Coconut Almond Fudge Energy Bars
The beginning of spring means the beginning of “real” training for me. Last Monday, about two hours after my first longish run of the season, I sat in a meeting ready to pass out. Iʼd forgotten that increased training means increased attention to nutrition, and I hadnʼt properly refueled after my run.
This recipe was born from that need, a little creativity, and the ingredients I had in my cupboard. Dates are an excellent source of easily digestible carbohydrates; the nuts provide protein; and the coconut oil adds a bit of fat for staying power. As an added benefit, I think these taste better than the ones you buy at the store in a wrapper.
Makes about 15 bars
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup raw pecans
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 20 Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- In a food processor, combine almonds, pecans, and sea salt. Pulse until nuts are finely chopped (but not so long that they become a paste). Transfer to a medium sized bowl.
- In the empty bowl of the food processor, combine dates, coconut oil, and extracts. Process until ingredients come together in a ball on the blade. This should look like a paste.
- Transfer date mixture to bowl with nut mixture. Add shredded coconut. (If the coconut is not finely shredded, you may want to pulse it a few times in the food processor, as well).
- With your hands (yes, with your hands. Itʼs fun.), squish the nut mixture, coconut, and date mixture together, until ingredients are evenly mixed.
- On a large baking sheet lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper, spread the mixture evenly into a rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick.
- If you wish, melt remaining coconut oil and chocolate chips together (I used the microwave). Drizzle the chocolate over the bars.
- The mixture will get firm as it sits. You can speed this process by putting the baking sheet in the refrigerator (although mine never has enough room).
- When the chocolate has hardened,cut the rectangle into 15 even bars.
- Store in the refrigerator. These actually taste better (and will stay together) at room temperature, but storing them in the refrigerator helps them stay fresh longer.
- These date “bars” can be made into any shape you want. You could roll them into truffle-sized balls or cut them into smaller squares for pre-workout fuel.
- Instead of melting the chocolate chips, you could pulse them a few times in the food processor and incorporate them into the bars as you mix the ingredients together. Just be sure your hands are not too warm!
- Play with combinations. The basic ratios here are 1 1/2 cups raw nuts to an equal amount of dried fruit. The stickiness of the dates is necessary, so donʼt use less than a cup of dates. Coconut oil really helps the texture (and the nutritional profile), so leave it in.
Add extracts and spices to liven things up! Let us know what combinations you come up with!