Why is it that all kids come home from school absolutely ravenous? It’s as though the teacher’s take their lunch boxes ransom, and don’t let them eat the entire day. Once my son is off the bus, he heads straight for the snack cupboard, and almost always pulls out some sort of carbo-loaded goodness. And while that’s all well-and-good, I’d much prefer him to re-fuel with a healthier, homemade alternative.
This recipe uses cacao powder and cacao chips, not cocoa. What’s the difference? Cacao is chocolate in its raw state – unprocessed and additive free. As a result, it contains an abundance of antioxidants, magnesium, fiber, iron, calcium and essential fatty acids. Once the cacao beans are roasted and processed they become cocoa – losing much of their nutritional benefits and often have extra sweeteners added. So if you can, use cacao – you’ll feel better about giving your kids chocolate, and I promise you, your kids will not taste the difference!
Our favorites we use are readily available on our affiliate amazon:
- 1/2 cup unsweetened, unsalted, crunchy peanut butter
- 1/8 cup raw honey
- 1/8 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp cacao powder
- 2 pinches salt
- 8 medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup raw pecans, toasted
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/3 cup raw walnuts, toasted
- 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds (pepitas)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/3 cup cacao dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 chopped nuts of your choice
- Combine peanut butter, honey, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, cacao powder and salt in medium saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until combined and smooth. Remove from heat.
- In a food processor, add dates, nuts and shredded coconut and pulse until mixture resembles tiny pebbles.
- Add date/nut mixture into saucepan with the wet ingredients and stir until fully coated.
- Line a 9x13 or 8x8 pan with parchment paper and spread bar mixture evenly over the pan with the back of a spatula (or your hands!)
- To increase the yumminess – add chocolate chips and/or chopped nuts on top, place a piece of parchment paper over them and gently press the toppings into the mixture
- Place pan into the freezer for an hour.
- Remove parchment paper from pan and cut mixture into bars.
- You can use smooth peanut butter or almond butter if you’d prefer. I like the extra crunch from the peanuts.
- Store in the fridge or freezer.