These raw food bites make a wonderful snack and a healthy natural alternative to processed chocolate or other refined sugar-filled treats. Not only are they easy to make, they are also cheaper than similar raw organic bars available to buy.
The main ingredient in these nibbles is dates, which are one of the best natural sources of sugar available, replenishing energy and revitalizing the body naturally. Dates are packed with a huge list of nutrients, including iron, potassium, vitamin B-complex and minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Dates also provide a good source of dietary fiber which promotes digestive health by cleaning out the gut, creating bulk and working as a laxative.
These delicious bites also contain a variety of nuts including coconut and almonds, which provide an excellent source of proteins and essential oils in abundance, as well as selenium and Vitamin E.
The raw cacao powder is optional, but it adds a delicious chocolaty flavor to the snacks and unlike processed chocolate, cacao is a natural and raw product, full of antioxidants.
The recipe below is made using just dates and nuts, but you can experiment with the flavors to suit you personal tastes by adding ingredients like cinnamon, orange rind or fresh mint.
- 1 cup almonds and cashew nuts (or other nuts of your choice, e.g. walnuts, pecans, pistachios)
- 2 cup dried dates, pitted
- 1 cup shredded (desiccated) coconut
- 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Additional extras: ground cinnamon, freshly grated orange rind, fresh mint leaves.
- Place the nuts in a bowl and cover with water. Allow the nuts to soak overnight. Drain them the next morning and set aside.
- If the dates are very hard, add 1-2 tbsp boiling water to them, cover and let them stand for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the nuts to a food processor and pulse until they are chopped but not too finely. Add the coconut, cacao powder, vanilla and other optional ingredients, and pulse until well mixed.
- Add the dates, a few at a time, pulsing until well mixed. This may take a while ? up to 5 minutes or so; occasionally stop and scrape sides of processor to push the mixture toward the blades.
- When the mixture has come together to form a firm dough, remove it from food processor.
- Place the mixture onto a clean piece of plastic wrap. Form the mixture into a firm log, compressing it to make a very dense log.
- Wrap with the plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least two hours, or overnight to firm it up, before slicing it.
- These bites will keep for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Enjoy!