Cherry Nut Energy Bars
The idea for these bars came after we had tried several different store bought date and nut bars. They were all pretty good, but I thought, hey this is something I could probably make. So I started thinking about what kind and flavor I would want. I really like using unsweetened dried fruit in recipes, and for some reason, I especially like dried tart cherries. So I decided to go for that.
Using what I have learned from making other recipes like this, coming up with the ingredient list was pretty straight forward. But the actual process of making it all come together took much longer than I expected. The recipe ends up being quite sticky while grinding it all together in a food processor. It is really not fun having to stop every 5 seconds because the mixture almost immediately needs to be scrapped down every time I hit process.
After trying numerous different techniques I finally landed on a set of steps that worked pretty good and with minimal bowl scraping. The magic finally came together when I waited until the very end to add the water, and I only added it while the processor was running. And the end result? A super delicious homemade cherry flavored energy bar! I love these! And I love that I they have flax and hemp in them, upping their nutritional goodness.
Cherry Nut Energy Bars
- 1 1/2 cup (170g) walnuts
- 1/2 cup (80g) raw almonds
- 8 pitted medjool dates (115g or 2/3 cup)
- 1/2 cup (70g) unsweetened dried tart cherries
- 1/2 cup (70g) hemp hearts
- 1/4 cup (30g) ground flax seed
- 1/4 cup (60ml) water
- Add the nuts to a food processor, pulse several times to break them up. Then process, using long pulses, until they're ground into a meal (20-30 seconds).
- Add all the remaining ingredients except for the water and process for 60-90 seconds, or until the mixture is sticky and combined, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom a few times as needed.
- Then, with the processor running, slowly pour in the water, and continue to process another 15-30 seconds until it is incorporated completely. The mixture will be very sticky. You will need to process several times for 15-30 seconds each time, stopping to scrape the processor bowl in between, until the mixture starts to become smooth.
- Tightly pack into a 8 x 8-inch pan lined with parchment. Again, this mixture is quite sticky, so placing another piece of parchment on top will help in pressing it into the pan. Once it is mostly pressed together, you can use a large dinner spoon to pull the mixture into the corners and get it completely even.
- Place the pan in the freezer for 1 hour to set.
- After bars have set, remove them from freezer and slice into 18 bars.
- Store and eat right from the refrigerator, up to 1 week in an airtight container.