Coconut Cashew Bars

DSC_6776While enjoying any Lara Bar, it’s hard not to think, ‘Tasty, spendy and they CAN’T be that hard to make!’ Well, you are right; their beauty is their simplicity. And, who knew Lara was Paleo?!

This is actually a 5-minute preparation recipe with a food processor. The recipe works just as well in a high-speed blender. But, you may want to coarsely chop the dates and the mix will require longer processing and intermittent scraping of the jar. I have made this recipe with various types of dates and prefer the Medjool variety. Medjool dates are larger and seem to be a little sweeter, more flavorful and softer than other varieties.

Full of fiber and dairy, gluten and sugar-free, these are my favorite pre or post-workout treat. They are also excellent with a glass of chilled almond milk and an ABC Afterschool Special.  Yield: 12 bars

Medjool and Deglet Noor Dates

Medjool (Left) and Deglet Noor Dates (Right)

EQUIPMENT:

  • High-speed blender or food processor
  • 8×10 pan or similar size cutting board
  • Parchment paper

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1⅓ cup pitted dates
    (15 Medjool or about 20 of smaller varieties)
  • 1 cup raw or roasted cashews
  • 3/4 cup raw, shredded, unsweetened coconut plus 1/4 cup reserved for topping
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil gently warmed until liquid
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
    (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • ⅛ tsp sea salt

Coconut Cashew Bar Ingredients DSC_6740 DSC_6779

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cover chopped dates with warm water, soak for an hour, then drain completely.
  2. Combine the dates and all remaining ingredients (except the water and reserved 1/4 shredded coconut) in a food processor or high-speed blender.
  3. Process until a dough forms, adding 1-2 tablespoons water, if needed.
  4. Transfer the dough to the parchment lined pan or cutting board.
  5. Press the dough into a square or rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Smooth the top to make as even as possible.
  6. Cover the top with the remaining shredded coconut, lightly pressing it into the surface layer of the top and sides.
  7. Let chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, until firm.
  8. Cut the dough into squares or rectangles and store bars refrigerated.

DSC_6741Coconut Cashew Bar Uncut

I’m all stocked up on dates. Which flavor should I make next?