|Healthy Energy Bars|
A food stylist I am not (although I try). With most of my foodie pictures, you will just have to trust me that the flavor is better than the photo quality. Today's featured recipe is an example of that.
If you examine my photo closely, you will see a dense-pack of nutrition and the list of ingredients in the recipe will prove it.
Nut and fruit bars are always a hit with me because they are not hard to prepare, they make good snacks, they are portable, and every ingredient is super-nutritious.
I found the original recipe in a raw foods cookbook. Some of the ingredients did not suit me, so I have changed the recipe and come up with the following:
Healthy Energy Bars (makes 12 servings)
1 pound pitted Medjool dates
1/2 cup sprouted* sunflower seeds (buy the seeds raw**, unsalted)
1/2 cup sprouted* cashews (buy the nuts raw**, unsalted)
1 (1-inch) piece peeled, raw ginger root
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut***
4 Tablespoons organic coconut oil***
2 Tablespoons raw, unfiltered honey
1 mashed banana
Put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Press the mixture into an 8 x 8-inch pan and place it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Cut into 12 bars before serving.
*To sprout the raw sunflower seeds and cashews, combine them both into a canning jar and cover with warm water. Leave them on the counter for 24 hours, drain and rinse well, and use in the recipe. You may see the beginnings of a sprout nubbin, which indicates they are starting to sprout. If you continue to rinse and drain them over the next day or so, you will see a stem and leaves appear. But that is not necessary for this recipe.
**You will probably have to visit your health foods store to find raw sunflower seeds and raw cashew nuts. You want them to be raw (not roasted) for the maximum nutritional benefits that come from live foods.
***You will probably have to visit your health foods store to find unsweetened, shredded coconut and organic coconut oil.