A few weeks ago, I mixed up a test batch of peanut-butter & chocolate bars and Eric said they were his fav bar yet. I took the basics from that recipe and refined them a bit and boy, oh boy – the results are to die for!
These are going to knock your socks off! The one I let Eric sample, he said he felt guilty eating it – ha! When was the last time you had a healthy bar that was so good you felt guilty eating it?? *happy dance*
The recipe has lots of goodies for quick energy, like dates and agave nectar, and for slow burn, like quinoa and chia seeds, so they should provide you with good nutrition during a long effort, like Almanzo, or to fuel up before a shorter ride or run. If you form these into bars (I made 8 1″x1″ squares at about .5″ thickness), then we figured you’d probably want/need about 1-2 bars per hour effort.
Hope you enjoy & get lots of good energy from these bad-boys!
PS – I recommend using a food processor to make these. If you don’t have one, a blender works but you’ll have to use a rubber scraper periodically to keep it from caking to the sides or bottom. Also, chopping everything by hand works – just make sure the dates get chopped ultra fine so whatever moisture is in there can squish out and be the yummy glue that holds these together. :)
[This recipe makes 8 1×1 square bars, more or less depending on how you slice em]
8 oz dried, pitted dates (about 2 cups packed)
6 tablespoons almond butter* (can sub peanut butter)
3 tablespoons agave nectar (can substitute 5-6 tablespoons honey to taste)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons quinoa (uncooked)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder (can sub out 1 tablespoon cocoa powder for 1 scoop choc protein powder for extra protein)
1/4 cup raw almonds
1 tablespoon white chocolate chips**
*Note: If mixture is too crumbly to squeeze into a little ball by hand, add 1 tablespoon of nut butter at a time, pulse, and recheck consistency.
**Optional: you can add about 1 tablespoon worth of choc chips or extra nuts but no more than that – the mix will be too dry and crumbly.
Pour almonds and dates into food processor or blender. Pulse until they are in small pieces and then add all other ingredients. Pulse until mixture is crumbly and slightly moist. You can check the mix by pressing some up against the side of the bowl: If it gets hard packed, then it’s ready. If it packs slightly but feels dry and falls apart if you pick it up, then it’s not ready. If it’s too crumbly, add a tablespoon of nut butter and pulse. Keep adding until the mix packs together easily. Be careful not to make them too soft or they will smoosh in your pocket and be gross. Once you get the consistency right, pour mixture out onto a sheet of parchment or wax paper. Use your hands to press the mix into a big ball or log in the middle of the paper. Fold the edges of the paper over the mix and add tension to allow the paper to smoosh the mix. Press down firmly with your hands. The harder you smoosh the stuff, the better packed it is and the less likely it is to fall apart. Don’t be afraid to get rough! I like using the paper to shape the mix into a nice, smooth rectangle for slicing. Alternatively, you could mold these into balls, but I warn you – it is really messy to make balls compared to bars :) Anyway, flatten and smoosh until you get the size and shape you want & then slice them up. I cut them into 8 1×1″ squares. Store them in foil, plastic baggies or an airtight container. Enjoy!
Estimated Nutritional Info:
(amounts are estimated for full recipe and for 1 bar if sliced into 8 bars)
Calories: 1,862 / 232.75
Total fat: 81.1 g / 10 g
Sodium: 481 mg / 60 mg
Potassium: 2876 mg / 359.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 285.2 g / 35.65 g
Dietary Fiber: 48.2 g / 6 g
Sugars: 178.6 g / 22.3 g
Protein: 42.6 g / 5.3 g *
*Note: If you would like extra protein, add 1 scoop of choc. protein powder as a substitute for 1 tablespoon cocoa powder