Recipe :: Cashew-Date-Coconut Raw Bars
Man oh man, I am cleansing again (I know, I’ve been so much less whiny about it than I was last year!). And I have found a secret weapon this time around, in this raw food recipe. I hesitate to really call it a recipe, since it involves like 3 steps and no real baking/cooking/frying/sautéing, just some food processor magic and a little kneading. But what results is so delicious, so sweet, and so healthful that I had to share.
I got this recipe from my friend Carolyn, who has made and brought these delightful creations to several social events, and recently left a bunch at my home that were gone in 48 hours. I inhaled them so quickly that I had to ask for the recipe, which she shared, and credited to this site: WellSphere. You can go to that original recipe for a bunch of variations, and Carolyn has put her own spin on the original, and of course I did my share of adjusting and tweaking to arrive at what I shall post below. The possibilities of these things are endless, and the benefits are many: they contain raw, unprocessed food; all the sweetness comes from natural sugars; they’re about 100 calories per ball and contain lots of protein; and they’re both filling and sweet-tooth satisfying.
As for the shape: this recipe can be shaped into 4 bars, which when wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge can replace your regular power bar or whatever, with a lot fewer chemicals and preservatives. But I prefer to shape them into balls and eat them one at a time, when I need a boost or I have a sweetness craving after supper. I just didn’t want to title the recipe “raw balls” because that sounded really terrible.
Without further ado, I present to you…
Cashew-Date-Coconut Raw Bars
- 1/2 cup chopped dates* (see Carolyn’s note below)
- 1/4 cup dried cherries (be careful to find some without added sugar)
- 1/4 cup chopped coconut (be careful to to find some without added sugar)
- 1/3 cup whole almonds (unsalted, unroasted are best)
- 1/3 cup whole cashews (unsalted, unroasted are best)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- optional (kind of): 2-3 dashes pumpkin pie spice
*Note from Carolyn: Pre-chopped dried dates are much cheaper than whole dates, and sometimes are the only option available at the supermarket, depending on where you live. However, they are typically coated with oat flour (to prevent sticking), and sometimes a bit of sugar, too. They are too dry and hard to work as is in this recipe, but with a bit of tweaking, they will work just fine. To make them usable, place them in a small bowl and cover with warm water (not hot or boiling water; this will make them turn to mush). Let stand 3 to 5 minutes until softened; then drain and pat dry. Not only will this soften the dates, it will remove any oat flour and/or sugar.
** Note from Chelsea: I have tried both whole chopped dates, and the tweak on flour-covered dates above, and they worked equally well.
- If you are making balls: set out a piece of wax paper on a small plate or cutting board. If you are making bars: set out four pieces of plastic wrap on the counter. Do this before you have sticky fingers. Step 1, folks.
- Place the dates, cherries, and coconut in a food processor. Pulse until they are combined into a paste. Transfer the paste to a medium bowl; no need to clean the food processor now.
- Put your almonds and cashews into the processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- Pour the chopped nuts into the bowl with the date/cherry/coconut paste. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and optional (but not really) pumpkin pie spice to the mixture, and knead with your hands until combined. I find that if you’re using tweaked flour-covered dates (see * above), you don’t need to add any water. If you’re using chopped whole dates, you’ll probably need to add about a teaspoon of water at this point. You want the mixture to become about the consistency of play-doh, and easily form into one giant ball without cracking or crumbling.
- At this point, you divide the mixture. You can shape it into about 8 tablespoon-sized balls, which you place on the wax-paper-covered plate or cutting board. Or, you can divide into fourths, and place each on one sheet of plastic wrap. You then wrap the plastic around each wad of deliciousness, and squish is into a bar shape, flattening each side against your counter top as you go, tightly wrapping the plastic around each bar.
- Store in the fridge for about an hour before eating. If you made balls, transfer them to a plastic container after an hour. These’ll keep pretty well in an airtight container for up to a week. But they won’t last that long, probably.
- WellSphere: Lära-type Bars
- And Carolyn!