With the festival season in full swing and everyone beginning to enjoy even more time outdoors, I was inspired to make a bar that I could take out in any weather and enjoy a natural energy treat with no guilt!
I wanted to create a bar that had great taste, massive health benefits to refuel long days and nights and colour to remind me of the vibrance of a festival.
I’ve added plenty of nuts and seeds for protein, good fats, minerals and vitamins. Flax seeds for fibre. The dates add a good natural energy kick which shouldn’t spike your blood sugar levels. Ginger for a real zing on the taste buds as well as the benefits it gives in supporting digestion and settling the stomach! Goji berries which are great for supporting the immune system and add the most amazing specks of vibrant orangey red and finally the cacao is packed with great essential minerals, antioxidants and also contains some caffeine! So these bars certainly pack a punch. They’re great as a breakfast bar, a snack on the move or with a coffee, a mid afternoon snack and a perfect refuel after a workout. In fact anytime!!
So easy to make they only take about 10 minutes to whizz together but I’m afraid a food processor is essential as you need a powerful motor to break down the nuts, seeds and dates to help the mixture stick together.
100g blanched almonds
50g pistachio kernels
25g pumpkin seeds
25g sunflower seeds
50g milled flaxseed
275g pitted Medjool dates (weight after stone removed)
2tsp ground ginger
2tbsp raw cacao powder
a generous pinch of Himalayan Pink salt or sea salt
25g dried goji berries
Place the almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in a food processor and blend for about 20 seconds until roughly chopped.
Add the remaining ingredients and blend for about a minute until the mixture looks like fine biscuit crumbs. (pictured below.)
Continue blending for a further 30 seconds to 1min until the mixture begins to come together into pieces of soft sticky dough. Be patient as this may take a little while, as it blends the dates become very soft and sticky and the nuts and seeds begin to release their oils which helps hold the mixture together. (see picture below left)
Spoon the mixture into a greased 7in shallow square cake tin. If you don’t have a tin this size, then press the mixture into any greased tin to a depth of about 2cm.
Press the mixture down firmly with the back of a metal spoon until smooth. The more compact you can press it, the better they will stay together. If the mixture begins to stick then lightly dampen the spoon with a little water. Leave to set in the freezer for about an hour or 2-3 hours in the fridge until firm.
Run a palate knife around the outside of the tin. Transfer the set mixture to a chopping board and cut into whatever size bars or squares you would like! You could even chop them into bite sized pieces.
Store the Festival Bars between layers of greaseproof paper in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days. They are best kept in the fridge but this is not necessary. They also freeze really well. In fact they’re really delicious eaten straight from the freezer as they’re really fudgey when frozen!
I like to wrap them in greaseproof paper with coloured tape to take out and about. You could also lightly dust each bar with a little cacao which will also help prevent the bar from sticking to the wrapper, as it will soften slightly as it gets warmer.
Goji Berries are gorgeously vibrant, fiery red, thin, oval berries. They’re a Chinese berry that we can buy dried in health food shops and most supermarkets either with the dried fruit or the health food, nuts and seeds.
An extra thought!!
Just had idea of a great way to take these Festival Bars out on the road! Once they have set, cut into bite sized pieces, place in a bowl and dust with a little raw cacao to lightly coat each piece. Transfer to an airtight container to keep them fresh. The cacao stops the pieces sticking to each other and makes them very transportable little bites of deliciousness!!