Monday, September 3, 2012

Homemade Cashew Lara Bars

I really enjoy cooking and baking. My natural bent is toward baking deliciously sinful treats for people to enjoy. However, I also know that whole foods are ideal, and treats such as my Ferrero Rocher Brownie Trifles and Death by Chocolate Cake are "sometimes" foods. I'm not going to lie though, I wish they were "all the time" foods. Oh, how I have a terrible sweet tooth!

These homemade cashew lara bars are sweet (thanks to the dates) and even chocolaty, yet they're made with simple healthy ingredients. Of course, the type of chocolate you use will determine just how guilt free these treats are.

These are a great addition to a kiddo's school lunch. They'll think it's a treat, especially when you cut it out into their favorite shapes, and you can serve it up guilt free! That's a win/win in my book!

Homemade Cashew Lara Bars

2 cups Raw Cashews
1 cup Chocolate Chips Or Chopped Dark Chocolate
4 cups Whole, Pitted Dates
2 Tablespoons Natural Almond Butter (or Peanut Butter, Sunflower Or Cashew Butter), Divided (or More, If Necessary)

Pulse the cashews and chocolate chips in a food processor or blender until they are uniformly and finely chopped into small bits. Place the chocolate nut mixture in a mixing bowl.

Next, pulse the dates until they form a paste and clump together. Add the almond butter and the chocolate nut mixture and continue pulsing until evenly combined.

Place the mixture between sheets of wax paper and use a rolling pin to roll the mixture out to desired thickness. You may roll into a thin cookie-like consistency and use cookie cutters to form shapes, or you may roll it out thicker and cut into bars. Refrigerate for at least two hours before slicing. Store in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container. Unrefrigerated bars will be good for 2 days, covered, at room temperature.  

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