a bowl filled with chocolate covered donuts on top of a table
Nutrition,  Recipes

Date and Cacao Bars

If you’re craving a wholesome and satisfying treat that doesn’t compromise on flavour, look no further than this super easy Date and Cacao Bars (or balls!) recipe. Packed with nutritious ingredients like almonds, cashews, dates, coconut, and raw cacao powder, these bars offer a perfect treat for the whole family.

Health Benefits of the Ingredients:

Almonds: Almonds are a nutritional powerhouse, rich in healthy fats, protein, fibre, and vitamin E. They are also a good source of magnesium, which supports muscle function and bone health.

Cashews: Cashews are an excellent source of minerals like copper, manganese, and magnesium. They provide healthy fats that can support heart health and energy production.

Dates: Dates offer natural sweetness along with fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants. They are a great energy booster and can aid in digestion due to their fibre content.

Raw Cacao Powder: Raw cacao powder is derived from crushed cacao beans and is a potent source of antioxidants. It contains flavonoids that may help improve heart health, reduce inflammation, and enhance mood. Research has shown the cocoa flavanols have potent neuroprotective effects and positively influence mood and cognitive performance.

These Date and Cacao Bars are not only delicious but also nutrient-dense, offering a boost of energy and satisfying your sweet cravings in a wholesome way.

Ingredients

Makes approx. 24 portions

1 cup almonds

1 cup cashews

6 tbsp coconut oil

1 cup pitted dates (approx. 16 pitted Midjool dates)

1/4 cup raw cacao powder

3/4 cup desiccated coconut

1 tsp natural vanilla extract

1 tbsp pure maple syrup (optional)

Pinch of salt

Instructions:

1. In a food processor, blend almonds and cashews until they form a coarse meal.

2. Add dates, coconut oil, raw cacao powder, shredded coconut, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend until the mixture forms a sticky dough.

3. Line a baking dish with baking paper and press the mixture evenly into the dish.

4. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours to set.

5. Cut into small bars and store in the refrigerator for a convenient grab-and-go snack. Alternatively roll into balls and roll in extra coconut to make ‘bliss balls’.

NOTES:

Dust with extra cacao powder and top with goji berries &/or slivered almonds.

References:

1. Akhtar MS, et al. (2018). Dates (Phoenix dactylifera L.): An emerging medicinal food. In Food Quality and Safety,

2. Nehlig A. (2013). The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. British journal of clinical pharmacology75(3), 716–727. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04378.x