Are you a snacker? I am a person that HAS to have snacks. I’m in awe of those people that can eat nothing between meals–I become a crazy monster if I go too long without eating. Seriously–ask my friends.
When I started clinical rotations during medical school, I was terrified of being hungry during the day. This especially applied to surgery, which is notorious for making you stand for hours on end without sustenance. I resorted to stuffing granola bars in my pockets. This usually worked really well, except when I didn’t finish the bars, which meant that by the end of the week I would have three half eaten bars making my pocket all sticky.
Of all the granola bars I’ve tried, Lara Bars are one of my favorites. I like their combinations a lot and appreciate that its made up of dried fruit and nuts. My only complaints are that they are expensive and sometimes I think they taste a little too much like dates for me. I’ve always wanted to make my own–so here we are! I found this recipe on Shutterbean. On a side note, I feel like every recipe I’m making these days is from her site. You should check it out! This bar is really tasty. I especially like that some of the dates are replaced with oats, so that there isn’t an overpowering ‘date-like’ taste. Like Tracy recommends, we kept these in the freezer, but I did take one for a snack one day and though it fell apart, it was still pretty tasty. I can’t wait to try this out with other flavor combos, but for now, I’ve made these 5 times and none have been left half-eaten in my white coat pocket!
Raw Chocolate and Cashew Bars
1 1/2 cup raw cashews
1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup Medjool dates, pitted and chopped (for me it was about 7 dates)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1.75 oz. chopped dark chocolate (I used 60% cacao)
heavy pinch sea salt
Put the cashews and oats in a the bowl of a food processor. Run the processor until the nuts and oats are finely ground, about 40 seconds. Add the chopped dates, maple syrup and cinnamon. Process for about 30 seconds until everything is finely ground. When you pinch it together, it should stick. Add the walnuts, chocolate and sea salt and just pulse until the pieces are a bit smaller.
Line an 8×8 square baking dish with parchment paper. Dump the mixture into the pan and press it it down evenly with clean hands. You can also use a piece of parchment if it’s really sticky. Pop it into the freezer until hard, at least 4 hours.
Lift the whole frozen square out of the pan and cut it into 8-10 rectangular bars or 16 square bars. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.