Cacao superfood bars

Photography by Agata Pec

These no-bake energy bars take just minutes to make, but they’ll keep you going for hours. Moist and dense, with the perfect amount of crunch, they are packed with nutritional winners such as hemp and chia seeds, almonds and cacao nibs.


Why are these great for runners?

Raw cacao nibs are packed with antioxidants. They also contain the mood-enhancing compound phenethylamine.

Dates contain fibre, which aids satiety. Medjool dates are particularly high in potassium, which can aid blood sugar control.

Hemp seeds are a good non-animal protein option, with 5g per tablespoon; also a source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.


Ingredients

  • 15 Medjool dates (or soft dates), pits removed
  • 40g raw almonds
  • 40g raw cashews
  • 30g cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp raw cacao nibs (try BodyMe cacao nibs)
  • 6 tbsp hemp seeds (get them from Sevenhills Wholefoods)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp maca powder
  • 2 tbsp nuts and seeds (use your favourites)
  • 40g dried fruit (your choice – cranberries work nicely)

1/ Blend the ingredients (except the last two) into a coarse dough using a food processor. Stop regularly to check the consistency: pinch the dough between two fingers – it should stick together easily so that your bars don’t end up crumbly. If the dough is too dry, add water – about half a teaspoon at a time – and blend again until the desired stickiness is achieved.

2/ Now add the nuts/seeds and dried fruit, and pulse until just coarsely chopped, to add texture.

3/ Place a large sheet of cling-film on a flat surface and spill out the dough on top. Gather it into a solid mass in the centre, wrap the cling-film tightly around it and press and shape it into a rectangle 1.5–2.5cm thick.

4/ Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden. Then remove and cut into rectangular bars. They will keep for a fortnight in the fridge, or can be stored in the freezer.

Nutrition per bar: 240 calories, 33g carbohydrates, 5g fibre, 8g protein, 9g fat


Recipe courtesy of Superfood Kitchen: Cooking with Nature's Most Amazing Foods by Julie Morris.

Words by Beth Hughes.