Ever tried your hand at homemade energy bars? We couldn’t resist pairing a food processor-inspired recipe to go along with this week’s giveaway, and with Larabars and Clif bars all the rage, it was a good excuse to try them at home.
These bars are similar to homemade Larabar, but with slightly more texture. Like a raw brownie (our go-to healthy dessert of choice), they’re gluten-free and all natural, made mainly of Medjool dates and nuts. This version uses hazelnuts for a more complex flavor, and dried cherries for a sour note that compliments the sweet. They’re based off an idea from one of our favorite cookbooks, Whole Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon.
With some upcoming cross-Atlantic travels, we’re looking forward to these as some healthy snacks to have in tow, along with some roasted almonds and perhaps some homemade trail mix. We’re excited to announce where we’re headed next week (though you may already know if you follow us on Twitter since Alex couldn’t help but spill the beans!).
Thanks for all your kind comments on our new site design this week and your excitement on our giveaway — you’ve made our week!
- 2 cups hazelnuts
- 20 Medjool dates (2 cups)
- 1 cup + ¼ cup dried cherries (divided)
- Pinch kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- ½ cup old fashioned oats
- In the bowl of a food processor, add all ingredients except ¼ cup dried cherries. Turn on the food processor and process until the mixture sticks together without being crumbly, about 2 minutes. (The length of processing is important for the texture, so make sure to process long enough that the mixture is not crumbly, but not so long that it becomes too gooey.)
- Add the remaining ¼ cup dried cherries and pulse several times to combine, incorporating the larger cherry chunks into the mix.
- Turn out the mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet and press it into a flat layer of the desired thickness, then roll a rolling pin over the top to smooth it to a uniform thickness. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 1 hour to harden. Then slice into bars of the desired size (we used 4” x 2”). Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.