Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My Paleo Marin Bar

Balance Bar. Clif Bar. Luna Bar. There are almost as many energy bars on the shelves as chocolate ones - sometimes pricey, sometimes with questionable ingredients such as in the best-selling Quest Bar.

But if you have a just a few minutes and a food processor, these delicious no-bake bars can be a fresher tasting, healthier and more economical choice for your family.

Ingredients:

1 cup raw whole almonds

1 cup Medjool dates, pits removed
1 cup dried cherries, or other dried fruit
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon lemon zest (optional)

Chocolate Topping:

2 oz. 70% Valhrona chocolate 
1 oz. 60% Ghiradella chocolate
1 tablespoon grass-fed butter

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toast almonds on baking sheet for 4 minutes. Stir nuts to mix around on sheet. Bake about 4 minutes more and check. Almonds are done when slightly browned (but are easily burned so be diligent in checking them).

2. When almonds have cooled, put in food processor and chop until small chunks remain, about 20 seconds.

3. Add dates, dried fruit, chia seeds, salt, and vanilla and process until well mixed, about 20 seconds. Taste. Add lemon zest, if desired, and process for another 10 seconds.

4. Cut parchment paper to fit in the bottom and sides of a bread pan. Wet the paper under faucet and shake off excess water. Squeeze into ball, and then easily fit the paper in pan. Press nut mixture into bottom of pan and put in freezer for about 10 minutes, or until firm enough to cut.

5. For the Topping: Put 2 inches of water in a saucepan, and place a wider metal bowl on top to make a double boiler. When the water boils, melt the chocolate and butter in the metal bowl, stirring constantly until it is smooth. Remove from heat and beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture turns a glossy sheen.

6. Remove parchment paper and bars from pan and put on plate. Cut into preferred shape. Drip chocolate on each piece, or put in a squeeze bottle and decorate tops. Place in covered container and return to fridge for an hour, then serve.

Store covered in refrigerator for a few days, or freeze to “grab and go” at a later time.

Makes 12 squares.

#paleo #glutenfree #dairyfree #almonds #treats #energybars #healthyeating #chocolate