaining dry ingredients (remaining granola and walnuts because you want to have that crunch in your bars) with a blended mixture. The best way to do it is with your hands – and yes, this is the exact reason I said this is the most annoying part of the recipe.
After you mix everything evenly, just spread it on a baking sheet again (you want to be able to cut them evenly into bars), cover it with a foil and put it into a freezer for 2 hours and that makes it so easy to cut them. And that is it! Here I added an additional step – I wrapped them into a parchment paper, per serving size, so I can actually take them with when I leave the house and this way I get excited like a little kid every single time I unwrap them.