Saturday, June 25, 2016

Cashew Date Bars

I LOVE cashews - they are by far my favorite type of nut. It is always dangerous to keep cashews in the house because I will inevitably over-indulge in them and finish half the container in one sitting! I figure since they are one of the healthier nuts to eat, and since we rarely get cashews (they can be quite expensive!), a cashew-binge every once in a while won’t hurt in the long run.

But, as some binges go, there is regret after - regret that I didn’t have the fortitude to make the cashews last longer! Making trail mix sometimes helps, but I’m just as likely to scarf that down as I am plain cashews. Then I was introduced to the amazing idea of a cashew cookie bar (Nakd and Larabar are two popular brands), in which pulverized cashews and dates are smashed together to form a delicious (and healthy!) snack. These treats can also be a bit pricey, so (as with many things here on our blog) I set out to make my own. I added some cocoa powder, which helped tone down the sweetness of the dates, and a little vanilla extract to maintain the moisture balance which helps the bars keep their shape. The result was a tasty, healthy treat I could feel good about eating - and since the dates are quite dense and nutrient-packed (good source of potassium, magnesium, and dietary fiber), a little goes a long way to satisfy both my cashew cravings and my sweet tooth!

~1 cup raw cashews
~2 cups dates, pitted and chopped
~2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
~1 tsp vanilla extract

Place all ingredients together in a food processor and process until you get a nice homogenous mixture. If the mixture is too wet or dry, adjust the amount of nuts or fruit as desired.

Line a flat-bottomed container with plastic wrap and pour in the mixture, and pack it down firmly.

Refrigerate for at least half an hour to help it set, then cut it into bars of desired size. If you have other types of moulds (for cookies or candies) you could also use those, pressing the mixture firmly into the moulds for a variety of shapes.


Keep bars refrigerated until ready to eat. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea!


Other recipes you might like: cashew date smoothie

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