No Bake Energy Bar Recipe: Gluten Free and Paleo Diet
Energy Bar Recipe : Easy, No-bake
The Paleo Diet, also known as Paleothitic diet or caveman diet, is becoming increasingly popular among some people.
You see, many thousands of years ago, before Red Bull drinks and Pop Tarts were invented, our ancestors survived as hunters and gatherers. Although there have been huge improvements with the types of foods that are now available to us, our genetics haven't changed much.
How did the Paleo hunter-gatherers maintain their energy and strength, and to keep them sustained throughout the day? Well they definitely didn't eat Powerbars or indulge in the processed foods that we are accustomed to!
They ate meat, fish, nuts, vegetables, seeds, eggs, fruits, herbs, and fats such as olive oil. Basically, they ate foods that were only available back in ancient times when refrigerators were not invented yet.
Some people will argue that being on the Paleo diet is too restrictive. Often times it's about simplifying your food choices and eating foods that were originally given to us by Mother Nature and avoiding processed foods.
The whole idea is to keep things simple and this no bake energy bar is just that...and much more! It is also nutritious, packed with ingredients that will keep you energized and your sugar cravings from taking over.
I am not on a Paleo diet, however I do experiment with a lot of Paleo recipes. I do intense workouts on a regular basis and train for races once in a while. You will find these energy bars in my gym bag instead of the commercially made energy bars. I love to eat whole, organic foods that are close to its natural sources.
The no-bake energy bars are loaded with nutritious ingredients such as dried dates, almonds, flax seeds, and cinnamon.
Health Benefits of Dates
Our ancestors ate wholesome, nutritious foods and one of them were Meedjool dates. Dates are very dense, keeping you full for a longer period of time. Some groups throughout history, leading lifestyle reminiscent of hunters and gatherers, relied heavily on dates.
If you've never considered adding dried dates to your recipes, start considering it now! A good organic date is just about the closest thing to candy that nature produces.
Although they have more calories than most fruits, they make up for it by being an excellent substitute for heavily processed candy and snacks. When comparing ounces, they are a better choice.
More importantly dates are fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free, and are loaded with fiber! All these factors are crucial to losing weight.
Dates also have the following vitamins and minerals:
- Calcium: 32 mg
- Magnesium: 36 mg
- Potassium: 541 mg
- Vitamin K: 2.2 mg
Dried dates do contain sugar, similar to eating raisins. They are still a better and healthier choice than the regular sugar in candy! Eat sensibly. One or two dates a day should be enough.
Ingredients for Energy Bar
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder, (optional: regular cocoa powder)
- 1.5 cups pitted dates
- 1/3 cup ground flax seed
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsalted almonds
- 1/2 cup unsalted walnuts
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, optional: goji berries, dried cherries
- 1-2 tablespoon coconut oil
Tips for Blending Dates
Note: Some of my readers have expressed concern with blending the date. I used a high-power processor, such as the "Ninja" to blend the dates. If you are having trouble getting the dates to grind to forma sticky paste, try adding the coconut oil in the first step. Or, soak the the dates in warm water to soften them.
Also, the dates should become a sticky paste which helps to hold the bars together. If you want a less sweeter taste, just decrease the amount of dates, and add more coconut oil.
Instructions for Energy Bars/Balls
- Put your pitted dates in the food processor and puree until they're smooth.
- Add coconut oil, cocoa powder, cinnamon, flax seed, and vanilla. Pulse a few times until they're combined.
- Add almonds and walnuts and pulse again. Depending on how fine you want the texture of the nuts, be careful not to pulse too many times.
- Stir in dried cranberries.
- Transfer the date mixture to a pan lined with wax paper. Press the mixture down with a large wooden spoon until they're about half an inch thick. Cover with Saran wrap and chill in refrigerator until they're hard. Cut into squares.