GLUTEN FREE VEGAN DARK CHOCOLATE ENERGY BLISS BARS
There are a lot of energy bars, fitness bars, on the go bars, you name it there are lots of bars lol! I personally like to make my own because I know what is going into them. It also allows you to control the sugar, sodium levels and keep them simple without any added preservatives or extra ingredients we really don’t need as they aren’t great for our gut health either.
I think what I really love about these most though is how easy they are to do plus the versatility. The nut butter can be switched to peanut butter, sunflower butter, almond butter just to name a few and they can be topped with goji berries, crushed nuts or whatever you fancy. These are really nice as an afternoon pick me up with a big cup of tea or as a dessert. You can also cut them into any size you like. If you want, they can be cut into smaller individual bite size bars or a bit larger for more granola bar size. You get to choose so that’s the fun part! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do for sure. I really love the extra crunch of the cacao nibs in these and they give you a little subtle energy boost too! We could all use a little of that!
Square baking pan 9 by 9
Double Boiler or Two Equal Sized Small Pots
12 dates pitted deglet or medjool dates
1/2 cup hot water for soaking dates
2 cups gluten free oatmeal (I like Qia oatmeal)
Pinch of sea salt
2 tbs cacao nibs
2 tbs flax seeds (optional)
1/2 cup cashew butter or nut butter of your choice
1 tsp real vanilla extract
3 tbs reserved date water
2/3 cup cashew butter or nut butter of your choice
2 tbs cacao nibs (optional) for added crunch
Top Layer for chocolate coating:
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tbs coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt (optional)
2 tbs cacao nibs (optional)
Take a small bowl and add pitted dates then add hot water. Set aside and let soak for 10 minutes. While the dates are soaking, take your food processor and add oatmeal, sea salt cocoa nibs, flax seeds, cashew butter and vanilla extract. Now remove dates from the water, making sure to save the date water. Add the softened pitted dates. Pulse the food processor till the ingredients become a sticky dough then add the reserved date water and continue to pulse a little more till all the ingredients are fully combined and a nice dough has formed. Take your baking pan and line with parchment paper, then use a spatula and add dough. Use your spatula first, then your hands by pressing to evenly distribute the dough thoroughly though the pan making approximately a 1 inch bottom.
Once you have the bottom layer down, now use a spatula and smooth the second nut butter layer over the dough. You can sprinkle as well with cacao nibs for extra crunch. Then set aside briefly while you make the top chocolate layer.
Take a double boiler or two equal sized pots and place them inside of each other. Fill the bottom pot with water then place the second pot on top. Add the dark chocolate chips along with the coconut oil then place your heat on your stove top to medium. Chocolate will begin to melt. Once fully melted, use a spatula once again and pour over the nut butter layer. Evenly smooth the chocolate over the top till fully covered. Sprinkle with another layer of cacao nibs and a touch of sea salt to add extra flavor and crunch. It is optional but makes this really special. Then place in the freezer for at least one hour till the bars are firm and chocolate is solid.
Once firm, take a very sharp knife and cut into indivual bars. These can be stored in an airtight glass container like a Pyrex in your refrigator for up to 7 days or some like to keep these in the freezer. Yum!
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