I’m calling these amazing little bars RawBars®. I wanted my own name other than Larabar and my mom (the queen of marketing and names) came up with this one in .2 seconds and we decided to trademark it for our one day family business of owning land + a farm-to-table. Fabulous!
The story goes, I had a craving for a chocolate cherry raw ‘treat’ so I went to the bulk section of New Seasons and began filling little containers with all sorts of dried goods to try my hand in the kitchen at getting just the flavor I was looking for. I’m sure I will come up with a few more RawBars (I need to get at least a few uses out of the name, right?). There are so many recipes out there in the raw category, (have you tried the Coconut Cream bars by My Whole Food Life!? A-mazing), but it seems I just can’t get enough! Cue this cheesy song 🙂
Cherry Chocolate RawBars
1 cup almonds
1 cup pitted dates (about 12 Medjool or 24 small dates)
1 cup dried, organic cherries
3 Tbs. raw cacao powder
1/4 cup raw carob chips
1 Tbs. coconut oil
pinch of sea salt
Pulse the almonds in a food processor until chopped. Add in the dates & cherries and pulse until broken up. Then, add in the cacao powder, carob chips, coconut oil and pinch of sea salt. Process until a dough forms. Depending on the size and amount of your dates, if your ‘dough’ is too crumbly, you can add a bit of warm water or a little more coconut oil to make it stick together (my first batch could have used a bit more water or oil, see below)
Then, line an 8×8 square pan with parchment paper and press into a square. My suggestion is to make two batches. Make one, set it aside, make the other and then combine them to fill your entire pan. I found that with just 1 batch it didn’t fill the corners all the way.
Voila! Cherry Chocolate RawBars! I had a couple of taste testers try these out, one being a known chef in the Portland area (my husband is a GM at a local restaurant so that works out!), and they all gave rave reviews. Let me know what you think!
Fun Nutrition Stuff
If you haven’t tried carob, do it!! You can find carob powder and carob chips in the bulk section of your natural foods store or here and here. Carob is a legume and comes from the carob tree. It is naturally sweet, void of caffeine, and packed full of Vit B1, Vit A, Vit B2, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and trace minerals iron, copper, manganese, nickel and chromium. Carob also contains fiber and protein and has 17 times lower fat content than chocolate (although I will always love my fair trade dark chocolate!). Carob powder can be substituted for cocoa powder and carob chips for chocolate chips, just use less because of its natural sweetness compared to the bitterness of chocolate.
Also found in the bulk section of natural food stores, raw cacao is something to check out as well! Packed full of antioxidants, raw cacoa has been hailed a superfood. Check out the graph UliMana created. Enough said.
Antioxidant rating (ORAC), per 100g
This study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that heart health is increased by consumption of cacao. Blood pressure is reduced, and endothelial function improved in overweight adults.
“Chocolate contains more magnesium than any other food. Magnesium is the number one mineral deficiency in the west. It is the most powerful stress relieving mineral. It also relaxes the muscles and builds strong bones and teeth.” What more do you need? – UliMana
I use this bad boy almost daily and it makes these beautifully:
Another chocolate cherry option from my blogger friend, Nicky, over at Our Little Family Adventure
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Graph designed from information gathered at Natural News: Examining the Properties of Chocolate and Cacao for Health. Source: Source: US department of Agriculture/Journal of American Chemical Society and Brunswick Laboratories MA, USA