Before you click away from this recipe because of the title, let me just explain. I know that eating “raw” and “whole” foods are super buzzwords right now, but all this means is that these bars feature ingredients that are uncooked and unprocessed. They provide natural, healthy energy any time of day.
The main issue with most fruit/nut/protein/granola bars that you buy in a store is how processed they are. The nutrition labels list off a slew of unpronounceable chemicals, mostly forms of sugar and preservatives. Not only are these harmful to your body, they also won’t give you the desired effects. Instead of helping to jump start your metabolism and fuel your body, they will leave you sluggish and with cravings for other unhealthy things. Even healthier purchasable options, like KIND Bars, have added sugars snuck in. Of course everyone loves to indulge now and then, but when you reach for a bar like that, it’s usually because you want a healthy snack. So save your refined sugars and fats for your pastries and try this easy recipe instead.
A common misconception is that a recipe like this is going to taste like nothing, but that’s not true! While the nuts and seeds do provide a nice earthy flavor, the dried fruit has natural sugars to add sweetness. Keep in mind, however, that these shouldn’t taste like cookies. Any health bar that tastes the same as your favorite sugary dessert isn’t actually healthy. You will need a food processor for this recipe, but there are some really affordable options so it’s worth the investment!
Customizing Your Bars
This particular recipe includes a variety of nuts, seeds and dried fruit but its not set in stone. The key to these bars coming together nicely is the correct ratio. For example, the dates provide most of the sticky base to hold everything together. So I wouldn’t recommend adjusting that part of the recipe too much, but the rest is up to you. Different seeds and nuts obviously have different tastes, and different nutritional qualities too. If there’s a sale on cashews instead of almonds, go ahead and use those!
Another thing to keep in mind is that adding sweetened chocolate, while delicious, won’t keep these bars as healthy. Instead, chop up unsweetened cacao to throw in the mix. The natural sugars from the dried fruit will pair nicely with it and you’ll still get all the great antioxidants of chocolate. Lastly, remember not to grab salted nuts or sweetened dried fruit (unless that’s your preference). Keeping your ingredients raw will give you the healthiest outcome!
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup ground flax seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped unsweetened cacao
- 2/3 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds (shelled)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup dried apricot
- 1 1/2 cup dried dates
- 2-3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or more/less as needed)
- Measure dates, apricots and raisins into the bowl of your food processor. Pulse until fruits are broken up and sticky.
- Gradually add the other dried ingredients alternatively with the coconut oil a bit at a time. Pulse as needed.
- Mixture is ready when it starts to stick together.
- Press into an 8x8 baking dish lined with wax paper.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Cut into bars.
Store bars in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.