As I continue on my real foods journey, I find one of the aspects I struggle the most with is finding good quality, quick snacks. My kids are still stuck in the “it has to be in a box to qualify for a snack” mode. It is incredibly disheartening to go to the store, read package labels and realize how much crap is in the food marketed to kids! Even food under the “health halo” of gluten free or organic is often loaded with sugar listed in different forms to disguise how much sugar is actually lurking. IT DRIVES ME CRAZY!
I was recently wandering around the internet looking for new snack ideas when I stumble upon My Darling Lemon Thyme’ s recipe for Raw Apricot, Dark Chocolate and Coconut Bites . These sounded amazingly yummy to me but I wondered about tweaking them a little bit to add some protein. I am incredibly obsessed with chia and hemp seeds right now so I immediately thought about incorporating them.
I am use to using dates in many of my raw snacks so I was intrigued with the idea of trying apricots for a different taste. I try to find unsulfured apricots because the preservatives tend to give me a headache and upset my stomach. I bought Dried APRICOTS here. I know they look discolored and a little unappetizing but I promise they taste just as good as the sulfured ones! I eat Hemp Hearts and Organic Raw Chia Seeds every day for breakfast so they were a natural addition to these balls.
Into the food processor everything went.
It was important to keep grinding and grinding to break down the apricots and to get a paste to form. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the food processor as needed. Gradually adding a little water also really helped the balls hold together. Checkout all that seedy goodness in the photo down below.
Balls before going into the freezer.
I know these are not the most visually appealing snacks but they definitely taste better than they look! The raw chocolate on these balls is so yummy and not too sweet! It is amazing combined with the orange flavor from the zest.
These balls turned out super yummy and I have been snacking on one or two of them a day for the last few days. Even though they are small, I find they give me sustained energy. The boys also declared them a winner- which is great, but then I have to share them! I would love to have readers share any of their snack ideas.
It has suddenly gotten amazingly hot and sunny here in the Pacific Northwest. I LOVE IT! I am a total sun girl- everything seems better with a little sun! The only bummer is our house gets incredibly hot as the day goes on. As the mercury rises, trying to avoid further heating of the house with cooking becomes a consuming obsession. Imagine my joy when I came upon these amazing raw seed and nut bars from This Rawsome Vegan Life while surfing Pintrest (you can find me here on Pintrest).
All the yummies that make up these awesome bars.
These bars have everything you could possibly need for a little pick me up in a busy day. Healthy sugar from organic dates and raisins, omega-3’s from chia seeds, walnuts and flax seeds and protein from all those seeds and nuts. Pumpkin seeds further contribute to the omega-3’s but they also give a much need boost of zinc (read here about the benefits of zinc.).The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in the coconut oil provide a blast of increase energy expenditure compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats. And, of course, I couldn’t resist adding a dark chocolate covered topping to increase my antioxidant exposure. (Read more about the benefits of dark chocolate here.
Dark chocolate squares melting in double broiler.
I put the dark chocolate squares on the stove in a makeshift double broiler while I started the grinding of the seeds and nuts in the food processor. After the nuts and seeds resembled a course crumb, I gradually added the raisins and dates. Mixing this all together required some time, with multiple stops to scrape down the sides of the food processor. I used roughly 2 tbs of coconut oil but you will have to judge the stickiness of your own dough. The moisture content of the dates and raisins seems to impact how sticky the dough becomes.
All the ingredients before being ground.
Melting chocolate for the topping.
Bars with melted chocolate ready to go to the fridge to harden.
These were super easy to whip up and so tasty! I think they might be my new favorite bar!