Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Energy Bars

As a new raw foodist, I've been looking for quick snacks and pack-along items. Of course raw fruit, vegetable slices are great standbys. However, sometimes, I'm looking for something more substantial.

I came across the idea of an energy bar. It started when I saw information about raw food bars. I bought them, enjoyed them, and then thought, why not make them myself. I also discovered that the so-called raw food bars may still be processed and not entirely raw.

My first attempt to make a snack was raw brownies. The base for most brownies and energy bars appears to be dates, medjool dates to be precise, although I suspect that other varieties may also work. Raisins and figs could substitute for the dates.

The dates are pitted, then blended. They form a paste. Into this base you can mix almost anything else. Usually nuts, coconut, cacoa powder, flavorings such as vanilla bean or vanilla extract are used. I've also tried coconut oil, which enhances the flavor and texture in a tasty way. Seeds add texture. Sprouted grains would add crunch and chewiness.

The exact measurements are not so important as you can easily make changes as you go. Sweetener isn't necessary because the dates are naturally sweet.

My first experiment was with walnuts. Remember I was making brownies. Since then, I've tried many different types of nuts and seeds. Brazil nuts are especially good. Today's experiment I formed a ball around a whole soaked almond.

I usually spread the mixture in a rectangular glass dish and stick it in the freezer. These treats keep for a long time when frozen, and really take minutes to thaw. Because I offer them to all my friends and enjoy snacking daily, my energy bars don't last long! Try them and see.

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