At about 3 o’clock PM everyday a little man inside of me says, “it’s time for chocolate!”, and when he talks…I listen! And sometimes much to my dismay, this little man has cheap taste. So in an effort to be proactive I knew I had to at least make a healthier version to tame this wild beast of a chocolate monster within me. So this is what I did!
Vegan: Cranberry Almond Energy Bars with Chocolate Frosting
4 cups raw almonds
2 lbs. dates
1 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid
2/3 cup cacao or carob powder
1. Blend the dates in a food processor until it makes a thick paste, and place in a bowl.
2. Pulse the almonds in the processor until they are finely chopped and add to the bowl. (I left some bigger chunks so that the texture varied).
3. Pulse the shredded coconut for a few seconds and then add to bowl.
4. Add chia seeds and dried cranberries.
5. Work mixture together with your hands until it makes a sticky ball.
6. Line a 9×13 cookie sheet with parchment paper. Add mixture to parchment paper. Cover ball with another sheet of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to flatten the ball into about 1 1/2 inches.
7. Place bars in the freezer for 1 hour.
While the bars are freezing make the chocolate frosting. Add maple syrup to the blender first followed by the coconut oil and cocoa powder. Blend well until smooth.
Take bars out of the freezer and cut them into bars. Pour frosting over the cut bars and return to the freezer. Bars won’t completely freeze (except the cranberries). Transfer to an airtight container and store bars in the freezer. I think that they taste better par frozen, so I just pop them out of the freezer and eat them straight away.
Store in the freezer for one month.
Makes approximately 15 bars